Consistency is key: 8 steps to become a better version of you

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After 30 days of practicing mindfulness, I can honestly say: it works. Not only have I gained a deeper level of awareness of who I am and what I want to be, I’ve also discovered that consistency is key to (lasting) change. Practice these eight steps to become a better version of you:

  1. Recognize and acknowledge negative thinking; work to change your train of thought.
  2. Choose happy: every moment, each day.
  3. If you’re not happy with XYZ, pray, say and/or take action.
  4. Don’t take life too seriously: laugh at yourself. It heals, it’s contagious and it’s a free ab workout.
  5. Smile often: it’s sunshine on a cloudy day, for yourself and others.
  6. Mistakes happen: own up and rectify if possible. Then move on.
  7. Slow down; life is not a race to be run but a journey to be savored.
  8. Be kind to your neighbor, your fellow human-being: we are all in this thing together.

How do you practice consistency daily?

Sweet and simple pleasures

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Keep-it-sweet-and-simple

Recently, while shopping at Dollar Tree, I picked up a little plaque—black background covered with white chalk-like printing in varied fonts. Although a ribbon adorns the top for hanging, it resides propped up on my desk at home. The words etched on the plaque are simple reminders: Love one another, always tell the truth, sweet dreams, say please and thank you, share, play nice, work hard, say your prayers, keep your promises, laugh often. My intention to simplify this year (see ‘keep it simple…‘) encompasses not only my words (let them be fewer), but my schedule (say yes less, rest more), righting wrongs as they occur (rather than harboring bitterness) and recognizing simple pleasures daily. Beginning on day six, I received a hand-written thank you card in the mail—a simple gesture, yet one that seems to be a lost art. I hope to chronicle these treasures throughout 2016, a way to recognize and better appreciate life’s simple sweetness.

What is a recent simple pleasure you’ve encountered?

Photo courtesy of people-equation.com.

Grow up, not old

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[Image credit: Rawich]

Youth is a circumstance you can’t do anything about.  
The trick is to grow up without getting old.
~ Frank Lloyd Wright

Here are some tricks to grow up without getting old that I’ve plucked from past blogs I wrote for In With Skin (Feel Younger (and Sexier) at Any Age! and You Are What You Eat).

  • Beauty and brains are always chic, so work out regularly, take a college course or read a book.
  • Quit worrying about what’s hot in fashion — dress for your unique personality.
  • Pamper yourself regularly, which means mani, pedi, massage, flattering haircut and style.
  • Smile a lot and laugh at yourself for a healthy dose of feel-good endorphins.
  • For shiny tresses, glowing skin and more, eat plenty of fresh fruit and veggies, drink at least 64 ounces of water daily and log in an adequate amount of Zzzs.  Avoid GMO and processed foods, maintain low salt intake and skip items with added sugar.

What is your secret to growing up without getting old?

Life lessons I’ve learned (so far)

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[Image credit: imagerymagestic]

Some people come in your life as blessings.  
Some come in your life as lessons.
~ Anonymous

Not all things are as they appear on the surface.  It’s always the write time but with some matters, it may be too late.  Someday will take care of itself; appreciate what’s in front of your nose Today.  You win some and you lose some.  Mix it up.  Do everything you can to keep out of your self-imposed ruts.  Time flies when you’re having fun, and even when you’re not.  Never make pinky promises you can’t keep.  Purge the past; bury it deeply if you have to.  Laugh at yourself until you cry.  Forgive freely.  Love unabashedly.  Dish out second chances like a lifeline, because that’s what they are and we all need them.  Set boundaries.  Hold the hands tightly of those sharing in your journey and never let go.  Nothing lasts Forever.  And when we get to the end of this life, we’ll discover how short it really was.

What life lessons have you learned lately?

A day set aside for fools

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[Image credit: Salvatore Vuono]

As a country, we observe Christmas, Thanksgiving, the New Year, Easter, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day and all sorts of days.  But honestly, fools get their own day, too?  According to Wikipedia (not the most reliable source, but one that provides fodder for consideration), the informal holiday is commonly accepted and celebrated as a day of  foolishness.  Further, it is a day “marked by the commission of good-humored or otherwise funny jokes, hoaxes and other practical jokes of varying sophistication” on anyone and everyone.  Personally, I think every day deserves a bit of foolishness.  Otherwise, it’s easy to take ourselves too seriously and possibly miss out on a satisfying belly laugh along the way.  After all, laughter is the closest distance between two people (Victor Borge).  Fool or not.

What is the best April Fools’ Day joke you’ve ever played on someone?