Stop Dragging Through Life and Live on Purpose

Think about your current life right now. I mean really evaluate the people you interact with, the home in which you live and so on.

Now, there are some of us who are happy with what we have and where we’re going in life. We might even be living a life of passion and fulfillment.  But for many of us, this is just not the case.

We sometimes blame our situations on circumstance.

Many of us hold on to things from our past and use them as an excuse not to do better than we are doing or want more.

But for many, living small and being content with whatever life throws at us has become a common epidemic.

Sure, we may have happy moments in life, but we settle into what we feel that we deserve.  Others may wish for more but feel that a better life just isn’t in the cards for them.

We may even grow up and do our best to try to fulfill every wish that others may have had for us.  Maybe we were brainwashed into pursuing what we were told we should pursue based on someone else’s opinion.

But, fulfilling someone else’s dreams can have you living a life of regret and frustration, rather than fulfillment and aspiration.

Don’t let Someone Else’s Opinion of You Become Your Reality.  – Les Brown

You may have had dreams to do something amazing in your life but never pursued it.

Not because you didn’t want to, but because someone managed to talk you out of it or convinced you that you need to do something else.

They may have mentioned that you can’t do it or that it’s too farfetched.

So just like that, you’ve settled in to not achieving your goals.

Afterall, living passionately and pursuing what life has to offer doesn’t work for people like you, right? Wrong.

The beautiful thing about having a dream is that you own that dream. No one knows it like you, and no one has the same passion as you do about it because it is yours.

When we set goals to achieve our dreams, we are then able to fulfill our desires.

Set Your Focus

So, what’s stopping you from reaching for the stars?

Maybe you’ve never really taken serious thought about what it is that you want out of life.

Having a lack of focus and not really knowing what your real passions are can leave you in disarray.

If you feel as if nothing seems to make sense or if your life is just a big ball of frustration, then you are not alone.

This happens for many of us and can be highly attributed to negative beliefs.

Unfortunately, many people live their whole lives just bumping around and landing on whatever falls in their laps.  They may be living according to social status or even competition.

And unfortunately, having the education, wealth and all the things that society defines as being successful, doesn’t mean that you are living your purpose either.

What is it to have this level of success and live in misery or feel as if you are lost?

What we must note is that although our loved ones and friends may mean well with their advice, they shouldn’t be given the power to define who we should become.

They don’t know what we are capable of achieving; what we should and shouldn’t be doing with our lives.

Sadly, you can live your whole life looking as if you have the whole world in your hands and still feel empty inside.

I once heard of a guy who lived in competition of someone he grew up with. He followed the same exact life that the other guy followed and was successful at achieving similar things.

But he was miserable and constantly complained of how much life sucked. 

Why?  Because he wasn’t living for himself, he was living in comparison to someone else.

To think that your purpose means that you need to keep up with the Joneses or have more than the guy you went to high school with, is a huge misconception as well.

The reality, we all have our own paths to walk. What’s going on in someone else’s life has nothing to do with what should go on in yours.

If you were to die tomorrow, can you truly say that you’ve lived the life that you’ve desired?

If not, it’s time for change.

Find Your Passion

You may have heard before that our passion is usually something that we would do even if we didn’t get paid for it.

It’s in our dreams and fills our hearts with joy. We light up with just the thought of what we wish to achieve.

Now, take some time to step outside of your current thought pattern.  Think about what you are spending most of your time doing.

If it’s filled with mundane activity that has you feeling exhausted, then it may be time to find the thing that brings you energy and lifts your spirits.

You want to take your time with this.  You don’t have to know all the answers for achieving your passion or feel as if you need to hurry up and achieve it right away.

Once you recognize what it is that you would like to pursue, go for it. 

Make the decision, do the research, take the course or whatever it is that will put you on your path to your purpose.

And you will find that doors start to open, and opportunities will align for you in a positive way.

Just as you’ve lived the way that you have been living, you can now embrace more happiness, confidence and self-fulfillment by pursuing your goals.

So stay the course and live on purpose.

Clutter: Why It May Be Draining You

You may have a lot on your plate, be extremely busy, and feel as though you are on a constant roller coaster ride in life.

There may be various reasons for these feelings, however, one thing you may want to make note of is your surroundings.

Spend a few moments to take inventory of your home and office space.

Take a picture if you need to and look at it later when you have some down time.  This will give you a different perspective.

Now, if you are organized, know where your most frequent items are located, and can honestly say that the area is neat and doesn’t need any attention, then kudos to you!

But, if you notice that you have documents stacked that you haven’t looked at in weeks or clothes piled up to the ceiling, then you may need to get a handle on this in order to better your life.

Disorganization and clutter can make you tired, frustrated, angry, and even late.

Dr. Robert London, a New York City psychiatrist, states that clutter leads to anxiety, despair, family stresses and embarrassment.

Furthermore, living in a space that is over filled and disorganized can be holding you back from living a life that you deserve.

7 Reasons to Declutter

  • You need to move or downsize
  • Feeling anxious or depressed
  • Desire a home makeover
  • Need to clean or paint but unable
  • Can’t find items that you need
  • Unable to have company over
  • You have too many items
  • Need mental clarity

The truth is, we can become so accustomed to our disorganized surroundings, that it becomes invisible to us.

It just seems to somehow mix in with everything else and overlooked as even causing a problem.

And this can go on for a long time.  Really, it’s kind of a silent issue that doesn’t always get handled in a timely manner.

If you are seeking more peace of mind, then getting your living and work space organized should be addressed.

Take Action

This is much easier said than done in many cases, but simply deciding to get things in order is a great step in the right direction.

Professional organizers all around suggest that you make decluttering a priority in your schedule.

A suggestion is to have garbage bags and boxes on hand so that you can separate the items that you want to keep, donate, and throw out.

If you don’t have a huge amount of clutter, then you may decide to spend a little time each day to get organized.

But, for larger amounts, you may want to recruit a team of people such as friends and family members, so that you can tackle a lot in a short amount of time.

For example, pick a Saturday morning for a couple of hours to throw out items that are no longer needed.

You can then separate the items that you want to keep and ones that you would like to donate to charity.

Clutter Free Maintenance

As we know, it’s easy to let things pile up and get out of hand. Let’s not let that happen again.

Now that everything has been put in its designated place, remember how good it looks and feels and do what you can to keep it that way.

Here are some new habits that you may want to adapt:

  • It sounds easy enough, but put things back where they belong as soon as you are done with them.  This usually doesn’t take very long and can save so much time in the long run.
  • Discard unwanted mail as soon as it comes and set mail in a designated area for when you are ready to go through it.
  • Make sure everyone in the house is on board with your efforts of keeping the house clean.
  • Wash dishes as you cook and make sure that dry dishes are put away.
  • Items that are not being used or are off season should be stored away until needed.
  • Before bed, do a walkthrough of the house or office and make sure that things are put away.

Doing these things everyday will help you keep your living space in good order and ready for the following day.

Where to Donate

There are many places that you may be able to donate your unwanted items.  In many cases, these items can be dropped off locally, or arranged for pickup by the organization.

Please see below for 3 of the top charities that you may be interested in donating to:

The Salvation Army – clothing and household items are donated to people in need.  Donations are also used to help raise money in emergency situations such as flood victim and provide needed items to homeless shelters.

Purple Heart – Donations of clothing and housewares are sold to help raise funds for Purple Heart’s mission to support veterans and their families throughout the nation.

St Vincent DePaul SocietyGently used clothing, furniture and household goods may be donated.  These items are used to stock St. Vincent de Paul thrift stores and are sold at affordable prices. The society also offers a furniture voucher program for people who are transitioning from homelessness, domestic violence victims and others who may be in need.

Are You Making The Best Use of Your Time?

For some of us, time seems to go by so quickly that we sit and wonder, where did the time go and whether or not we are making the best use of it.

Each person is unique and has to walk their own path and travel their own journey.

This is why it is important to do what motivates you and not live by the standards of others.

Here are some examples of how time can easily be wasted:

  • Doing what appeases others rather than yourself
  • Working a job that you hate
  • Taking on too many projects at the same time
  • Engaging in negative talk

Good use of your time, would be to complete your desired studies and transition to an occupation that will be more rewarding or spending time with family.

Now, if you find that you are making great use of the time that you’re spending on a daily basis then you may be right track.

But, there may be a need for restructuring if you feel as though there just aren’t enough hours in the day for you to do what needs to be done.

Beware of the time stealers that are listed below and evaluate whether you need restructuring.

Minimize Social Media Time

One major contributor to time wasted these days has to do with time spent on social media.  It has literally become societies new way of doodling. 

Popping in and out of different social sites can be a fun way to unwind.  However, it is rarely productive and can be overly stimulating to the brain. 

Try and keep social media to a minimum by choosing a designated time to use it, after that put the phone away so that you can complete other tasks that need your attention.

A great way to maximize your down time would be to get away for a few minutes by taking a stroll or making a list of things you would like to complete for the week.

Get Organized

If it takes you 20 minutes in the morning to find your car keys, then you are not alone. 

Being disorganized and not putting things back in their proper place is a great way to lose unwarranted time.   

Make it a priority to change this habit by organizing important items so that they are readily available to you.

Everything should be in its proper place so that it can easily be located when needed.  It should also be placed back in its designated spot when done.

Take the time to do this to help maximize your day. 

Make Good Use of Travel Time

It’s common to listen to the radio during drive time, however, this is also a great time to listen to an audiobook.

If you need to catch up on studies, learn a new language or enjoy a good book, then listening to an audiobook during travel time is a great way to do it.

A great tip here is to try your local library for audiobooks.  Many of them offer a free app and will let you check out books from your mobile device.

Stop Procrastinating

Procrastination has been defined as an intentional delay of starting or completing a task.

But, putting things off until later or saying that you’ll get to it tomorrow just another way of throwing time away.

We tend to procrastinate when we don’t want to do something or seems overwhelming.

According to Dr. Alexandar Rozental, a clinical psychologist at the Karlinska Institute in Sweden, many people procrastinate because they become anxious about a project, fear failure, or feel that they can’t complete it well.

Those who lack confidence in completing tasks that are more challenging may find it easier to start with smaller tasks to help build confidence, according to Rozental.

Start making a conscious effort to start and finish what needs to be done so that you become efficient daily.

Learn to Say No

If you can fit something into your schedule that doesn’t pull you away from your priorities, then all the better.

But, saying yes to things that don’t help you in your goals can be a huge time waster.

It may please someone else for you to do what they would like, but it does nothing for what you may wish to achieve for the day.

Your time and schedule are a priority, so learn to say no when needed.

Don’t Take on Too Much

Doing too many things at the same time not only contributes to wasted time, it can leave you overwhelmed and stressed.

Prioritizing what needs to be done and possibly delegating certain things to someone else can help you find the time you need to do more productive things.

You may feel as though you want to get everything completed right away.  But, doing too much is a great way to get frustrated and not do it at all.

Instead, prioritize more pertinent things first and either save the rest for later in the week or hand it off to your spouse.

Turn off Notifications

Notifications are distracting and can be a huge time waster.

We tend to stop what we’re doing so we can see who just sent us an email or to check what just happened on twitter.

Often, these notifications are not urgent and can be looked at and answered later.

Instead, pick designated times to catch up on these things such as lunch time and right after winding down for the day.

With a few adjustments, you may find that you have more than enough time to do everything that you need.

Why You Should Let Go of Fear

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield

Now, don’t get me wrong, fear is a necessary emotion.  But it should be used when needed and then put away. 

For example, you should be fearful of a hot stove so that you don’t get burned.

And, you shouldn’t stand too close to a ledge, for fear that you may fall.

The truth is, many of us hold on to fear and worry like it’s some sort of security blanket that gives us the ok not to do the things that we really desire.

I could go on, but my point is…many of us are just too accustomed to its convenience in our lives.

We do things like stay at a dead-end job for years on end because we feel that we won’t find another one that will satisfy our needs.

And even though we may be in an unhealthy relationship, we have a fear of being alone or feel that we just don’t deserve to be happy.

So, we stay out of comfort, and fear that we can’t do any better.

Afterall, we already know what we’re dealing with, right?

Often times we fail to take that leap of faith to either salvage what we have or simply move on, out of comfort.

A major contributor to these fearful emotions has to do with our surroundings.  Social media, news media, and negative talk from people who are around us can bring us down and keep us stagnant.

The Power of Letting Go of Fear

It is important to know that living with constant fear can cause disease in the body.

Chronic worry can eventually trigger the body into producing excess cortisol. 

According to Dr. Travis Stork, M.D., from “The Drs.” television show, excessive cortisol can cause high blood pressure, obesity, and lead to type 2 diabetes.

You should also make note that fear is an emotion that is usually linked to the unknown. 

Many times, we are afraid of things that haven’t even happened yet.

Unfortunately, these ill feelings can turn something that can potentially be good for us into something bad, emotionally.

But letting go, moving past it, and pushing through is a great way to start the healing process.

There truly is power in letting go and having the faith to fulfill our desires. 

So why not start living better, being healthier and being stronger?

7 Ways to Free Yourself

1. Pray

Worrying and being fearful of situations in your life leads to stress, anxiety, and more worry and fear.

As we know, this offers no assistance whatsoever to what we may be dealing with.  Instead of casting these types of emotions, pray.

When you pray, be fervent and specific of a positive outcome, no matter what.

Ask for the success of that job promotion, blessings for safe travel over your trip or peace and love in your home.

Regardless to what it is, pray and hand it over to God first.

2. Make The Decision

Decide that you are going to change your situation.  It doesn’t matter if you want to change jobs, write a book, or lose 20 pounds.

This may mean that you need to take a course to sharpen your skills or network with a new set of people to help you in your advancement.

But whatever it is, go ahead and move forward. 

Make the decision to taking the first steps in completing whatever it is that you wish to accomplish, change, or eliminate.

3. Update Your Circle

We’d like to think that the people that are closest to us will be there to celebrate our decisions and help us through our fears of stepping out on faith.  But this is not always the case.

You may find that you need to change your immediate circle if those around you offer discouragement. 

This may be hard to do at first, but necessary.  If growth is what you need, it may be time to stay away from the naysayers.

Instead, surround yourself with people who are in support of what you are trying to accomplish.

Those who are not, really should be kept at a distance regarding your journey.

4. Move In Silence

If you have a goal that you would like to achieve, you may not want to speak about it to anyone that doesn’t have a definite need to know.

Keep in mind that it isn’t necessary to announce to everyone what you are up to.  You’d be surprised at the lengths that others would go to hinder you from your accomplishments.

Also, this offers you the ability to achieve what is needed without unnecessary distractions.  Move in silence and focus on your tasks.

5. Break The Monotony

It is true that we are creatures of habit.  We drive the same routes, hang out with the same people and do the same things day in and day out. 

Maybe its time to shake it up a bit. Do things that encourage and require you to change such as joining a book club or taking up a new sport. 

This can help you ease into changing old habits while forming new ones.

6. Write Out A Plan

Writing out your plans is a great way to log what you wish to achieve.  Having goals written down on paper helps as a guide while giving great perspective.

Completely a task and then marking it off can be rewarding and gives a great sense of accomplishment. 

Going through the plan will aid in keeping you on track and bringing your dreams to life.

7. Learn To Be Uncomfortable

This is probably one of the main reasons why people don’t pursue things that they wish to accomplish.  They will be pulled out of there comfort zone, possibly not succeed, or perhaps come up against some challenges that they don’t like. 

Something to make note of is that doing the same things is very comfortable, but it doesn’t do anything for your personal growth and will keep you in the same spot.

Instead of worrying about what could happen if you don’t achieve your goals, get excited about what could happen if you do.

Remember to push through and never give up on your dreams.

Are You Feeling Wound Up? Try This

It is very important to invest time into relaxation. Allowing your mind and body to decompress and shake the tension you build up is one of the best ways to improve your quality of life.

And seeing as you are at an age where you definitely deserve some time to relax, this article is going to share tips and suggestions on how to make the most of your personal time.

More specifically, it will share some ideas on how to relax and unwind. 

Entertain A Hobby You Are Passionate About

What do you do that makes you feel good? Perhaps it’s reading or even scrap booking.

Find the thing that puts you at ease and schedule time to do it.

Hobbies like this are a great way to lose yourself and really enjoy the moment.

Essentially, you want to help your mind get distracted with an activity that makes you feel good. Of course, these need to be healthy hobbies that don’t put added strain on your shoulders. 

Meditation and Visualization

The mind and body are so deeply connected that when you dream, your body isn’t able to tell the difference.

This is why you go into a natural type of paralysis during sleep. Otherwise, you’ll be walking around all night long, acting out what you see in your dreams, according to scientific studies.

With meditation and visualization, the point is to stay conscious while going into a dream state. Now, this might sound a little out there.

But after you try it a couple of times, you will quickly realize there is much more to inner-reflection than you think.

In fact, this is a very effective way to relax and decompress without spending a dime.

Also, you don’t always have to get into a meditation pose in order to relax. Given that you learn breathing and visualization with meditation, you can use it throughout the course of the day.

Be More Social and Outgoing

Not everyone likes to hear that they should be going out and socializing more.

For some, just the idea of being in a public places brings about levels of anxiety. But whether you believe it or not, socializing is very good for the soul and relaxation.

Few things in life are better than spending time with close friends. Make sure those friends are people that you truly enjoy. It’s great to engage in mindless fun and conversation.

Because just like you discover different things about yourself, you learn there are different levels of relaxation. In other words, laughing until your stomach is in pain can be considered extreme relaxation. But you won’t know about these levels if you don’t put yourself out there more.

Pick Up Yoga or Pilates

By now you may know that there is a deep connection between your mind and body.

You are aware that being stressed is going to twist your patience until you are in the worst possible mood. This is followed by blinding headaches and muscle pain you can’t really explain, and neither can you seem to get rid of it.

At the end of the day, you have to pay attention to your physical condition. You also want to ensure that you are unwinding properly.

So, it is suggested to consider activities like yoga or Pilates. Even though a full-on cardio session can also help with relaxation, yoga and Pilates are great for keeping the body flexible.

More importantly, you are letting your body work out all the tension in a positive and healthy manner. 

Learn Some Breathing Techniques

You might be very surprised to hear how something as simple as breathing can help you reach a deep state of relaxation. The best part is that you can entertain breathing techniques regardless of where you are.

It doesn’t matter if you are stuck in traffic, sitting at work, or watching a movie, breathing is a discreet and quick way to induce relaxation.

One of the most common techniques includes breathing deeply through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.

Don’t rush it and don’t hold your breath until it gets uncomfortable. Just take your time and enjoy about 10 slow and deep breaths, and you’ll notice an immediate difference.

Make Sure You Get Quality Sleep

What is the first thing you give up when you need more time during the day? That’s right, sleep.

We often go to bed later or wake up sooner. Unfortunately, we’re not doing ourselves any favors for making this sacrifice.

Getting quality sleep is critical if you want to maintain a clear and relaxed state of mind. So, implement a strict sleeping pattern and do your best to stick to it.

It’s never too late to start taking care of yourself. And investing in more relaxation activities in a very stressful world can help to sustain a high-quality life. But it can’t happen if you don’t take action.

 

Is The Paleo Diet Right For You?

Have you been considering the Paleo diet?

If you’ve been curious, but aren’t quite ready to make a commitment, then you may want to take a look at what the Paleo diet has to offer.

Now, not every diet is for everyone, but it’s always good to explore a diet such as the Paleo diet just to familiarize yourself.

Fills the Appetite

If you’ve dieted before, then you’ve probably experienced one of the most common complaints that people have.

It’s likely that you’ve eaten the food that the diet allowed you to eat, but still felt hungry afterwards.

If you’ve experienced this before, then you’ll be glad to know that many people find the Paleo diet to be quite satisfying.

The diet suggests that each meal should include 2/3 vegetables, 1/3 protein, a fruit, and a dollop of healthy fats such as avocado. 

The lack of hunger pangs is why so many people have been able to stick to this diet on a long-term basis.

8 Steps To A Better Morning

It is often said that the way you start your day is the way that you will end it.

And If you’re one of those people that hits the snooze a couple of times, runs late constantly, or just can’t seem to get things going the way that you should in the morning, then you are not alone. 

But it doesn’t end there, the rest of your day may seem cumbersome, you don’t have enough time to get things done… well, you know where we’re going with this one.

In fact, if you’re having a “fly by the seat of your pants kind of morning”, you can almost predict how the rest of the day will progress.

Growing accustomed to bad morning habits can be comfortable and seem as if they are just a part of who you are.  But the good thing is… these bad habits can be changed to good habits just by making a few adjustments.

10 Reasons to Follow a Mediterranean Diet

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The Mediterranean diet has been shown to provide numerous health benefits for the entire body, from your bones to your skin, brain, and everything in between. This is primarily because it focuses on eating plenty of healthy whole grains, legumes, nuts, olive oil, fruits, and vegetables.

 The following are some of the major benefits offered by the Mediterranean diet.

1. Protects Against Type 2 Diabetes

The Mediterranean diet has been compared with several other healthy diets, including low-glycemic index, high-protein, high-fiber, low-carbohydrate, vegan and vegetarian diets.

It was shown in these studies that the Mediterranean diet offered more benefits than the other diets for people who suffered with high blood sugar and diabetics.

According to researchers, the Mediterranean diet is healthy and beneficial diet because it includes foods that are high in fiber like vegetables and fruits and rich in monounsaturated fats.

These foods have been proven to lower cholesterol and blood sugar in diabetics.

It has also been shown to have a positive effect on a person’s insulin sensitivity when saturated fats are replaced with unsaturated fats.

It has also been shown to have a positive effect on a person’s insulin sensitivity when saturated fats are replaced with unsaturated fats.

2. Maintains Heart Health

Compared to the United States, heart disease in Mediterranean countries is much lower.

This is partly due to the diet that is followed by people living in those areas.

The Mediterranean diet has been shown to lower the risks of cardiovascular mortality, and this is mainly due to the positive impacts it has on “bad” cholesterol.

Do This to Eliminate Belly Fat Now

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Getting rid of belly fat can be very challenging. In fact, it seems unfair that extra weight around the midsection is so easy to accumulate.

And getting rid of belly fat can seem nearly impossible if you don’t know what necessary steps to take to eliminate it.

The good thing is… there are natural and healthy ways to lose excess fat surrounding the belly.

But it will take effort and discipline if you want to see results.

The purpose of this article is to offer some advice on where you may want to start.

For those who are interested in following a more natural route, the following options could prove to be very useful.

Starting with just one or two of these suggestions can be a great benefit to achieving a smaller waistline.

Curb Your Sugar

One of the first things you want to look at, if you are struggling with belly fat, is your sugar intake.

Seeing as the body can only convert a certain amount of sugar at a time, eating excess sugar can turn into fat around the mid-section.

Indulging in sugary treats, on a regular basis, may be the reason you are unable to control your belly fat.

You will also want to make a conscious decision to read the labels on foods that you consume because of hidden sugar.

Ideally, sticking to a diet that is full of whole natural foods is a great way to avoid unwanted sugar in the body.

The Importance of Exercise and How to Make It A Daily Routine

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The latest studies show that exercise is extremely important. The more active we are, the more chances to be healthy and fit.

 Apparently, the simple habit of raking a 30-minute brisk walk a day can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and of other severe medical conditions.

Unfortunately, most of us find it hard to get up and exercise every single day. We keep postponing this until it becomes too late.

Let’s see a few reasons why we should make exercise our daily routine and how we can do it.

A main benefit of exercising is that it strengthens your muscles. The direct benefit is that your bones and joins will have an easier time at supporting the weight of your body.

If you suffer from back pain, you should find out what are the best workout routines to strengthen your core muscles.

Include these workouts in your daily exercise routine and your pains will alleviate within a few weeks, as your core muscles will become stronger.

The other direct benefit of exercising is the improvement of your fitness level.

Your heart will become stronger, your pulmonary capacity will increase, and your overall shape will improve.