Becoming a Better You
What does your future hold?
You get up every morning and follow the same old routine. You brush your teeth, take a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast and you are out the door. You go to work and then come home. You eat dinner, watch a little TV and then go to bed. Most of us follow a routine similar to this every day. But is this really living or is this just surviving? Your life can be much fuller and you are the one who controls it. Think about it. You control your life! Not your wife, not your kids, not your boss. You alone control your life. Your life is determined by the choices you make. If you eat an unhealthy diet it is because you choose to. If you are over weight it is because you choose to be. If you are a couch potato and get very little exercise it is because you choose that lifestyle. You can't control the things that happen to you each day but you do control what you can do about those things. You control your future! So let's go. Let's make this year better than the last.
Half empty or half full?
Sometimes all that's needed to change your life is to change your attitude about life. You have probably heard the question asking, is the glass half empty or is the glass half full? Depending on how you answer this question tells a lot about how you may look at life. A pessimistic person is more likely to answer that the glass is half empty while the more positive person is more likely to answer half full. Being more positive about life is much more beneficial than being negative. Being more positive about life makes solving problems easier and it makes it easier for other people to be around you. Not many people enjoy being around a negative person. So ask yourself, are you a positive or negative person?
Do you think being more positive about your life can change your life?
Where do you want your life to go?
Have you ever walked through a cemetery and read the headstones? You'll see things like "loving father" or maybe "a good man" written on the headstones. What will your headstone say? We play several different roles in our lifetime. Some of these roles may be mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, husband, wife, and friend. Years from now, you'll be remembered in each of these roles. How you are remembered is up to you. If you want to be remembered as a good friend, then you have to be a good friend. Think about someone who you consider to be a good friend. Why do you feel that way? What is it that the person does to make you feel he or she is a good friend? Grab a pen and some paper. Write down all of the roles that you play and how you want to be remembered in each role. Write down the characteristics you need to have in each role to be remembered in the way you wish. Take some time with this. After you make your list, go back each morning and review your roles and their characteristics. This is the most important thing. If you just make a list of characteristics and never look at the list again you will quickly forget. Review them each day and you will remember. Next, you this information to plan your day.
When planing your day, think about the things that are most important to you. Why waste time each day on things that are not important? Think about it, what's more important to you, your family or the next episode of your favorite TV show? When we don't take the time to plan our day, that's what happens. We just kind of have a to do list of things. When we do plan our day, we assure that the most important things are taken care of first. Sure, unexpected things may pop up in our day that may need our attention, but we then determine whether it is more important. Different people are going to have different opinions as to what is important and what is not. Most people, however are going to have a list that is something like this:
- Personal health
- Spiritual life
Notice that things like watching TV are not on the list. No, there is nothing wrong with watching TV but it should not be anyone's most important thing. Excessive TV takes away from other things that should be far more important.
Personal health should be high on our list of things to make us a better person. Let's face it, if we feel better about ourselves we are a friendlier person. Start an exercise routine. It doesn't have to be something as bold as training for a marathon. Just a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood will do just fine. It has been proven that during exercise endorphins are released causing a person to feel more energized. If we are more energized we are more likely to be in a better mood. This can have an effect on all of our other roles. We can be a better mom, dad, husband, wife, son, daughter, coworker, and friend. All it takes is a little exercise and a better diet. When it comes to a better diet, if you are about to eat something that you are not sure about just ask yourself this simple question, "will this help to make me a healthier person"? If you are honest with yourself this simple method can really help. Always remember that if you haven't exercised in a while it would be a good idea to see your family Dr. for a physical evaluation before starting an exercise program.
Your family should be high on your list of importance. These people count on you each day and you count on them. Your family is not just your wife and kids but also your mom and dad, your siblings, your aunts, uncles, and cousins. All of these should be important to you. In most cases, your mom and dad have provided for you as you have grown up. Let them know how much they mean to you by staying in contact. It doesn't take much time to give them a quick call to let them know you are thinking about them. Sometimes an old fashioned written letter wouldn't hurt.
Your siblings may live close to you or maybe far away. Schedule a block of time to contact them not only to see how they are doing but also to let them know how you are doing.
Your immediate family is with you all of the time. Make sure to talk to your wife/husband each day to find out how her/his day was. Make sure you don't come home from work each day and get in the recliner and totally ignore them. Your kids will be adults before you know it. Build a relationship with them while they are young and it will last a lifetime with a little work. Make sure you give them a big hug every chance you get. As they get into their teens it will probably be harder sometimes, but if you have a good foundation it will help tremendously. Stay in touch with your relatives as much as possible. With social media this is much easier now days. Above all just let your family members know that you love them. These seem to be hard words to say as you get older but you can do it.
Your job should be very important to you because it is how you support yourself and your family. Ask yourself what you can do to move up with your company. What parts of your job do you not like? What can you do to make things better? If you need more training in a particular area that needs improvement, go for it. You need to be happy at work. Work on your communication skills. To be able to improve at your job you need to be able to talk to people in a way that will not make you look like a know it all. This takes a lot of hard work for some people. Knowing a lot about your job is great, but not being able to communicate properly what you know can hold you back.
If you truly hate your job maybe it is time for a change. Ask yoursel, if you could do anything you want what would you be doing? Then ask yourself what is holding you back? People make career changes all the time. In the past people were planning retirement when they were older in life but now it is very common to see people in their late 50s and early 60s starting a new career. I actually began college at 45 years old and graduated at 50. It might be hard work but you can do it.
One word is the key to financial success, budget. In a buy now generation putting yourself on a budget can be hard to do but very rewarding. Starting a budget is easy, sticking to a budget takes discipline.
Start out by writing down your normal months income. Next, subtract your normal monthly bills, which should include your house payment or rent, insurance payment, gas for your car, electric and water bill, and any other bills that you pay each month. Allow money for unexpected bills that may arise.
You'll need to work with your food bill for a while until you can come up with the proper amount to allow each month. Remember that it is much cheaper to prepare your meals at home than it is to eat out. We live in a fast pace world and it is much easier to just drop by the local fast food place at dinner time than to allow time to prepare your meal at home but it is also very expensive. Plan your meals ahead of time. If you wait until you are hungry to figure out what you want to eat you'll always go the fast route and the next thing you know you are in the drive through line.
If you stick to your budget you should find that you have more money at the end of the month than you thought. Start a savings account if you don't already have one. Budget the amount of money that you want to save each month and stick to it. Even if you only save a little it will add up over time. By going on a budget you see just exactly how much money you waste each month. After seeing how much you waste it will be easier to stick to your budget.
Some people look at religion as hocus pocus. Myself, I happen to believe that this world and everything in it was created by someone. I am a former biology teacher and have studied all about evolution. Looking around at this beautiful world that we live in, I can't believe that all of this just happened by accident.
I start my day with prayer and thanks and I end my day with prayer and thanks. This works for me. I truly think it will work for anyone. Take the 30 day challenge. Get up each day and pray that God will watch over you and your family. Pray that he will be with you throughout the day and help you to make good choices. Pray again before you go to sleep and give thanks that God answered your prayers. Read a Bible verse each day. Talk to a Priest and ask him to explain God to you. He will be glad to. Get in touch with nature. Go for a walk through the woods and just listen to the sounds of nature. Keep an open mind. Do these things for 30 days and see how it goes. I'm pretty sure if you do this you will be pleased as you reflect on the previous 30 days.
I truly believe that if you do the things discussed here, your life will change for the better. How much it changes is totally up to you. Remember, you are in charge of your life. Give it some effort. You can't just go through the motions and expect big results, you have to give the effort. A lot of people go through the same routine everyday. They keep waiting on something to change. If you keep setting back waiting for your life to change you are going to be waiting for a long time. You have the power to change your life, you just have to get up and do it. Good luck!