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How To Be Happy

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Happiness is a Choice

We all want to be happy in life. We talk about how we want to be happy, but most of us do nothing about it. Most of us believe in a lie. We believe that we can only be happy when everything in our life is perfect. We believe happiness is the relationship, job, ring, country home, vacations, beauty products, wardrobe, and weight loss.

The problem is, these things alone don’t create real and lasting happiness.

So, happiness becomes this mysterious thing we want but we don’t know how to get.

Happiness Does Not Depend On External Things

It’s not external – this is good news because that means we don’t have to wait for everything in life to be perfect, nor do we have to have control of everything to feel a certain way. We can have happiness NOW. Knowing this, is a game-changer because it means we can be happy right now. And something great happens when we do this: when we feel happy, our outward experience changes in ways we could never imagine.

It’s common to fall into the trap of thinking we’ll be happy only when everything in our lives is exactly the way we want it to be. And for us to be happy, we must work hard to control these external circumstances to make them “right.”

But, when we make these things happen, we want them to fill us up, validate us, or make us feel whole and complete. Even if they do for a while, these changes will not be sustainable. With luck, we eventually realize that external things don’t make us happy long-term.

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Choose Happiness Every Day

For you to be happy, you must first understand what happiness is. Happiness is pleasure and purpose. Pleasure means feeling positive emotions, such as delight, joy, and surprise, in the present moment. And purpose is about living a life which is worthwhile to you.

When you are happy, you savor the food you eat, are more mindful in your daily experiences and appreciate all the beautiful things life has to offer. You count your blessings, are kind to others, and focus on being the best you can be. Every day you are mindful, appreciative and enthusiastic about life.

Making Yourself Happy

Being truly happy starts with being good to yourself. A few ways to do this include:

  • Become more aware of your thoughts and feelings.
  • Listen to your inner self. It’s pretty smart.
  • Forgive yourself for past mistakes.
  • Accept who you are in this moment.
  • Set realistic goals for yourself.
  • Stop holding yourself to unreasonable standards of perfection.
  • Take pride in what you’ve accomplished, even the small wins.
  • Make yourself a priority.
  • Remove negativity from your life.
  • Set realistic boundaries and hold firm to them.
  • Do nothing. Take time to simply be.
  • Reconnect with loved ones.
  • Start each day with intention.
  • Find the positive in every situation.
  • Do more of what you love and less of what you don’t.
  • Practice gratitude.
  • Find joy in the small things.

Loving and valuing yourself means accepting that you’re imperfect and choosing to be happy anyway. It means working every day to find fulfilment in your life. It means looking in the mirror every day and telling yourself “I love you and I choose to be happy.”

It all boils down to you. You have the choice to be happy. You have the power to be happy.

Do you have the courage to make the changes necessary to be happy?

30 Day Happiness Journal

Get the 30 day happiness journal that provides information on small steps you can take right now, to improve your level of happiness and a page for each of the next 30 days in which you can record what you are doing to increase your happiness and how it turns out.

How To Have a Good Life

Can A School Newspaper Motivate Study Skills

A school newspaper is a great way to learn about what is going on in the organization. That is not the only benefit for those who are involved with this publication, though. There are many advantages of school newspapers and some of them will be shared in this article. Read on to learn how a school newspaper can motivate study skills and contribute to personal development as it does so much more.

1. Team Work. When creating a school newspaper it takes a lot of teamwork. While some students may choose to do the research and the writing on their own, they will need to collaborate with the other members of the school paper to help them decide what to write about, what angle to take, where to place the article in the paper, and more. Because of this, those who work on a school newspaper will learn important skills pertaining to team work. And when you are willing to learn how to work with others, this can help with your studies. Sometimes studying is an individual act, but many times it can be a group activity. With appropriate team work skills, the study sessions will be much more effective with a lot of learning taking place.

2. Research. Research is not only an important life skill, but it also helps with improving study skills. In order to write good articles, many times it takes a lot of research. Practising this skill while creating reputable pieces will help you with studying. By taking the time to read various pieces, talk with people, and dig through information, this helps to discern valid information from that which isn’t quite as credible. Learning how to critically examine information is part of education and studying as it allows you to determine what is most important in what you are learning about. Knowing how to focus on the main and valid information helps tremendously with school and life in general.

3. Time Management. Being a part of the school newspaper requires time management. When is the article due? When does the paper need to be complete? When does it need to go to the publisher? There are so many requirements that involve time management when dealing with a school newspaper. This means that anyone who has the opportunity to take part in this experience will definitely learn great time management skills. Not only is time management crucial in the newspaper world, but it is so very important in life and for studying. When you are trying to prepare for a test or have an assignment due, it is important to use time management. You will want to pace out your actions so you can obtain the knowledge necessary and complete the necessary actions to doing what is needed.

4. Quality Work. Performing the tasks for creating a school newspaper requires quality work. To ensure the layout of the paper is appealing: to sharing interesting and relevant articles: to readable fonts, there are many factors to consider when creating a quality publication. It can take practice, perseverance, knowledge, and more to do this. By spending time working with a school newspaper, you can learn the skills to create quality pieces. This transfers over into studying as it is important that the time spent studying and working on school activities is quality time. Plus, making sure that the effort of your actions are quality is important, too. For instance, if you have an assignment that involves writing a paper, you will want to make sure that you have followed the rubric shared and turn in a piece that reflects your best efforts.

5. Perseverance. Working on a school newspaper takes a lot of perseverance. There are times when the work is not ideal, but necessary. There are times when the work may be difficult. However, when you are willing to push through to the end, it is quite a rewarding experience. This type of perseverance is quite helpful in the learning environment, too. Studying may not be particularly exciting, but when you have the perseverance to do what it takes, the end result is very rewarding.

6. Social Skills. Interviewing people is a good way of learning and improving the social skills you need for improving study skills and for life after study. Asking questions, listening to the answers, critically examining the information you have been given and keeping the other person on course to provide the information you need for a good story are all great social and study skills.

In conclusion, a school newspaper is a great way to learn, use, practice, and refine many important life skills. Through being a part of the publication, you learn how to be a good team player and learn the important skills of research, time management, quality work, and perseverance all of which can help improve your study skills.

Motivation When You Don’t Have Any

Motivational Quotes

Babe Ruth said, “You just can’t beat the person who never gives up”. Writers facing writers’ block have been told, “Apply rear end to seat and stay there until you have written X number of words”.

But sometimes, motivation doesn’t seem to work!

No Motivation

Is motivation the only key to success? When you feel motivated, it may seem easy to finish your tasks and work towards your chosen goals. After all, when you feel motivated, you feel like you can fly though every task and easily reach your every goal. But the problem may be how to reach your goals when you do not feel motivated to do so?

When your motivation to achieve is missing, every task related to the goal may seem like drudgery. And it may seem that your goals will never be realized. There are two ways to get through those times when you don’t feel motivated. One of them is to commit to something and stick to it. The other is to have developed a habit that will carry you through. The second method means you plan ahead, developing a solid habit, knowing that those times will come. But when you just cannot work up the motivation to get you through the tasks you need to complete to achieve your goals, and you have not developed a habit that will carry you through automatically, sit down and remember the commitments you made to yourself.

Sometimes, we find it easier to keep promises, or commitments, to others, than to ourselves. As children, we may have been taught never to break a promise made to others. But we need to treat ourselves as just as important as anyone else, in that we keep our promises to ourselves also.

Why Do We Fall – Motivational Video

It’s also easier to stick to commitments when they are written down and especially if they have been published for everyone to see. If you want to stick to a commitment you have made, write it down and post it on a social media page, or pin it to your home bulletin board. Even write a letter or email and send it to someone who will ask about it.

Motivation quotes

“Only I can change my life, no one can do it for me”, Carol Burnett

Conclusion

If you know that your motivation for a goal may not last the race, plan ahead, develop a habit that will carry you through. Write down your commitment and publish it. Check it regularly and check your progress towards your goal.

Walk On The Other Side

Insanity has been defined as “Doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results”. There is disagreement on who coined the phrase. There is even disagreement on whether the saying is useful at all.

But I was reminded of it this morning on a rural walk. I take the same walk most mornings in the week. It’s over 3 miles and includes a fairly steep climb. That makes it a useful exercise.

I also like to take photographs of what I see on the walk. On a country road with no footpath, it is safer to walk on the same side as traffic coming towards you. That means I mostly see things on one side of the road. That’s also the sunny side of the road, so the light is often better for photographs. Walking the same walk every day can become part of your comfort zone.

Today, I changed sides and walked on the other side. It was shadier. I also had to keep an ear out for any cars coming up behind me. BUT, I saw a lot of things I did not see on the sunny side. It’s now autumn, so there were many different kinds of fungus, even one unusual rare one that was not present on the sunny side. The blackberries were slightly behind those on the sunny side, extending the season for foraging.

So what does this say about life in general? Walking on the same side every day is pleasant but you can miss a lot.

If you change your way of doing things, even by as little as walking on the opposite side of the road, you can get results you never expected because it takes you out of your comfort zone and lets you see things differently. You may notice something you never realised was there before. That also goes for walking the circuit in the opposite direction. The hill is steeper that way, giving a tougher exercise.

What different small change could YOU make to something you do often? What results do you think you might get? Try it and see. You might be pleasantly surprised by the results from a walk on the other side.

Art Needs Craft

I heard an unusual quote the other day. It was just a throw away saying on a radio program.

A music professor said, “Craft doesn’t need art.” “But art needs craft.”

That took a bit of thinking about.

But he had a point. In fact, a very good point.

It takes practice to make something beautiful. Whether that is a musical composition, a poem, a website, a wooden ornament or a tasty dinner.

The word “Craft” usually means “skill in making things by hand”. We talk about a craftsman or craftswoman, producing furniture, garments or jewelry. They will have practised for many hours to make their beautiful items.

We also talk about artists, yet without the skill and hours of practice at the craft, their art often does not come to fruition. Artists of any kind practise and practise.

Is this where perfectionism comes in? An artist of some kind wants to produce something beautiful without the many hours of practice required for that craft?

I am also reminded of the story of a sculpting class in university, where students were instructed to create a model of some kind, using as a base, chicken wire fastened to a metal structure.

Making the chicken wire and metal construction took time and some students were too impatient to bother with this mundane crafting step. Their clay models collapsed because they had no foundation.

Art needs craft.

What craft work do you need to do in order to provide good support to your art, whatever your art may be?

Why Can’t I Stick To A Diet?

Can’t Do It Any More!

Do you find that you get 2 weeks into a diet and suddenly, you no longer want to do it? Maybe it’s only 2 days or even 2 hours? Don’t laugh, I have been there. You decide you need to go on a diet, because everyone tells you that you are putting on weight, especially those close family members, like your mom or sis or really close friends. You agree, “yeah, I know” and start starving yourself or stuffing yourself with lettuce until a couple of hours later, you need a fill of chocolate ice cream or a bar of chocolate or a candy bar of some kind and you gulp it down secretly, guiltily hiding the wrappers behind the wardrobe until you can stuff them in the bin. Or maybe you take extra time at the shops and buy a giant size bar of candy to eat while window shopping, so you can drop the wrappers in the garbage bin at the fast food outlet?

It’s Because You Have Been TOLD You Have To Do It

Think about it. Was it the same when you had to do homework as a kid? You were just psyching yourself up to get it done, when someone, mum or dad, or nosy neighbor told you had “better get on with it” and whoosh …. instead of psyching yourself up to do it, you instantly rebelled and determined NOT to do it just because someone told you that you had to! It didn’t matter to them that you would have done it eventually. They felt you SHOULD do it NOW and of course, you decided that no one was going to tell you what to do and when. It’s a no-win situation.

You’re Older Now?

Of course, you’re older now and that doesn’t apply any more – or does it? Think about it. How recently did you decide NOT to do something because someone else tried to push you into it or into getting something done when you weren’t ready? Have you been called stubborn? I saw a t-shirt a few weeks ago. It was being worn by a worker at her retirement party in work. It said, “Don’t wanta, don’t havta, I’m retired – do it yourself!” So even seniors can feel that they are being pushed into doing things they don’t want to or that they are being pushed into doing things sooner than they would choose. This includes diets and eating “healthily”.

How To Overcome Others’ Pressure?

You have to want to do it for yourself and for your own reasons, NOT because someone told you that you needed to lose weight. What story or explanation would help you decide to stick to a healthy diet and lose weight? For my grandmother, it was mobility. In her 60s she had to start using two walking sticks to get around (there were no zimmer frames in those days). Once she started dieting, she was able to throw away the sticks and walk normally again, a big benefit for someone with no car. For me, it was the feeling of my heart bumping in bed at night because it felt as if it didn’t have enough space in  my chest and with one diabetic grandmother and one diabetic sister, that was enough to determine me to lose weight.

Don’t Tell Others

There are arguments on both sides here. Telling others can make you feel accountable and keep you on the straight and narrow when you don’t feel like it. For me, I prefer to make my own choices and not have others try to second guess me or try to push me faster than I might like.

Write It In Your Journal

You can keep yourself accountable by writing everything down in your journal. I keep  motivation charts with exercise o calories consumed and body measurements. It helps me keep track of progress.

You CAN Stick To Your Diet

When it’s YOUR choice about what and when you will do something. Try reading or finding other information on health problems caused by overweight or obesity, especially ones that particularly relate to YOU, perhaps on mobility, or diabetes or arthritis or stroke or heart problems. Once you find your own reason for doing something, it will be easier and won’t feel like you are being pushed into dong something you don’t want.

Motivation For Weight Loss

http://www.motivation4success.net/motivation-for-weight-loss/Need Motivation To Lose Weight?

Do you want to lose weight? Or have your friends, your partner or your doctor told you that you could do with dropping a few pounds? What is your reaction? Do you pat your muffin tops or your belly and agree, then forget about it? Do you starve yourself for a couple of hours, or perhaps a couple of days, then gorge yourself, because you’re starving? Maybe you get a diet cookbook and find the meals are nothing like what you’re used to and give up in despair?

How To Develop Motivation

Developing motivation is a virtuous spiral (you know, the opposite of that “downward spiral” we all get into sometimes when we have dropped off the bandwagon and decide there’s no point in continuing because it’s just too hard).

It’s a spiral because you move in a circle to take your first baby step and then continue round that circle but at a higher level. Each turn of the circle is a small step, as small as you want, but it’s in the right direction.

First ACKNOWLEDGE The Problem

Did you pat your belly or muffin tops (or some other overweight or jiggly bit) or look in the mirror and agree with the speaker, or say to yourself, “I need to lose some weight”? What happened then? Did you forget about it? Maybe you sighed and said, “I’ve tried but it’s no use”, or perhaps you starved for a couple of hours, then reached for the ice cream tub? Maybe you said, “Everyone puts on a bit of weight as they get older”, or perhaps “A bit of extra weight won’t hurt”? This is called DENIAL. If you deny you have a problem, or even agree that you have a problem but do not intend doing anything about it, then you are denying there is any problem at all. At this point, you have removed yourself from the virtuous spiral and won’t be able to continue on around it.

What Does “Acknowledge” Mean?

In this case, it doesn’t just mean “Agree”. It is possible to verbally agree with your reflection or with someone else that you could do with losing a few pounds (or more) but mentally not accept the position. If at that point you forget all about it or do not recognize the situation as being serious then you are either in denial (I hear what you said, I don’t accept it but I am not going to argue) or you have recognized the problem and chosen not to do something about it (I admit that there is problem but I won’t tackle it). That is of course, your choice. If you acknowledge there is a problem but having thought about it, decided to do nothing, then you CHOSE that course of action. I have done that in the past too.

 

diagram

Acknowledge = Accept = Agree = Admit

Provided you acknowledge that you have a problem, either one you have recognized yourself or one that someone else has pointed out, then the next small step is to QUESTION.

Second – QUESTION

You may find it difficult to agree with your eyes or with your friend, even though you have acknowledged that there MAY be a problem. With weight loss, as with so many other changes we feel we need to make (or others WANT us to make) there can be a reluctance to actually engage with the problem. We feel there is a barrier of some kind maybe protecting us from making changes. This can be so. Very often, our body or our mind does not want to accept that there is a problem because if we truly accept there is a problem, then that means we have to change. Change can be scary even if it is to protect our health because it means moving out of our comfort zone. Sometimes the only thing scarier than accepting we need to change is getting a life or health fright, like having a heart attack, a stroke or diabetes. Getting an event like that can provoke life changes because the event was so frightening that no change is as bad as that event was, but without a scare like that, our body or our mind may put up a barrier that we cannot see and that we find it hard to cross or push through, that stops us making changes and keeps us in that comfort zone, where nothing changes, so nothing gets done!

What Type Of Questions?

The sorts of questions you could ask yourself (and write down your answers, so you can look back on them) could be: Do I really need to lose weight? How do I know? Why did they say that? Who mentioned it? My doctor, a friend or relative, myself? Did I see a photograph of myself that horrified me?

Is there a particular reason I have put on weight recently? What? Have I always been heavy? Am I under stress at the minute? Is something happening in my life that means I am turning to food for comfort? Am I eating because I am bored? Is my mouth bored and just wants something to chew? Am I on medication that makes me get bigger?

What effect will excess weight have on my  health? Have I been told I am in danger of a heart attack, a stroke, going blind, getting diabetes? Are there any other problems I have been told I might get because of excess weight?

Am I having any problems with my health at present? Am I finding it hard or harder to move? Are my joints suffering from carrying extra weight? Am I puffing or panting when exercising, when I didn’t used to? Are my clothes getting too tight? Do I have to wriggle on the bed to pull up those trousers I used to fit into easily?

What am I actually eating? Junk food, too much sugar or sweet stuff?

There is a free downloadable workbook available if you want something in which to write down your answers to keep.

Third – INFORMATION

Now you have asked yourself questions and maybe provided some answers or thoughts on these, you need to go and find the INFORMATION you need. What you NEED will depend on your answers to the QUESTIONS in step 2. For instance, if you are not sure whether you need to lose weight, check out your BMI and see what the official guidelines are. You need to be cautious with this if you are a bodybuilder or athlete because you may appear to be overweight using the BMI guidelines when you are not. But for every other adult, the BMI is a good guide to whether you need to lose weight (or even gain it!).

If you don’t know what the health effects of excess weight are, then check these out on line. Google is your friend here. For instance, there is a video from WebMD on the effects of extra weight or there are a number of informational pages from NIH. Basically, excess weight can lead to increased blood pressure (hypertension) diabetes, which can lead to possible blindness, amputation of limbs and many other problems.

If you are not sure whether your diet includes a lot of junk food, then you could check this page on WebMD for information.

Fourth – PLAN

Now that you have acknowledged that you have a problem, questioned yourself about this and gained information that will help you decide what you need to do, it’s time to PLAN WHAT to do. You may find that the information you gathered has frightened you or at least made you very much aware that you may have a problem that needs dealing with NOW rather than later. This can be helpful in planning what to do, as long as you plan a sensible and healthy way of dealing with it, rather than jumping immediately into an unsustainable crash starvation diet, which you just as quickly crash out of!

What Sort Of Plans?

If the information gathered shows that you are carrying excess weight and you decide you want to get rid of it, then you need to plan HOW to do this. You may have been on diets previously and found them difficult to stick to. You may have concerns about feeling hungry or tired. You may not know what sort of diet would suit you and your lifestyle or you may have health problems that mean you need to be careful when changing your diet. These are all the sorts of areas you need to cover in your QUESTIONS and INFORMATION sections and now PLAN to cover as many of these as possible. Your plan may include getting more information, perhaps on a particular diet, or on the kinds of food that would suit you best. Your plan might include speaking to your medical adviser, especially if you have other health concerns. It might include getting started on a particular diet and getting in any special items you need for it. It could be planning to buy a set of food scales or a set of bathroom scales or even a diet cook book for your preferred diet.

But what ever plans you make, the next step is to take ACTION

Fifth – ACTION

There is no point getting a lot of information and planning down to the last detail if you do not TAKE ACTION.

What sort of action? It can be as small a step as you feel comfortable with. You might actually purchase those bathroom scales or food scales. You might start eating more healthily, cutting out soda, candy and cookies, or taking a large glass of hot water and lemon first thing in the morning. You might go to your library and borrow books on nutrition or a particular diet plan or you might join a slimming group. Whatever you have planned to do, TAKE THAT ACTION.

What Then?

Back To ACKNOWLEDGE

Now it’s back to “Rinse and Repeat. Remember, this is a virtuous spiral and you have come full circle, back to the top and “ACKNOWLEDGE”, so you need to keep going round it, improving as you move through each level. What do you acknowledge this time? You may want to consider whether you bought your books or scales or diet plan or joined a slimming group. or started on your diet. What did you DO with what you learnt and planned? How did your ACTION pan out? Then move on again to QUESTION: did you find out anything particularly worrying? Do you need to take medical advice? Do you need more information? Do you need to try something different? Get more INFORMATION and PLAN your next step, then again, TAKE ACTION.

Follow these steps round this spiral, improve your information, give yourself feedback, plan your campaign and take action on the next step, motivating yourself to lose weight.