Ways To Make Mid-Life a GREAT Life in 2018
As we move into 2018, many of us are mindful of the idea of making some changes in our lives that will bring more wellness, peace, and joy.
Here are some guidelines I am working on to increase the joy, happiness, and peace in my life. These guidelines have served as a check and balance for me in terms of how I approach my life. I don't have them all down yet, I am still a work in progress. But, I can tell you that my life is changing as a result of going through the process of making my Mid-LIfe a GREAT life. I encourage you to give these guidelines a try. You will be surprised what a difference they can make in enhance your life and your wellness.
- Try a new hobby - I actually tried this one. How I decided what to do was not planned. It just happened. I was at a bookstore and came across the adult coloring section. I haven't colored since I was in elementary school but something about the color books I saw really grabbed my interest. So I gave it a try and I loved it. Coloring is now my official hobby. I haven't really had a "hobby" in years. It brings me great joy.
- Tell yourself a new story - I decided that I would stop telling myself the same old story about how much I need to improve, how often I have fallen short, and a bunch of other untrue (in most cases) negative stuff. Instead, I started thinking of nice things to say to myself that are actually true. A recap my day and tell myself what went well rather than focus on what did not go well. Who knew? I do this on a regular basis and it really takes the edge off my day.
- Increase Your Vulnerability - move forward in 2018 with the idea that you are going to increase your courage and "do it with fear" anyway. I have found that many times the things we fear and run away from are never as bad as we think they are going to be. I am sure you have experienced this. You have the fear of something, you don't do it and then finally you decide to face that thing you fear AND it wasn't nearly as bad as you feared. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and discover the courage you already have within you to get through ANYTHING.
- Take the Time To Appreciate the Little Things - we have moments in front of us every day that are glimpses of joy and happiness. We very rarely think about it but when they are gone we realize how much we miss it. Just the other day I saw a Humming Bird outside my window. It was so beautiful to just take the time to look at the beauty God had created. It gave me a sense of joy. Appreciate the little things, revel in the small joys of life. You will be emotionally richer as a result.
- Reinvent Playtime - When was the last time you actually "played" Basically time spent without any purpose. That is the definition of play by Brene Brown. It's okay NOT to accomplish something every hour of the day. It's okay to just sit and think, read a great book, watch a really funny movie, grab a friend and go shopping, do karaoke with a group of your buddies, or better yet ...just be and do nothing at all. Allow yourself to be happy, feel joy, dance and laugh!
- Learn How To Be Calm - Being calm truly is a practice. Practice asking yourself "Do I have enough information to be freaking out right now?" "Am I overreacting a tad bit?" You will find approaching things first with a few deep breaths before you respond goes a long way to staying calm. At this stage in our lives, we really don't have to do "drama" anymore. We have the life experience and wisdom to stay calm and to first assess a situation before we react. Taking a calm approach to life is much more pleasant and less chaotic.
- Let Go of Cool - At mid-life we really need to stop trying to be cool. We should be way past trying to be "cool" and keep up with "the latest fad". It is really time to be ourselves and enjoy being ourselves. Who cares if we laugh too loud, dance too crazy, or just be our true authentic self. Being cool is like wearing what Brene Brown calls an "emotional straight jacket". We don't need to be "cool" because who we are as we are is enough!
- Stop Shaming Yourself - it's time to throw out the "shame marinade" It's really starting to smell. You must realize that re-living those parts of your lives that make you feel bad about yourself is not constructive and does not serve you. Shaming yourself is truly deadly to the spirit. Get your "shame" out in the open, talk about it, get it out of your system, shed light on your "shame". Choose someone you trust to talk about your shame. I recently did this with an old friend and it was such a release to get it out. I no longer feel the same sadness and shame I once felt about this particular situation. I have finally released it. Once you shed the light on your shame it will not survive. Bringing your shame to the light and talking about it takes away the power it holds over you. Talking about it frees you and removes that negative self-talk and negative stories you tell yourself. Talking about your shame is healing to your spirit.
- Set Intents For Your Day- in addition to our goals and objectives it is a good idea to set an intent for your day. While goals and objectives are very specific and generally reachable, intents are more wide-sweeping and may require a "stretch" to get there. A goal is what we want to do and an intention is how we want things to be. Setting an intention helps you to think in more positive terms about the things you want to accomplish. It moves you more into possibility thinking beyond what you normally will accomplish. I have recently started setting intentions for the beginning of the day and then reviewing what actually happened at the end of the day. The results have been wonderful!
- Watch Your Words - The words we speak are powerful. They carry with them positive and negative energies. Choosing words that are uplifting, positive, and affirming are the words you want to focus on using. We want to stay away from using words that are negative and destructive our spirits. You will be surprised at how much better you feel when you start using words that are much more positive-especially when referring to yourself and loved ones. when I start to say something negative, I now catch myself and stop. Instead, I take a breath and change my wording or I say nothing at all. Sometimes saying nothing is just as powerful as a barrage of negative words.
- Surround Yourself With Positive People - An important part of staying uplifted is taking a look at the people in your life. Do they support your goals and dreams? Do they speak to you in a positive and affirming way? Or, do they always seem to be tearing you down or tearing someone else down? Are they always dwelling on what is not right with their lives or yours? At times, we need to do an assessment of who is adding positive value to our life. and who is creating negativity in our lives. This doesn't mean that you fire those who are more negative, but it does mean it will help you make better choices of who you want to be around when you need to be uplifted and supported.
- Celebrate You and Your Successes - Its okay and healthy to celebrate you and your achievements. It is also great if someone celebrates you as well, but if they don't, then you do it. Many times people in our lives don't know what the successes are in your life unless you tell them.. We might tell them about the bigger successes, but we may not always share the smaller successes. The point is regardless of the size of your success and/or achievement recognize it! Do something special for yourself, share your success with a friend who will be just as happy for you as you are for yourself/. Take out the time to recognize something positive that has happened in your life!
- Admit To Yourself Your Faults and Love Yourself Anyway - We are not perfect. We all have faults. We all have things we need to work on. We are a work in progress. Given that, while we are working on those faults, it is healthy to love yourself anyway. There are many good things about you that are loveable and good. Remember those things whenever you start to beat up on yourself. If you need to be reminded, write down the positive things about yourself and put them where you can see them every day. I have found that an important part of emotional wellness is to acknowledge what you love about you!
- Take More Time To Be Present - there is so much we miss in our daily lives because we are constantly distracted. Because of these distractions, we miss the gift of being present and truly experiencing the fullness and goodness of life. Check in with yourself during the course of the day and ask yourself "Am I really engaged in the moment?", "Am I living life to it's fullest?" "Am I seeking the joy in the moment?" When I am asking myself those questions it reminds me to stay present and not miss the joy that is happening at that moment.
- Look for That Breakthrough Moment - by the time you get to mid-life you have had many 'breakthroughs". At this stage of the game, we need to start EXPECTING breakthroughs. We need to start anticipating the "ah-ha" moment. I can recall times when I was tired and just "done:" with whatever the challenge was at the time. I just decided at those times to turn it all over to God. Once I did that, suddenly a solution was found, or an unexpected breakthrough appeared. Seek that breakthrough moment in all challenging situations. It is there and the breakthrough will happen at the appointed time!
- Get Rid of The Need To Please Disease - I think at one time in our lives all of us have suffered from the need to please disease. The need to be liked, the need to make everyone happy, the need to be loved etc... If you still suffer from this "disease" just remember that it is impossible to please everyone.. There will always be someone who is unhappy with you, disappointed with you, angry with you... etc It is part of the human condition, but it doesn't have to be so consuming that it impacts your emotional wellness. Let go of the need to make everyone happy!
- Practice Self Compassion - We are so tough on ourselves. We are our toughest critics, and sometimes we are unforgiving of ourselves. We replay our mistakes, our failures, our falling short of expectations and so on. You have compassion for others. Have a bit of compassion for yourself. Love yourself through life. You are not perfect, you already know you will make mistakes. So stop taking yourself through the wringer. Learn from those life experiences that may have been difficult, find the wisdom and good you learned. Then move forward toward all the good life still has for you. Learn to love yourself unconditionally.
- Revel In Your Wisdom - You area WISE! You have the benefit of having lived more than half your life! You have within in you everything you need to pursue the dreams you have yet to pursue. You are ready. You can do it. Your wisdom, intuition (that inner voice) and your can-do attitude will lead you to great accomplishments in your life. Your life experience is valuable in pursuing your dreams. It is never too late. Move forward and go for it!
- Pray, Meditate and Pray Some More - Prayer and mediation is something that is a very personal act. In fact, I start each day with a prayer. and meditation. Through my prayer and meditation, I am truly learning to spiritually surrender. To "let go and let God". I have learned to enter into a spirit of trust with God and to basically ask Him to bless me with His highest good for my life. Meditation has taught me how to still my spirit and to just listen to that inner voice, that always leads me on the right path. Prayer gives you an opportunity to restore, renew, and revitalize your spirit. Meditation is an opportunity to enter into peace and reflection. Both are an important part of your wellness.