Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I can feel the wind go by when I run. It feels good. It feels fast.
- Evelyn Ashford, American athlete
Are you setting the pace for your health?
Exercise can be extremely uplifting! Marathon runners often talk about a "runner's high." Not only does working out help your physical body become stronger and more resilient, but it also has many pluses for your mind. Taking time out of your day to exercise gives you a chance to let go of your worries, calm your mind, and concentrate on one thing--which seems impossible to most moms! Running works for most people, as you can set the pace and distance to suit your skill level. Start slowly by doing a combination of stretching, walking, and light jogging. Then gradually work up to a routine that elevates your heart rate. Be careful not to start out too fast--it might lead to discouragement and muscle soreness that will make you never want to put on your running shoes again. Pretty soon you'll be able to intensify your workout to incorporate quicker paces and longer sessions. Endurance and setting a healthy pace are keys to long-term success.
Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That's why it's a comfort to go hand in hand.
- Emily Kimbrough
Shining your light on a friend's shade
You can't turn on a country music station without hearing a song about someone down on their luck. But what about those around you? Think about how much it means to you to receive a note in the mail from a caring friend when you're going through a hard time. Use those warm feelings to compel you to spread the love to others. We all need such encouragement and often we forget that it's okay not to be the pillar of strength when life has us by the tail. Throw your arms around someone today who might need a good squeeze, send a card to a co-worker who needs cheering up, or bake a special treat for your ill child. Friends are precious, not just in the sunshine of life, but especially in the shade.
If at first you don't succeed, you're running about average.
Persevering through failure
Of course try, try again, but when you don't succeed at something it's best not to beat yourself up or hold yourself to an unrealistic standard of achievement. Feeling as if you're a failure, simply for not reaching a goal, is not who you truly are. Do you think you're the only one who fails? Of course not! Most problems involve steps to their solution, and solving each step along the way IS an accomplishment. If you become discouraged during your weight loss journey or find your financial aspirations out of reach, keep trying! Some of life's most rewarding experiences make you sweat and persevere through hard times, only to emerge on the other side victorious and wiser for having worked so hard.
The basic difference between being assertive and being aggressive is how our words and behaviors affect the rights and well being of others.
- Sharon Anthony Bower, author
Speak up and take back control!
Many people feel uncomfortable being assertive, which often leads others to take advantage of them. Do you ever feel like you shouldn't say something because you might hurt someone's feelings? Does your spouse shirk their responsibilities around the house and expect you to pick up the slack? While it is important to serve others often, being someone's lackey is unhealthy and it's up to you to break that cycle. Kindly address situations where you think someone is taking advantage of your meekness. Being aggressive is a negative quality that people respond to with hostility. Making your voice heard maturely and positively is a trait that will take you far and build respect among your peers.
To be nobody but yourself--in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else-- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
- EE Cummings, poet
Becoming the person you want to be
Take a look at your priorities and your goals. Where did they come from? Are they the products of soul-searching, self-analysis, and careful planning? Or are they a reaction to pressures from other people? Did you find them within yourself or within the pages of a magazine? The answers to these questions are important because they tell you if the person you're becoming is someone you want to be. Here's another way to look at a goal: do you want it, or do you just think you should want it? It's not easy to follow your own direction in life. But it's more possible than you may think. Question everything. Every priority in your life needs to justify why it's there. If you can't come up with a good reason that actually comes from YOU, maybe it doesn't belong.
He who cures a disease may be the skillfullest, but he that prevents it is the safest physician.
- Thomas Fuller, British clergyman and author
Are you paying attention to your health?
If you want to be around to enjoy your growing family, it's never too late to start taking care of your body. Whether or not "skillfullest" is a word, Thomas knows the value of prevention versus treatment. You have a better chance of survival by using the doctor that keeps you out of the hospital in the first place. Why wait for symptoms to show up before you start paying attention? By then, it may be too late. Remember the major goals and the people that you're living for. Are you really willing to risk missing out because you didn't take precautions? You'd be amazed at how some basic, simple everyday nutrition and fitness choices and actions make a big difference in staying on your feet. Injuries and disease are a steep price to pay when many can easily be avoided.
The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them.
- George Bernard Shaw, playwright
Are you creating your own life?
Take a moment to look at the circumstances of your world. Is it what you want to see? What could you do differently to take one step closer to your ideal vision? We're all dealt different hands in life. That's how things are. To change things, you have to first accept that fact, then figure out where to go from here. We should all be able to count on each other for help, but in the end, we can't expect anyone to change our lives except ourselves. Nor should we want it that way. It's natural to feel powerless and give up in the face of hardships, but complaining and blaming do nothing except prevent action. Without positive action, you're giving up your power and asking for more of the same--a world you did not create. Where you start may not be your fault, but the course you run is still your choosing.