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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Make This Year the Best Year

Life ain’t always beautiful, but it’s a beautiful ride.
-Gary Allan

Finding inspiration each day to live a healthier life can be a huge task sometimes. Motivation naturally wanes as the novelty wears off. If you have trouble finding inspiration and things to motivate you each day, urging you to move forward day-to-day, I might just have the perfect tool for you!

My 365 Days of Inspiration: Quotes + Words of Wisdom can be just what you need. It is an eBook that contains daily inspiration for those striving to live a healthier life and lose weight. There is a quote for each day, including some words of wisdom from yours truly where I put a spin on the quote to show how it applies to your weight loss and healthy lifestyle journey.

365 Days of Inspiration

You can check it out here: 365 Days of Inspiration: Quotes + Words of Wisdom.

The most valuable skill or talent that you could ever develop is that of directing your thoughts toward what you want.
-Abraham Hicks

Now, how do I know that this will help you with your weight loss and healthy lifestyle journey? It’s simple… Making it helped me with mine! As I mentioned last week in this post: How to Survive a Big Slip-Up, I had a big slip-up. When someone ordered this eBook and I had only finished about half of it, I crunched to put it together. Making it and typing it out ended up having an effect on me similar to that which I hope my readers have while reading it… it inspired me and helped me feel motivated again! It lit a fire under me and helped me get myself more on track again.

This can be a great tool to save to your phone, tablet, or computer and take a peek at each day. Inspiration will be at your fingertips and will be fresh each day. You can also print it to have a physical copy of the eBook as well.

If you are interested, take a peek at the official page here: 365 Days of Inspiration: Quotes + Words of Wisdom

For a limited time, you can also get all THREE of my products to-date for a special price, here: Getting Started Weight Loss Bundle which includes my previously free Getting Started Weight Loss Workbook, 365 Days of Inspiration: Quotes + Words of Wisdom, and Goals to Become the Best You Workbook + Guide. This bundle and it’s low, low price will only be available for a short period of time!

 

~Bonnie~

How Making a Positivity Jar Can Help You

Many of us can find it hard to stay positive, especially when life keeps throwing lemons at us. I am not naturally a positive person myself. In fact, when I had just graduated from high school, a friend gently informed me that I complained too much. Still, it hit me hard and that’s when I began to make a transformation. It has been slow going and it isn’t all continuous. I make progress here and there but it adds up in big ways. The lesson I learned then has stuck with me.

When I began my weight loss journey this time, one of my focuses was to be more positive. I’m not even sure how or why this got driven home so well, but I’m glad it was! I’m thinking it was a combination of reading motivational articles and receiving consistent positive support and encouragement from my friends on SparkPeople. Part of it had to be a natural gravitation on a personal level as well though, because I know it wouldn’t have had this much of an impact if not.

Either way, I still may not be the most positive person but I learn more and more each day on how to be more positive. One thing I have learned is that the more positive I am in general, the happier I am and the better my life is. I can see so much more beauty in the world each day than I ever could have before!

Here are some questions to ask yourself in the moment:

  1. What can I learn from this negative experience?
  2. Is there any way that I (or someone else) benefits from this?
  3. Can I spin this problem/experience around and squeeze any amount of good out of it?

There is always something positive to be found in each day and there is also something good in every bad. Sometimes we just have to dig deep or look hard for it!

How you can stay positive each day:

  • Embrace the good times. Whenever you are happy or enjoying life, take the time to be grateful for it! It helps train your brain to focus on those happier moments. Those little things you might otherwise not give a second thought to, are some of the best ones to focus on.
  • Never stop looking for the positive. Even in moments where you might not otherwise take the time to really see your surroundings, simply be observant. Notice all the positivity going on in your life.
  • Appreciate the beauty around you. Whether you are in a car, bus, on a bike, or walking… or even playing the waiting game for whatever reason; look around you and appreciate the beauty in the little things.
  • Repeat positive affirmations to yourself. Tell yourself nice things: “I am beautiful” or “I am worthy.” My favorites are “I am strong and I am capable.” The more kind things you say to yourself each day, the more the world opens up to you!
  • Do nice things for other people. When you are nice to other people, even doing something as small as smiling at someone passing you by, it can lift your spirits and remind you that there is so much good in the world!

You may be wondering by now, what is all this about a “Positivity Jar” mentioned in the title. Well, I have been seeing this idea all over the place but on Facebook mainly, about a New Year’s memory jar. You write down good memories and put them in a jar to look back on at the end of the year.

My spin on this is to put anything positive in there, not just memories necessarily. You can write anything good that happened each day on a piece of paper, fold or roll it up, and drop it inside. Then you can take them out and read them throughout the year, whenever you’re having a hard time or needing inspiration, as well as at the end of the year. This encourages you to focus on all the good happening in your life instead of letting your life pass you by. Then you get to remember even the “little” things that happened throughout the year when you read them again.

Some ideas for jars:

  • Positivity Jar: To put positive happenings in each day.
  • Positive Affirmations/Positive Thoughts Jars: Fill the jar right away with positive affirmations, or positive thoughts, that you can pull out whenever you need a boost!
  • Gratitude/Thankfulness Jar or Blessings Jar: These you can write down things you are thankful for or consider a blessing and drop them in over the course of the year.
  • Smile or Happiness Jar: Whatever makes you smile or feel happy each day or whenever the feeling grips you!
  • Inspiration Jar: This one kind of works similar to the positive affirmations/thoughts jars. You can fill a jar with things that inspire you and then read them as needed to spark your inspiration. You can also add inspiration ideas as you go along as well!

What you can write down to put in the jars:

  • Weight loss or fitness related achievements
  • Goals of any kind, progress or achievement
  • Career happenings
  • Finance progress you’re working towards
  • Life in general

Really, anything goes for what you want to write to go into your jar each day. You can make the jar however you want. I personally used the coffee cans you see in the above picture. Then I put labels on them and wrote what I wanted it to say. Your ideas for your jar might change over time. Also, don’t be afraid to make two jars. It can be double the fun and double the dose of positivity.

In the short amount of time that I have been using my jars, I have noticed great results. They are a fun way to focus on the positivity in my life and end the day on a good note. Not only that, but they are also very easy to make and use. Now, who doesn’t love easy things that actually work?

Here are some blog posts by some women who are doing similar jars themselves:

Michelle from Dishes and Dust Bunnies has a “DIY Dollar Store Memories Jar” with a free printable for the jar! This post is from 2015 but she has made an update in there for a 2016 printable. Check it out here: Memories Jar.

Heather from Mommypotamus discusses making her own as well. You can check it out here: Gratitude/Happiness Jar.

And finally, Vicky Barone has a post from this year for making a “Happy Things Memory Jar 2016” and also has a free printable for it as well. Check hers out here: Happy Things Memory Jar.

You can also search Pinterest for even more ideas or just visual inspiration for your jar! Remember you can use anything. There is probably what you need in your house right now. Either way, take the idea and run with it if you want!

 

~Bonnie~

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~

How to Beat the Winter Blahs

Yes, I’m aware it’s not even winter yet, but it has been getting colder this month for many of us. Some areas of the country (and world) are colder than others, but temperatures have been dropping all over the place.

When it gets cold, sometimes our first instinct is to stay inside and curl up in bed. Sometimes it is so pronounced that we actually get the “winter blahs.” Seeing gloomy, cloudy, and windy weather makes me personally want to curl up under some blankets and cuddle with my cat… or sit and read nonstop while sipping my coffee. I don’t want to do anything!

I know I’m not alone in this. What is it that causes so many of us to have such a drastic reaction to cold weather? Maybe some kind of survival mechanism or our bodies instinctual reaction to cold… who knows? I’m sure there is some kind of scientific theory for this, but I don’t care to find it because either way, my purpose here is to share some tips with you all about how to beat these winter blahs.

Plan some active projects for yourself. Start cleaning and organizing the house. Shovel snow, if necessary. Prepare your yard/garden for winter: put things in your shed or indoors, cover what you can’t put away, transfer plants indoors, etc. Motivate yourself to get out for walks or runs before it gets too cold to be enjoyable. Anything active that gives you purpose.

Listen to upbeat music. This is sometimes my favorite way to get motivated to workout, and works really well when it’s cold. Nothing gets you excited like your favorite, upbeat music. It makes you want to dance or simply move! So turn it up and dance for your workout or just use it to get you inspired to do another workout!

Read some books about weight loss such as health, nutrition, or fitness topics. These types of books will help you learn more about weight loss while also getting you pumped to do what you need to do in order to lose weight and improve your health. Valuable information + inspiration, you can’t beat that!

On the book topic, read a book about characters that are active in some form. This could mean fighting an apocalypse type scenario, a sporty character, crime fighting, etc. Believe it or not, I found reading the Divergent series motivational with all the physical training the characters went through, as well as the fighting for their lives part. Those kinds of books aren’t for everyone but it was interesting while I read it.

Any books about a character pursuing their dreams. You want to pursue your dream of weight loss and improved health, which means a book about someone pursuing their dreams (especially against all odds) may inspire you to chase your own dream.

Read some weight loss related magazines or blogs. There are some really inspiring and motivational magazines, as well as blogs, out there. Peruse them when you’re in a slump or just in the mood to read. They will inspire you to do what you need to do to lose weight and improve your health. They might also give you some ideas and information you didn’t have before!

Simply get moving. Walk around your house and clean things up a bit. Look for lost items. Do anything remotely active that gets the blood and mental juices flowing in the right direction.

Remind yourself that moving helps you get and stay warm. It’s true, moving around helps you get and stay warm, with all the blood pumping through your veins while you’re being active. It helps a ton!

Use the time to write. Journal, blog, just write. It’s not only therapeutic, but writing out your thoughts and feelings can actually motivate you to act! It helps you process everything and convince yourself to get moving!

Bundle up. If all else fails, bundle up and force yourself out the door… into the cold! Once you get moving and are out there for a little while, you will warm up and you may even have fun getting your fitness in. Not to mention the sheer feeling of triumph once you’ve completed a workout you didn’t feel like doing in the first place!

What is your game plan for cold weather or winter? Do you have one? Planning ahead really helps because then you know what you need to do in each situation. Sometimes the I don’t want to do anything in the cold feeling will win, but if you have a plan then YOU will win more often than not!


If you find it difficult to make and pursue your goals, or you get discouraged easily, then my Goals to Become the Best You $30 e-course is for you! You can find it here: goals e-course or purchase the goals workbook + guide for $15 by itself here: workbook + guide. Both will allow you to work at your own pace with the workbook + guide, a step-by-step process to make and pursue your goals in a way that works for you! The e-course has an added bonus of a Community where you can ask for individual help as needed. The workbook + guide is an independent product.

If you need personalized help to keep you motivated through the winter months, I also offer Personalized Coaching. You can learn more about it and get started with a free email coaching consultation after reading my blog post about it here: Now Open for Personalized Coaching. It is like having a coach to motivate you and an accountability partner all rolled into one, someone who has been there and done that and can help you find a way to make it all work for you!

~Bonnie~

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~

How to Beat the Motivation Slump

Everyone deals with that motivation slump from time to time. I know I personally deal with it at least once a week. It’s those days where nothing sounds appealing and you just can’t get motivated. It is especially tough when your bed is more appealing than going about your day. This type of day can be frustrating beyond words as you know that you have many things to do, and some of them are even desirable, but you can’t get yourself started with any of it.

motivation slump

Here are some ways I have found to beat that all compelling motivation slump:

  • Take a moment to drink coffee: Use your morning coffee as a chance to wake up and get motivated. Drink it a little slower to enjoy the moment and revive your mind after a night’s slumber. Read something you find motivational while you drink, such as a magazine, part of a book, uplifting news stories or articles, etc.
  • Fake it till you make it: Have you heard of this saying? Sometimes simply going through the motions of the day helps you find motivation to move forward again. Eventually something clicks and you feel better again, rejuvenated even!
  • Do something simple that brings you joy: A way to baby step your way into your day… find something simple and easy to do that also helps you move toward your goals. You can’t find the motivation to workout? Go on Pinterest and look at all the healthy living pins or read some blogs on the specific topic. You can’t find the motivation to work? Make a list of something related to your work that makes you happy.
  • Blog/Journal: Sometimes blogging or journaling helps as well, just working through your thoughts and emotions can help you process whatever has put up a “motivational roadblock” in your mind. Other times it brings to light a spark of interest in doing something you need to do because you thought of something completely new!
  • Listen to upbeat music: Listening to upbeat music, or simply your favorite music, is uplifting and inspirational! Try it sometime when your motivation is down the drain.
  • Go for a walk or exercise: Take a walk outside. The fresh air and sunshine will do you tons of good. All other types of exercise as well can help revitalize your body and mind at the same time.
  • Let loose: Act like a kid again, or simply let yourself be carefree. The release is amazing and can remind you why it’s worthwhile to just take action and live life!
  • Post on social media: The moment you post on social media that you don’t feel like doing something, you either get feedback that helps motivate you… or you feel motivated because you feel relieved, taking the pressure off. Sometimes even finding something positive to post on social media can help ignite a fire within you.

What do you personally do to get yourself motivated on a day where nothing seems appealing? I’m sure we could all use a whole arsenal of ideas to spur us to action on those days!

~Bonnie~

3 Day Quote Challenge

Day 3 of the 3 day quote challenge, nominated by It’s Good to be Crazy Sometimes. Check out her blog, I find it incredibly interesting and enjoyable!

Thank you for the nomination, I am truly honored!

Rules for Three-Day Quote Challenge

Thank the blogger, who nominated you.
Publish 3 quotes on 3 consecutive days in your blog. It can be your own, or from a book, movie or from anyone who inspires you.
Nominate 3 more bloggers to carry on this endeavor.

My 3 quotes today are some I find inspiring when things are tough:

  1. I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord. -Isaiah 66:9
  2. “The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow.” -unknown
  3. “In the end, some of your greatest pains become your greatest strengths.” -Quotesforlife101.net

These are the things I try to remind myself when things are hard, that I’m learning a valuable lesson and I will come out stronger than ever, so I hope you find the same value in them.

And for my nominations:

http://www.simpleighorganized.com/

https://stepstomovement.wordpress.com/

https://tlynn95.wordpress.com/