Looking on the Bright Side of Life

Focusing on the bright side of your life is part of taking care of YOU and loving yourself.

People often say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I say the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder!
-Salma Hayek

Last month I posted about how I made some positivity/blessings jars and you can check that out here: How Making a Positivity Jar Can Help You. This has proven to be a great tool for me because it helps me work through each day in a positive light. Think about it: you’re sifting through the parts of your day, much like files in a drawer, looking for each particular positive. You kind of have to work through everything that happened in order to find the pearls of positivity.

You don’t even have to make these types of jars in order to work through your day either. Sometimes simply exercising, journaling, or blogging can really help a lot. You might even find something else that you can integrate into your routine that will help you focus on the positive.

Know what sparks the light in you. Then use that light to illuminate the world.
-Oprah Winfrey

Teaching yourself how to focus on the positive in your life can really help you in general as well. This form of positive reinforcement is encouraging and can even be fun! You are basically rewarding yourself for all your hard work.

What you can do to establish this habit:

  • Review your day– work through the negative and emphasize the positive. Processing what happened throughout the day can be really therapeutic. You can do this in any way that feels comfortable and most natural to you.
  • Give yourself a pep talk– tell yourself how well you did today and praise yourself for all of your accomplishments. You have more than earned this recognition!
  • Talk to someone or blog– discuss your day, mention your concerns or worries, and most of all celebrate the positive!
  • Treat/reward yourself– Give yourself an actual “treat” for your hard work, such as time to yourself, getting your hair or nails done, going shopping at your favorite story, purchasing a book or game that you’ve wanted for a while.

What do you get in return (the results):

  • You are encouraging yourself to keep moving forward each time you acknowledge the positive that has already happened. It also allows you to picture what possibilities of positive that you might have in the future if you keep working hard.
  • By training your brain to look at the positive within yourself and your life, you are also becoming your own best support system and cheerleader… which can be one of the biggest things you can do for yourself in your weight loss journey. You are learning how to depend on yourself the most, instead of relying on others for that same satisfaction.
  • Any shred of light, happiness, love, peace, or comfort is all magnified when you choose to focus on these things!

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
-Maya Angelou

Building this habit of focusing on the bright side of life can really help you feel happier and more peaceful. It may take time and lots of practice, but someday you will look back and see that you have come so far and you will be happy you made the decision to be more positive!

 

~Bonnie~

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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~

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!

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~

Motivation Monday- Reach for the Stars

Follow your dreams.
Follow your dreams.

Life is short, and we only live once. There’s no reason to put off our dreams until later. So reach for the stars! No one is stopping you but you.

Write those dreams down, commit them to yourself on paper. Then make a plan and take a leap! You won’t know how much you are capable of until you give it a try. There will likely be quite a bit of trial-and-error involved, and a lot of reevaluating and adjusting as you go along but keep moving forward no matter what!

If you have the drive to succeed and the willingness to put in the necessary work, you will get there with time. Never give up on trying to find what works. There is always a way to get what you want and sometimes just involves just finding a way to accomplish it.

Be happy, do what you love!
Be happy, do what you love!

Recently I have started indulging in dreams that are bigger than anything I had ever even considered before, such as running a half marathon in May and possibly a full marathon six months later. Not to mention pursuing my dream of working from home while juggling all of my other responsibilities. This last one has been one of my dreams as long as I can remember but I never thought of it as a true possibility, I just fantasized about it. Now I know I have it in me and I just have to find a way to do so and keep trying until I figure it out.

Remember, you can scream and you can cry but never, ever, give up! If it matters to you then it’s worth pursuing and making it work for you! You really can do it!

~Bonnie~

Steady Saturday- Hurdles and Roadblocks to Weight Loss

There is always a detour... find another way!
There is always a detour… find another way!

Whether we like it or not, there will always be something attempting to get in our way. Hurdles and roadblocks will come at us from all angles at times. We have to be resolved to not let anything stop us!

That saying, where there’s a will there’s a way, is perfect. If we are resolved to make our new lifestyles work for us and to never give up on getting healthier, we will find a way to get us through.

Let out those feelings of frustration in a constructive way and then set to work searching for a way to get through or around the hurdle. There is always some way to make it work for you and to come out the other side stronger than ever. Sometimes there’s no way around it at first and those are the times you will learn something you wouldn’t otherwise get a chance to learn. I know this from experience as I’ve had quite a few of them and there is always something I learn from it. I wouldn’t be where I am in my journey if it weren’t for my trials. So in that way, I appreciate my own obstacles.

Obstacle course.
Obstacles.

Next time you are faced with a hurdle, take a deep breath, release the frustration, and then find a way to use it to your advantage. Get through it as soon as you can if possible. If you can’t get through it somehow or it takes a while to do so, start figuring out what you are meant to learn from it. I guarantee there is something valuable to be learned each time, no matter how hard it is to discover. Either way, remember how strong and triumphant you will feel on the other side. It is an awesome feeling!

Obstacles may be unavoidable, but they are truly useful experiences. Believe in your ability to triumph and keep pushing forward whenever something appears in your path!

~Bonnie~

Thriving Thursday- Establishing a Lifestyle Change

Exercise
Exercise

You’ve heard it before, likely too many times to count, that in order for your weight loss to stick you need to establish a lifestyle change. I’m here to tell you that this is absolutely true. Weight loss will not magically make it to where you can eat whatever you want or chuck exercising once you reach your goal weight. You will need to continue with these new habits you’ve created for yourself for the rest of your life. That’s not to say that you will have to exercise at the rate and intensity or restrict your calories as much as you have been to lose weight, but you will still need to keep your habits going.

“Lifestyle change” sounds so cliché to most of us by now. We see and hear it everywhere as we immerse ourselves in our weight loss efforts. I know it sounds cliché to me even though I wholeheartedly believe in it and even though my lifestyle change has become just a way of life for me. This phrase sums up all of our focus on building a healthy life for ourselves. That is our goal, to be healthy individuals and to live a fuller and higher-quality life.

Healthy eating
Healthy eating

Now you may want to know that if this is so vital to being successful, how to achieve it, so here are some tips:

  • Start small and remember each step in the right direction is progress. Make small changes and simply focus on making one good choice at a time. This way it is much more manageable.
  • Remember that slow and steady wins the race. It might sound enticing to go full force from the very beginning and keep going at that pace, but you will hit a burn out wall. So take things slow and focus on your progress. Sometimes you may feel like you’re not making any progress at all and that’s okay, as long as you keep moving forward and keep trying you will see progress soon enough.
  • Make sustainable changes- start eating and exercise habits that you can stick with long-term. Find exercise you enjoy doing and healthy foods you enjoy eating. You can change things up and try new things but don’t exercise too much or restrict your calories too much too fast.
  • Arm yourself with information. Research healthy habits, recipes that sound good, and find things that work for you. There are so many possibilities out there!
  • Keep yourself motivated- surround yourself with people who have similar goals, read blogs or articles about people who have lost weight or are losing weight currently, join weight loss websites/apps where there is no shortage of support (such as Spark People where I found just this), and keep searching for things that interest you in your new lifestyle.

That’s the simplified version. Obviously there is more to it, but some of it we all have to figure out for ourselves because we are all different. We need to find what works for us in particular. So please, don’t be discouraged if what works for someone else or what you feel should work for you doesn’t, because there is so much more out there than just that! Make your lifestyle change work for you and it will be so much easier to stick with because you will learn to enjoy it.

~Bonnie~

Steady Saturday- Keep Moving Forward

Keep moving forward.

night-sport-bike-bicycle

That little phrase makes it all seem more simple than it really is, but this is one of my favorite mantras and something I repeat often to others who are also trying to improve their health. It’s a pretty common saying and I’m sure nearly all of us have heard it somewhere at some point.

Why it’s one of my favorite mantras is because it’s right on point. When the going gets tough and I don’t feel like I can move forward, or move at all, I remind myself that all I have to do is keep moving forward. This simple phrase reminds me that it’s all in my power. If I need to take a break, physically or mentally, I do so. If I need to reevaluate my plan, then I do that too. Sometimes I don’t necessarily need to do either and in those case, going through the motions and doing my best to improve my mood helps.

stairs

Thinking of the alternative almost always helps in these instances as well, because the alternative is bleak. If I weren’t doing what I’ve been doing for over a year now, I wouldn’t be where I was and if I don’t continue, I will gain the weight back and lose the quality of life I so enjoy.

So whether you’re at the beginning of your journey, the middle, or even the end, remember that these tough times will pass and when they do, you will want to have “kept moving forward.” Your future self will thank you for putting one foot in front of the other no matter what. Like I said I do for myself, even if it just takes going through the motions of healthy living, you will be happier with yourself when things improve again.

The best days are still ahead of you, keep moving toward them no matter what!

~Bonnie~