Posts Tagged ‘be happy’

The Joy of Quitting

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Yes, you read that blog title right. Sometimes it is a JOY to quit things–to just decide you will not do some things in your life anymore. Whether it’s things on your to-do list or your bucket list or maybe it’s some of your business services or social media–quitting can feel great. And oh my yes, don’t we want to quit social media sometimes?! Being a part of too many things is exhausting. I so relate to the quote above. It’s funny but for me, it’s also very true!

There are many things that most of us need to quit. And believe it or not, sometimes it’s relationships…the toxic and draining ones that only take and don’t ever fill you back up. Or maybe even ones that aren’t really taking anything from you much, but you feel guilty for not being able to give them more time. Anything that brings guilt needs to be reconsidered. And then there are all those hobbies and exercise classes and social groups and bible studies and charity boards and the PTA. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you shouldn’t be an advocate, a philanthropist, a friend or be spiritual or religious. I am just saying that it’s time to take a look at the particular groups or activities you are currently in and see if they are still the best fit for you.

But I have to tell you, quitting is one of the hardest things for me at times. It is often harder than saying no to new opportunities. As kids we were taught not to quit, right? You’ve heard all the sayings…”Don’t be a quitter”. “Winners never quit, and quitters never win”. But you know what? That is a myth, and a dangerous one at that. It is often the reason that we become overloaded, stressed out and unhappy. Because we keep adding new things, exciting things, things that seem like they will make our life better, but we don’t quit things to make room for the new. So we just cram it all in there like our days are going to magically become longer than 24 hours if we just keep stuffing more into them. Surely they will have to stretch like our stomachs do when we keep cramming food in, right? Ha! But unfortunately, our days never do.

I have learned that I have a lot of core beliefs from childhood, from my parents, from teachers, from society that are not healthy for me. It’s not that people didn’t have the best intentions when they were teaching me these ideas, it’s just that they are outdated thoughts. They don’t fit my grown up life or my goals or my health plans. They are beliefs that have become obsolete, but for some reason, we don’t get new beliefs when they stop working for us like we get newer models of cars, TVs, phones and computers. Think about it, how effective would we be if we were still using a phone or computer from 1970 or 80? Not very, right? And how many of us would look our best if we are 45 and still dressing like we are 16 or 20. Probably not many of  us. But we will continue trying to make beliefs, ideas and life lessons from our childhood or youth fit where we are today. That just doesn’t make any sense.

Not being about to quit is one of these outdated rules for me. It no longer serves me well as a core belief. I think that is true for many people including children today. When we were told not to quit, we didn’t have a schedule like a high powered CEO at age 10. But children today are expected to act and work like an adult, keep a schedule that would exhaust any grown up and they have so many choices of activities it makes their heads spin, but we still associate failure or embarrassment with quitting. So they just stay over-loaded or we let them quit, but shame them for it. Why? Why not let our kids, or us for that matter, sample something–try it on for size–and see if they/we like it? And if we don’t, then why not quit and keep looking until we find the right sport or interest or school or career or relationships that are a good fit?

As I continue on my quest this year for my 2 resolutions…1) finding more joy and 2) loving myself more, I am realizing more than ever that there are a lot of things I need to quit to be happy and healthy. And this doesn’t mean I will quit being a consultant or a designer or a mom or a wife, but there are parts of each of those things that I need to quit if I want to be the best version of me. And it doesn’t mean I will quit every group I am in or quit eating, but there are some things in my life and diet that definitely need to go if I want to feel good.

I love how Arianna Huffington says in her book Thrive that she decided just to take a bunch of pressure off of herself by simply striking a ton of things off her bucket list that she really didn’t need or want to do. She realized if they were that important to her, she would have already done them by now. What can you wipe off yours? There are several things that I am striking from my bucket list this year and a ton of things off my to-do list, and I feel great about it!

I have to remind myself that some things run their course in life and that’s ok. Some relationships come to an end and that doesn’t necessarily mean they were a failure, they just ran their course.  Some careers or business services had a great run but now it’s time to do something different with your time and resources. That’s not a bad thing. In fact its a good thing. Some exercise routines or hobbies you have tried to make stick for years need to go. They aren’t right for you or you’d be a pro at them by now.

I think back to when some of my favorite TV shows (Sex in the City, Castle, Downton Abbey) went off the air and how sad I was. But it was always better for them to go out on a high note leaving me with fond memories instead of waiting until the last possible minute, far past their prime, when they really left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth or mind. So what in your life or your business is like that? What are you tired of? What has run it’s course? What do you find yourself dreading every time you start to do it? What needs to end so you can make room for new, exciting and better offerings to your family, your friends or your customers? What should go so you can create things that are more in line with the season of life you are in right now? Again, my list is pretty long and it will take courage and guts to make changes. That’s true for us all, even when we know it’s the right thing to do, it’s hard to change.

I’m here to tell you, there is a lot freedom and a lot of JOY in quitting. Scary? Yes! Worth it? Absolutely.

If you need help deciding, read this great little book by Seth Godin called The Dip, when to quit and when to stick.  It even tells you that there are some things you should quit and quit fast! Don’t linger. And I agree. Every day you wait you are keeping yourself from more joy. And the good news is most things aren’t absolute. You can usually go back in some form or another, and maybe even a better version if you quit and regret it. So don’t let fear hold you back.

Happy Quitting, friends. I hope it brings you as much peace and JOY as it is bringing me. Think of how happy we will all be with all those weights lifted from our lives!

Joyfully yours,

 

 

 

Motivational Monday: Choose to Be Happy!

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Ever been around those people that make you happier just with their presence? Their laughter is infectious, their smile makes you feel loved, they always see the bright side of life and are grateful just to be alive? They are even happy on Mondays. 🙂

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We can all be that way just because we choose to be. When we wake up each morning we can decide to be happy no matter what is happening to us or around us. It’s our choice and there is so much to be happy about. For starters…we woke up. Today is a gift and gifts are meant to make you happy!

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We are in charge of our own destiny. So if we are unhappy in our lives, our jobs, or relationships, we have the ability to make a change. Our happiness is in our own hands.

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Happiness is an attitude so the way we look at the world has a lot to do with whether we are happy or not. There is a great quote that says “Happiness is a journey, not a destination”–I agree. If you are waiting to arrive at happy, you probably never will. Be Happy Now.

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I am especially happy in certain places and in a few short months I will be spending 2 VERY happy weeks at the beach. Thinking of 14 happy days with my toes in the sand makes me happy waiting for my trip to arrive.

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I know what situations and locations add to my happiness, so I intentionally stay in those happy zones as often as possible.  This Thursday March 20th is the International Day of Happiness. Let’s Celebrate!

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I make sure that my happiness comes from the inside instead of being controlled people, places or things that are out of my control.

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Perfectionism keeps a lot of people from being happy. I am not a perfectionist. Things don’t have to be perfect to be great. Great makes me happy. I want a happy life, not a perfect life. Nothing is perfect.

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I make happy a priority. I love to laugh. I love to smile. I love to feel joy. I choose happy! 92ab65734485bb2a40f83309f6120448

It is impossible to have too much happy. So fill your cup with happy and drink it up every day of your life! Happy Monday Friends. I’m happy you came to my blog today. Hope you are happy too.

xo,

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Oh and I am especially happy that my first Design A to Z event in Dallas starts tomorrow. I get to spend two great days with 30 people who are happy about design! If you want to know more about our events or join us at one soon, check them all out here. We would be happy to see you there.

Self-Care Saturday: Finding Fulfillment in the Ordinary

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Happy Saturday, everyone. Saturdays are the perfect day to take some time out of your busy schedule and enjoy the little things, right?

You know when I was recently talking about the power of our attitudes? Well, I am working hard in 2014 to truly enjoy the small things in life just by changing my attitude about them. Because to be honest, there are many things that I actually like to do, but the story I’ve been telling myself about them makes me form a negative opinion about these things.  Do you do this too?

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Here’s what I mean. I love to cook. And I actually enjoy going to the grocery store, particularly when I have plenty of time to scout out new things and especially at a gourmet grocery store like Whole Foods or  Fresh Market. And these adorable grocery magnets would make me want to shop even more. So cute, right?

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I also like doing laundry. And I love to organize. I find joy in arranging flowers and in entertaining. And I love walking in my neighborhood for exercise and breathing fresh air and disconnecting from my electronics for an hour. Or reading a book, just for pleasure. But over time, I have formed negative opinions of all these things because I was “too busy” to enjoy them. And I now realize how sad this is. In recent months I have heard myself complaining instead of laughing and smiling and getting excited about some of the things I truly love.

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We are so busy in life these days that we forget to be happy. Or more importantly, we don’t even know what makes us happy anymore. And the things we used to enjoy, we have decided we will no longer do. And why? So we can spend more time on Facebook, or complaining and commiserating or one-upping our friends on the scale of how miserable, exhausted, or busy we are. Or maybe we are  sleeping because we are so tired from being on Facebook or from complaining or one-upping. LOL!

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Now I’m not trying to be a Negative Nelly here and I’m not even bashing Facebook or sleeping (complaining, yes…I’m bashing that one). But I think it is so important that we are very careful about what we tell ourselves about our lives. We can turn everything we need to do or even once upon a time wanted to do, into a chore. We can find a reason to complain about anything and everything and before we know it, our daily existence is a very unpleasant one.

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I think our parents and grandparents and generations before them were happier even though they had many fewer conveniences than we do. Maybe it was the sense of accomplishment they felt when completing their daily routine and obligations that made them more fulfilled than we. I certainly get joy from crossing things off my list especially when I did them well. Do you?

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As Americans today, we are spoiled. Of all the countries in the world, we have more than most in the way of affluence and material things and we were recently judged the #17 happiest country. Wouldn’t you think we should be higher? Like #1 happiest country in the world? Maybe once and for all we can realize that things don’t buy our happiness and that we must make ourselves happy. And I think that one of the best ways for me to do that in 2014 is to find happiness in everyday life. To enjoy the ordinary. Don’t you?

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So I’m not saying you have to suddenly enjoy housework, fall in love with your uninspiring job, or be giddy about exercise if you truly hate it. But I suspect, there are parts of housework, or tasks at your job, or types of exercise that you DO love. And I challenge you to take responsibility in your life to design your daily existence, or divvy up the chores with your family, or get involved in a type of exercise or activity that feels great, or tailor your job to your strengths, or start looking for a new one (job that is) that would allow you to be truly happy every day – not every moment, but every day.

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Sound like a good plan to you? It certainly does to me.  Leave me a comment and let me know how you will redesign some things in your life and make a conscious effort to stop complaining and start enjoying all the many blessing that you have, including housework, cooking and exercise. Because making yourself happy is the ultimate form of self-care.

I’m taking the challenge too. Let’s do this!

Xo,

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Like all these great images? Find them on my Pinterest Board called Self-Care Saturday.