Project Inspiration: Fight Bad Moods with Creativity

By , Project Inspiration: Fight Bad Moods with Creativity
"You can't change what was in the past…not by worrying about it, complaining about it, dwelling in it.  You also can't build the future.  You can impact the now…today….this moment.  By impacting your now, you have the best possibility of impacting your future." ~Author Unknown

That quotation routinely brings me back to thinking about living in the now, the present moment, and making the most of it:

For me, part of trying to live a life of successful maintenance has to be based on understanding what I can truly impact.  Can I impact the consequences of my food choices yesterday?  No, not really.  Those calories are already in my body.  Does wasting the day away regretting, fretting, or languishing in a downer mood help?  No!  If I do drop into one of those moods, and I'm sure you know the one I'm talking about, I'm thankful for one of my teenage daughters.  She'll remind me not to be a "Debbie Downer."  That's a name she got from a Saturday Night Live skit where Debbie is always focusing on the negative no matter what else is going on.  She will remind me that I've told her that in any given moment you can choose to change your mood and your mindset, and that I'm not allowed to disregard my own advice.  I think I might have to set up a text code with her for when she goes off to college.  I'll send her #DDM for Debbie Downer Mood, and she'll help me out of it!

So what are some ways that I try to focus on my ability to impact this moment and make it a successful one?  Well for one, I have the quotation listed above on my refrigerator as a visual reminder to focus on each food choice.  I also created an inspiration jar for me and two of my best buddies for our healthy lifestyle journey.  I realized one day while working on my inspirational journal that I had accumulated a lot of good stuff in there over the past year.  I wanted a way to make that work for me in a fast way during moments where I might be getting the #DDM on, and the idea of my own inspiration jar was born. 

Take a jar of your choosing and decorate it however you want.  Read through some fitness magazines, healthy cooking magazines, etc. and make a list of quotes that pop out at you.  I used Microsoft Word and chose a label format that allowed me to type 30 quotes to a page.   That's easy to print and cut into same size pieces of paper that you can fold and put in your jar.  Fill your jar with enough quotes for at for a month.  Each day as you remove a piece of inspiration, put it in a container for storage.  That way you aren't pulling out the same thing twice.  As you approach the end of the month, it's time to repeat the label making process and come up with some new motivation.  This ongoing process trains your mind to constantly seek out positive thoughts and helps overcome negative thought process habits that we've learned over the years.

Here is a picture of what my finished product looked like:

In the jar was one month's worth of quotes.  I then emailed my two buddies this blog and they both accepted the task of rotating months with me.  That way we each go through the process four times a year, and we are accountable to one another to keep it going. I also emailed them the label format.  Now all they have to do is fill it in and email it back. We can each print off our monthly list and put them in our jars.  If you choose to participate in Project Inspiration and you use twitter, send me a message @michelenecleary and use the hashtag  #projectinspiration or leave me a message here.  That way we can share quotes and thoughts for our project.  I also bought paper that matched a color in the SparkPeople logo!

One other thing I've done to keep a visual reminder in front of my eyes is to create a vision collage on the white board in my office.  It's right across from my desk and is in my direct line of sight anytime I look up.  Hanging right next to it are all of my bibs that I've earned from races I've done since joining SparkPeople.  It helps me to remember that it took a lot of steps to lose 95 pounds, and it will take many more to maintain my weight loss.

The thing about losing a pound of flesh is that it isn't permanently gone unless we make it so.  Making it stay gone takes effort, consistency, and a constant supply of motivation.   Creating the healthy lifestyle that will help you maintain is work, but in the end it is well worth the time and investment. 

What are you doing to help you improve your thought process each day?  Do you have a motivational tip you can share?  How do you pull yourself out of the #DDM moments?