How to Create a Life You Enjoy Living

This is my life… my story… my book. I will no longer let anyone else write it; nor will I apologize for the edits I make.
-Steve Maraboli

What is life if not worth living?

The truth is, you really can change your life to one that you enjoy living… at least most of the time. No one’s life is perfect but we all have the power to make our lives better.

A lot of this power of change might very well include shifting your mental energy to better things and/or things you can actually change. So fair warning: this isn’t some magical or easy answer to live your dream life. After all, if it were, I would have been doing so in my own life for a while now.

Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.
-Brene Brown

The good news is that you can OWN your life and shape it to be something you actually enjoy living. Here I will share with you some things that I have personally learned in my pursuit to a better life for myself:

First of all, remember that you are worth this and you deserve a life you can enjoy living.
You are worth living a life you find satisfying and rewarding. It will take quite a bit of work, and a lot of mentality changes, but it is so very possible.

Realize that your idea of a life that’s satisfying and rewarding may be quite different than others’ idea of that life.
This is your life. It isn’t up to them how you live it. Don’t let others’ opinions poison your mind and make you doubt your abilities. You are powerful and a force to be reckoned with. You have so many more options open to you than you can even see right now. Open your mind to them. If other people don’t like it, then they can just deal with it or move on.

Think about what you really want out of life, either long-term or short-term, or even both.
What do you want your life to look like? What do you want your future to hold? Consider what your biggest dreams are right now. Don’t limit yourself to what you feel is possible for you right now. Like I mentioned above, there are so many more options available to you than you can see right now and you never know what you can accomplish until you set out to do it!

Weigh the pros and cons to your decisions. Can you really imagine living your life if you follow through with that decision?
Considering the good and the bad that could result from each decision you make. Is that decision really worth making when you consider the negatives that may come from it? Sometimes the positives actually outweigh the negatives or the sacrifice is worth what you get in return. Thinking in these terms for bigger decisions, and sometimes even smaller ones, can really make a difference. At the very least, it makes you think twice before taking a plunge.

Make goals that are actually reachable and allow you time to pursue them, and then craft a plan to meat the goal(s).
I wasn’t lying when I mentioned that you shouldn’t only consider possible for yourself. However, in order to pursue your goals, they still need to be realistic for you and your circumstances. You can make plans to make some goals fit into your life, while others may be a dream to hold off for another time. Think of the resources you have at your disposal right now or that you could possibly use. Wherever there’s a will, there’s a way!

Take action because none of this means much if you don’t actually take any action to achieve it.
Make plans and prepare, but also take action. All the preparation in the world will mean nothing if you don’t move forward with those plans. You may have to start before you’re ready and that’s okay. Some of it will have to be figured out as you go along because you can’t possibly see the whole path all at once.

Scale back on the negatives… Cut anything out of your life that sucks energy away from you or makes you miserable.
There is no space in your life for the negatives. Those people, tasks, or things in your life that suck energy away from you and leave you depleted… whatever you can let go of, do it! It’s not worth holding onto those things if they are keeping you from the life you want (and sometimes need) to live. Some of these things will be okay without you and some of them may not. However, your wellbeing is more important than most of them if you truly consider it. I’m not saying chuck important things from your life, by any means, but dispose of anything that you can that causes you misery.

Grow the positives- focus on any and all positives.
Along the same lines as the point above, focus on any and all positives and elaborate on them. Make those positives the center of your life and your life will begin to take shape around them as if they are the most important thing. It takes time but it certainly helps!

I wish to live a life that causes my soul to dance inside my body.
-Dele Olanubi

So I ask you, what do you really want from your life? Do you think it’s really possible?

 

~Bonnie~

Loving Yourself as You Are

With Valentine’s Day coming up in less than two weeks, so many of us are thinking of love… So I wanted to mention how important loving yourself is! Whether or not you have a significant other, you need to love yourself. This is definitely easier said than done and I know that from experience. It took me a long time to accept myself as I was and love what makes me, me. However, now that I do, I feel so much more comfortable in my own skin.

Thinking about what you like about yourself at least once a day can seem like a huge task, but is so worth it. It’s like an exercise for your mind and helps you strengthen your view of yourself, a little at a time. Journaling your thoughts might be the easiest way to make more concrete progress because actively writing down what you like about yourself really helps you absorb it better, but you can also just simply take a few minutes each day to reflect on these things. Start or end your day with a few minutes of dedicated time spent appreciating yourself.

Another thing you can do to learn to love yourself is to think kind thoughts as you go about your day. Each time you think something negative or put yourself down, correct yourself gently and replace that with something positive and kind. It takes practice but before you know it, it will become more of a habit! Becoming your own biggest cheerleader will pay off so much in the long run. Practicing positivity and kindness towards yourself will help you cheer yourself on and learn to rely on yourself the most!

First of all, I want you to remember that you are beautiful, and you are worth it.

Here are some questions to ask yourself
(Just do your best to answer each one):

  1. What are you most proud of? Think of things you have accomplished, whether you had set out to accomplish them or not.
  2. What do you like most about yourself? List any and all things you like about yourself. Even just one thing about yourself will be better than none!
  3. List three physical qualities you like about yourself. It could be something as simple as your eye color or something more complex, you decide!
  4. List three personality traits/characteristics you like about yourself. Again, list things that are simple if it helps. Anything you feel comfortable listing is the right answer. Just make sure you list all three!
  5. List three skills that you are proud to have. You have many skills, whether you can see that or not. Now is your chance to really think about what skills you have that are valuable to yourself or others.
  6. List three experiences or lessons learned that you feel have shaped you into the person you are today, in a positive way. We all have many experiences like this. It can be hard to see the positive that comes from them sometimes but they are there!
  7. What are three positive things that have happened recently?
  8. What are three negative things that have happened lately that you can put a positive spin on? Think about what positive things have come from negative happenings.

Also, here are some positive affirmations that might help you go about your day in a more positive and kind manner:

  • I am strong and I am capable!
  • know I can do this!
  • Just do your best. You don’t have to be perfect and as long as you’re doing your best, or striving to do your best, you will achieve so much!
  • I am beautiful and I am worth it. 
  • I am lovable.

 

~Bonnie~

P.S. You can download a worksheet copy of these questions to fill in or print and answer later. Just click this link: Love Yourself as You Are.

How to Survive a Big Slip-up

The truth of the matter is that slip-ups happen from time to time, for all of us. None of us is perfect and we all make mistakes. Unfortunately, sometimes we also go through periods of time where all it feels like we do is slip-up! Those are really the pits! I had one of those myself recently and I had to constantly fight the “I’m a failure” feeling that kept creeping in simply because I was struggling so bad and nothing I did was working.

There is some great news… It is completely normal for this to happen in your weight loss or healthy living journey and I guarantee that you will get through this as long as you don’t give up! So no matter what you do, keep trying to forge ahead with your healthy living goals. As long as you keep trying, you will find something that works for you. It just takes time! It may even take longer than you imagined but it will indeed happen.

Use your bad experience to fuel you as you move forward, instead of seeing it as a totally negative deal. Learn from it and keep moving forward. There’s no use beating yourself up about the past. As I like to tell myself: “It is what it is and all I can do is move forward.” You can’t change what already happened, but what you can do instead is keep trying to do better.

Here are some of the things that have helped me get out of my big slip-up:

  • Look at the big picture. When things are tough and it feels like everything is fruitless, look at the big picture of your goals. It can be a beautiful tool because it reminds you of the big reason as to WHY you’re trying to lose weight and get healthy.
  • Focus on what you CAN do. Focus on each healthy decision you can make to help dig you out of the hole that it seems you fell into. What can you do right now, right here, to better your mentality?
  • See what you can do TODAY to move forward. There is only so much you can do each day. Think about what you can do today to work towards your goals. That way it seems like so much more of a manageable chunk.
  • Take it all one day, one moment at a time. No one can achieve their goals in no time flat. You think about each day, or each moment at a time, whatever works for you to make it easier and more doable.
  • Keep putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how difficult it seems. Don’t overwhelm yourself by thinking of all the things you need to do in order to achieve your goal. Just put one foot in front of the other no matter what and keep yourself moving forward.
  • Get yourself pumped up about something! Nothing can spark your motivation to do well like getting yourself excited to do it or something else you really enjoy. Feeling happier and more at peace will certainly help you get back on the right track with your weight loss and healthy living goals!

Even when it seems fruitless, remember that you are simply AMAZING for your efforts. Always keep trying! Even when it feels like you’re not making any progress whatsoever, keep going!

Try something new if you need to or try things that worked for you in the past. Trust your process because it is yours alone. Remember you haven’t failed until you quit trying.

Repeat this mantra when all else fails, “I CAN AND I WILL!” You will get through this.

 

~Bonnie~

You are So Worth It


Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.
-Oscar Wilde


This simple little quote really says it all, doesn’t it? We need to choose to be ourselves because we are unique, valuable beings. It is important to be you and be proud to be who you are.

You are beautiful and you are worth it, remember that. There are no qualifications or conditions that make you so. You just are because you are a one-of-a-kind person with qualities and traits that make you uniquely you.

Take a moment now, if you can, and think about your beauty. Let it fill you with promise and love for yourself. You have something to offer the world. So remember that the next time you’re getting down on yourself. Think of all the things you have accomplished and will continue to accomplish. Quiet that negative voice in your mind.


Now is the best time to start becoming the person we want to be.
-Alan Watts


It is never too late to build yourself up. If you or other people in your life have been continuously putting you down, then it might take longer to achieve results. However, it will never be too late to turn your self-image around… to learn how to love yourself.

Take it day by day. Think positive thoughts. Encourage yourself and become your own very best cheerleader. Tell yourself when you’re doing a good job, give yourself a pat on the back for it. Reward yourself from time to time for all of your hard work. You are worth all of this!


It is never too late to be who you might have been.
-George Elliot


Like I mentioned above, it truly is never too late to work on you. Why…? Because we will all be continuously working on ourselves throughout our lifetime. We are never done, and that is not a bad thing!

This gives us infinite possibilities to do what we want, to achieve the things we really want to achieve, and to spend time doing what we truly want to. It won’t be all puppies and rainbows, but it will definitely be rewarding and fulfilling.

The more you build yourself up, the more things you will be able to achieve… and the more you achieve, the higher your dreams will soar. I know this from personal experience. You will learn that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Life is full of chances and choices you might not have even considered before.

Your whole world shifts the more you believe in yourself and your abilities, your beauty and your worth. So let me tell you that the world is beautiful with this clarified view!

Join me in believing in you and your ability to make your dreams come true! I have faith in you!

 

Would you like quotes like this with encouraging words every day of the year? Check out my 365 Days of Inspiration: Quotes + Words of Wisdom, which is on pre-order by clicking that link.

~Bonnie~

New Year’s Product & Black Friday Sale Coming Soon

New Year’s is only six weeks away. Are you ready to make 2016 your best year ever?

If you’re not sure where to start or would like something to help guide you, I am working on a New Year’s product for you which will include:

  • 31 Day Best You Kickstart
  • 12 Monthly Goals Printables
  • 365 Days of Inspiration
  • Tips Sheet to Make Changes Stick
  • Goals to Become the Best You workbook + guide
  • Empower Yourself Workbook
  • Picturing the Year Workbook
  • Getting Started Workbook (expanded version)
  • Getting Started Printable Checklists of various helpful tools and shopping lists
  • Other helpful guides and information to help you throughout the year

There will be different packages of this, or the whole package altogether, depending on what you need help with or want to purchase. Keep your eyes open because I will be announcing more about this product in a couple weeks and should be releasing it mid-December so that you can get a head start before the New Year even starts!

These are all tried and true methods, plus inspirational tools that will help you throughout the year. They are all tools, methods, and information that I have found helpful in my own weight loss journey.

I made 2015 my best year so far, and I’m ready to make 2016 even better! I have things planned and dreams I want to shoot for. I’m not going to let anything stand in my way and neither should you!


Speaking of planning and dreams… My Goals to Become the Best You e-course is still open for enrollment! I will be having a 48-hour Black Friday sale on it slashing the price in half! The sale will start Thursday night so keep your eyes out for Tuesday’s blog post!

If you have problems sticking to your goals or get discouraged easily, this course is definitely for you! The workbook + guide provided in the course will walk you through a step-by-step process to create and pursue goals that work for you. You will be able to work through it at your own pace while also having the added benefit of individual help through the Community within. If you have any questions or need help with anything, you will be able to post to the Community and I will check in regularly to help you out!

goals ecourse mockups
Click this link to visit the course website to see more information: Goals to Become the Best You

This workbook + guide is also available separately and will also be on sale for half off for the same 48-hour period! Here is the website where that is posted so you can read a bit more about it as well: Goals to Become the Best You workbook + guide.

I am even posting the lesson list right here so you know what you can expect to learn from it:

  1. Setting Realistic Goals
  2. Setting Adequate Timeframes
  3. Setting Milestone Goals
  4. Keeping Your Eyes on the Prize
  5. Adjusting
  6. Moving Forward No Matter What
  7. Troubleshooting (as needed)
  8. Reflection
  9. Recovery
  10. Celebrate!
  11. Making New Goals
  12. BONUS: Reach for the Stars!

I will be posting the special 50% off code for these products on Tuesday, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

 

~Bonnie~

P.S. There might even be another new product and smaller sale on other items… So make sure to visit my blog on Tuesday!

The Secret of Success: Celebrate Your Victories

Back in my Celebrate Your Victories blog post a few weeks ago, I made a point that we should really take the time to celebrate all of our victories whether they are big or small. If you are trying to lose weight, you may think “Well, I’ll reward myself when I lose X pounds.” Yeah, do that! However, you should also celebrate the non-weight related goals… and maybe put even more emphasis on these!

Did you eat 5 fruits and vegetables today? Celebrate that! It’s a huge accomplishment and takes amazing willpower. I for one don’t accomplish that as often as I would like to so I admire anyone who does it even for one day!

Did you make it through a hard workout without quitting? Workouts are hard, period. An intense one is even tougher to make it through because there may be multiple moments where you would absolutely love to quit! If you pushed through a hard workout without quitting, give yourself a big pat on the back!

Have you eaten within your calorie range for the first time, or have you eaten within your calorie range for a certain amount of days in a row? This is another feat! Go crazy, do a little dance for your accomplishment!

Are you starting a new exercise routine? Starting a new exercise routine is sometimes a hard thing to get motivated for, it’s new and it’s scary. Reward yourself for motivating yourself to start a new one and change things up!

Have you tried a new healthy food recently? Another new and scary experience is trying a new healthy food. What if you don’t like it? You’re spending money on something you don’t even know if you like. But how will you know if you don’t take a risk? Whether you end up liking this new food or not, give yourself a figurative high-five for putting your taste buds out there!

Did you push through and do your workout even if you weren’t “feeling it?” Good for you. Celebrate! Your a rockstar for pushing through and just doing it!

Did you push harder during a workout you’ve been doing for a while and just cruising along with? Another good reason to celebrate because that is not easy, to raise yourself up a level and give your workout your all!

One day you notice you feel stronger and healthier… Woohoo! Yeah, that is a great result! Celebrate it and tell the world or have a mini party! Those are the kinds of results you are working so hard to achieve.

Really, the list of non-weight related accomplishments are endless. You decide what you feel is a victory in your journey. It’s you who is living it and you who you need to keep motivated!


Your next question might be… How should I celebrate?

Here are a few ways that I have used or seen others use:

  • Let loose and just dance! Turn Some upbeat music on and dance your heart away.
  • Get your hair or nails done, pamper yourself!
  • Window shop for a bigger goal reward.
  • Spend some extra time alone or putting yourself first, and don’t let yourself feel guilty about it.
  • Buy something you have been eyeing for a while.
  • Watch your favorite TV show and just relax.
  • Go check a book out from the library that you’ve been meaning to read, and make time to read it. You deserve it!
  • Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. This is so good for the soul!
  • Go for a drive with some new scenery if possible.
  • Dress up and go out, even if it’s not somewhere fancy.

Again, the list for rewards and ways to celebrate is endless. What do you like to do that you rarely make time for? Make time for it now to reward yourself or simply celebrate a job well done. You deserve to pamper yourself in some way, big or small, for your hard work.

What are some of your recent non-weight related accomplishments? And what do you like to do to celebrate those accomplishments?

How to Change Your Perception of Yourself

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall.”

Mirror, mirror, on the wall…

What is it that you see in the mirror each morning? Do you see the beauty that is within you? Do you see all that you have to offer yourself, others, the world? Believe me, you have plenty to offer.

I see your reflection, you’re unsure and maybe even scared to follow your dreams… to believe that you are truly beautiful, inside and out. However, I ask you to trust me. Trust me when I say that you are beautiful.

You have valuable and helpful things to offer to others. You do them every day. To you they might seem small, but they are big to those watching from the outside. Try looking at yourself as others might see you. See your actions how others would see them.

___

Mirror, mirror, on the wall…

How does one change the perception of themselves?

  • First of all, when you look in the mirror, push out all negative thoughts. Anytime a negative thought about yourself enters your mind, cast it aside and replace it with something positive. What physical features do you like about yourself…? Your hair, your smile, your eyes, your body shape, anything at all!
  • Look at all you do for others, your family and friends or even total strangers. You have so much to offer others. Some things you do on a daily basis can be considered valuable and beautiful!
  • Approach the mirror mentally prepared… ready to search for all the beautiful things about yourself. Start with something you already know you like about your appearance. Then let your mind naturally wander to another thing you like about your appearance. Going in with a blank mind ready for positivity will allow you to think of all those things that are good instead of automatically focusing on things that you don’t like so much.
  • Even without the mirror, you can spend a few minutes a day thinking about all you accomplished recently, and all the good works you do on a daily basis. This doesn’t make you conceited. Boosting your self-esteem actually makes you more efficient and productive. You can be more helpful to others if you believe yourself to be just that.
  • Every time you take a peek in the mirror, allow yourself to be proud and happy with your appearance and all you have accomplished outside of what the mirror can tell you. Mirrors don’t tell the whole story, obviously. They can only show you what you can physically see at any one given moment. What about all of those other moments accumulated throughout the day that happen that are positive?

So what do you think of your reflection…? Physical reflection, the reflection of yourself that you see in others, and the reflection in your mind based on your thoughts of yourself. It is a process in itself to change these thought processes to be more positive and not put yourself down every time you think of it. It takes hard work and consistent practice, but you are very much capable of that!

So often we think of ourselves as failures just because we don’t accomplish everything we set out to accomplish or everything we “need” to do in a day. We are so much more than that! We need to focus on all of the things we do accomplish, all we do for ourselves and others that is good.

Tell me a bit about you and what you want to accomplish this week. Are you going to be kinder to yourself if you don’t accomplish everything? Are you going to try to alter your mental reflection of yourself?

~Bonnie~

Weight Loss May be Hard

Weight loss is hard. I think we can all agree that on some level, or at some point, weight loss is quite difficult. Not only does it take a lot of hard work and determination, but it can also be trying at times. So trying that we may feel like giving up many times in our journeys.

So let me tell you a secret… a secret that this quote states so eloquently:

Your dream of weight loss and a healthier life does not become a reality by magic, or a wish. It takes hard work and discipline, sweat (and sometimes even tears), as well as determination to make it happen.

Don’t let that stop you though, because you have all of those things within you. Sometimes you have to dig deep to find them but they are there. Remember that you are strong and powerful! Your dreams are within your reach if you only put in the work to achieve them! Weight loss may be hard but it’s not impossible and you will always hold the power to make it happen.

You are worth the hard work it takes. You are worth living a life that is healthier and higher quality. Just think of all the things you can do in the future that you aren’t able to now. The opportunities are endless. All you have to do is make healthier living a priority and never give up!

One way to do this is to simply believe in yourself. Believing in yourself is not to be underestimated in your weight loss journey. Believe the power is within you, believe that you will achieve your goals, believe that it’s possible! It will power you forward more than you can possibly understand until you are actually doing it!

If for some reason all of this isn’t within you, or you can’t tap into it at any given moment, a good support system can help boost you up. Whether it be family, friends, a group of some sort, or even online… they can support you through hard times. Your support system can act as a bridge to get you over the hurdles and keep you strong when you’re feeling weak. We all have times of weakness so lean on them when you need to, but also realize that you have what you need within yourself as well.

What do you feel is the hardest part of weight loss? For me personally it has always been the food. I love food. I love exercise and staying active once I start but food will always be my weakness. So that has been the toughest part for me and sometimes continues to be, but I push to overcome it every day and I will not quit. Some of it becomes more habit and natural over time and that is so rewarding!

~Bonnie~

A Letter to YOU… Yes You

To the Strong and Powerful You,

Yes, I’m talking to you. You are strong and powerful. I believe in you. Even if you don’t believe in yourself right now, I believe you can do anything you set your mind to. You have untapped potential just waiting to bubble up and make itself known. All you need to do is step aside and let it do just that. Is it scary? Well, yeah. Most of the best things in life are scary, but it is also so refreshing and empowering.

Don’t you want to tap into that potential… that power? Don’t you want to see what you’re capable of? I do. I want to see you set out and follow your dreams. Weight loss, no problem. Healthier eating, like I said no problem! Exercise consistently, you got this! Just don’t let your doubts and fears stand in your way anymore. They don’t want to see you succeed.

However, I know you can succeed! You have within you now, everything you need to keep yourself moving forward. That’s not to say that you don’t need to arm yourself with knowledge, or have a good support system as backup, but you have it within you. Do you know why? It’s because only you are responsible for you and your own actions. That allows you so much power to wield each day to keep yourself moving forward.

Each step you take in the right direction adds up: each healthy food you eat, each time you exercise (even if it’s not perfect), each time you drink your water, it all adds up! Sometimes it might seem like you’re taking two steps forward and one step backward, like the saying goes, but that’s actually a good thing because you’re still consistently making progress and moving forward.

So don’t give up… don’t give into those fears and doubts that plague you. You will get where you want to go. Just know it may take time. So have patience, be you, do your best, and work hard!

Sincerely,

~Bonnie~

Failure: When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade


One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.

-Napoleon Hill


Failure

Failure, what a strong word. We all have a fear of failure on some level. Some of us push past it or do our best to overcome it. Then there’s the actual dealing with it part that can be difficult to handle.

The truth is that we will deal with failure on some level, on a regular basis when we are actively living as it is just another part of life. So how do we deal with it? As a tool we can use it to our advantage and as a lesson we can learn from it. We will be better for this new experience. We adjust, changing our method in order to try again. We can even approach it from a new angle altogether. If it’s important to us to succeed, we will do anything we can to make it happen.


Failure is simply an opportunity to begin again. This time, more intelligently.

-Henry Ford


Ford’s words are so accurate. With the knowledge we acquired from our “failure,” we can continue on in a better frame of mind and we also have more chance of success.

We can choose to let failure debilitate us or we can keep trying until we’re successful. It may be true that some times we may genuinely choose to let go of whatever dream or goal we were striving for because it just doesn’t suit us like we thought it did. However, if it means anything to us, we will find a way!


It’s when the discomfort strikes that one realizes a strong mind is the most powerful weapon of all.

-Christie Wellington


We can use this never give up approach in our weight loss and healthy lifestyle journeys as well. It is vital for us not to give up. Sometimes we may need a break but we should never let go of striving for a healthier us. So when we fail, we should view it as something that will actually help propel us forward in our quest.

None of us are afraid to admit it, weight loss is hard and we are afraid we might not succeed! It’s natural to take the hit of failure and want to curl up in a ball and never move again. It’s truly debilitating in its own right. We can’t let those feelings win. Grieve for that plan that just couldn’t work out, but then move on and use that knowledge to help you move forward. Your health is too important to let go of.

~Bonnie~