It’s been almost two weeks since we started. Have you noticed any difference in your your attitude? Are you happier? Are you more appreciative? Do people respond to your gratitude?
One of my goals is to make gratitude a habit. It would be great if everyone did but I can only change myself. Habits take time. But it isn’t hard to incorporate gratitude into your routine. If you have read and completed all the challenges so far, you are on your way to a habit.
Todays find time and reflect. Reflect upon the progress you have made since the beginning of the challenge. Be grateful for what has happened. Notice what is working? How have you changed? Are you complaining less? Focused on what you do rather than what others do? What didn’t work? How can you improve? Just as sports teams make adjustments at halftime, so should you. SKOL Vikings
As I suspected, my spouse did not read or comment on my blog post. It’s okay, she is not a social media person. She is busy with other things.
Yesterday was a long day but I did experience the joys of nature. When I woke up, the temperature was about 60 degrees which is unusual this time of year. Hence, I took nice morning walk with my dog. At the beginning of the walk it was dark and I enjoyed the stillness and quiet. Towards the end of the walk, it started to get lighter. As we returned home a couple of ducks flew by quacking about something. Throughout the day, when I had a moment, I thought about the beauty I see in nature everyday. Just thinking about it made me a bit happier.
The challenge today is simple. Today, commit a random AND anonymous act of kindness (or at least try to be anonymous). It is important to do nice things for others. This could be anything really. Put coins in an expired parking meter. Buy a strangers lunch or coffee. Send flowers to someone. Leave an encouraging note for a coworker Want some more ideas? See this list
Don’t forget, you can do todays challenge along with other previous challenges. Remember no complaining? Caught myself complaining on the way to work this morning. Finally, take time to notice how the actions make you feel. How did others react? Was it worth it? Have great day!
For many, making major change in your life is difficult. I am sure there are studies on why this is. I haven’t researched this issue and can only tell you my opinion. Here is my advice – If you want to make a life change, you need to dream big and act small.
By dreaming big, you change your overall mindset and focus. Dreams and goals allow you to think about a different and better life. The larger the dream, the more the motivation. Example: It’s easier to get excited about a $50,000 raise and a $5000 raise. Both are nice but one is significantly better.
Yet, big dreams also create an uneasy feeling. Perhaps you think they are ridiculous or scary. Perhaps they are both. When I decided to lose over 50 pounds, I laughed. I wondered if I had finally lost it. (See what I did there?).
The power of big dreams is undeniable. Achieving big dreams is more challenging. It requires small incremental steps each day to move towards your goal. Small steps, each day add up over time. For instance, what if you wanted to save up $2,000 to buy something. Saving $5.47 per day would get you to your goal in one year. Breaking your goal down into small daily achievable increments, allows you to reach your goals.
Start today by setting a big goal. Then commit to small actions each day. Consider slowly expanding the small actions. Before you know it, you will have reached your big goal.
What are my top achievements for 2021? This is a long list but mine it bore you with all the details. Here are my two –
One – I transformed my body and health. AND I maintained it. I AM 45 pounds lighter than this time last year. My weight has been fairly steady for the last 8 months.
Two – I navigated the transition to an empty nester. This was more challenging than anticipated. It impacted all aspects of life. It impacted home because things we quiet. The energy of youth is gone. It impacted professional. Though I love my current career, it’s less fulfilling because of the empty nest syndrome. It impacted my marriage. My wife and I spend more time together – just the two of us. This hasn’t happened since our dating days.
In closing, I wish everyone a very Happy Christmas.
I continue to reflect on the year that is 2021. I learned and relearned important lessons. Here a just a few things I learned this year:
There is more commality among humans than diversity. Focus on what we have in common.
Do not assume the worst in people. Most people are trying to their best.
Making small changes each day will lead to big changes over time. Example: In Week 1, run (or walk) one mile. In week 2, add 300 feet (approximately the length of a football field). Add 300 more feet each week. After a year, you will run nearly four miles.
Discover, understand, and live your values. This is the hardest of the four listed. It takes time to discover what you value, what that value means to you, and why you value it. It is a greater challenge to live your values.
Read for fun.
Take some time to ponder your own personal lessons of 2021. Consider what you learned and how the lessons impacted your life.