When we think about our daily life we really fast start feeling overwhelming with our calendars full of things-to-do, appointments, family commitments, including our significant other and our kids. We think of ourselves as the wife, the mother, the co-worker, the boss, the teacher, the nurse, the daughter, the aunt, the sister, the friend… the list is endless. But is that who we are? Are our different “titles” what defines us?
The answer is no. We are just running day after day fulfilling all these commitments and obligations, most of them with a big smile, a feeling of satisfaction, a feeling of love and gratitude… but is not who we are, is what we do.
This is why a journey of self-discovery is so important. It is not to put a stop to all the things we do, but to learn to do them mindfully. To consciously act upon our to-do list with the certainty of knowing the core of who we are, with the ability to extend the love to ourselves, to learn to be kind and compassionate towards our feelings, to believe we are in the pursuit of our happiness and this happiness is tangible.
There is no better day than today to start working on transforming our lives for the better and by doing it from within us. Start today and you will be thanking yourself for the rest of your life for the gift of loving you.
The road to self-improvement is mostly marked by reaching goals, it can be small goals or big goals, daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly goals. It can be a shared goal or a personal goal, from reading more books to losing weight there is always a goal to reach on our road to better ourselves.
However, when we see that we will not reach our goal or that it will require additional effort than we first thought, we unconsciously self-sabotage ourselves toin order to give us an excuse of why we are not reaching the “milestone”. Self-sabotage is hard to detect because we have been doing it for years and it has become almost a habit of ours (or for better words a damaging habit).
How to detect Self-sabotage? Below are few tips that can help you recognized, confront, and change those actions that self-sabotage our goal to be better at whatever it is that we want to be better at (zero judgment here).
Make a list of affirmations that you can reach at any time. You can repeat them in the morning in front of your mirror or in bed while gaining the energy to get up (or while taking a shower). The affirmations should include your intentions for attaining your goals for the day and should help you visualize the goal and what you are planning to do in the day to get there. Examples of these affirmations are:
“Today my mind is open for quality meditation”
“Today I am strong and will run 3 miles as per my running schedule”
“I am important, time on me is important, and I will dedicate time for writing / journaling / meditation at lunch time”
Do smart, attainable goals We all want to accomplish something and the road to getting there is set by reaching smaller goals. If you want to learn to quilt, the best way is to start is by doing a potholder or a table runner, and leave the queen-size bed quilt when you have mastered several smaller projects. The same goes with everything, if you want to learn to cook or bake start with a beginner’s recipe book and build your skills up. If you want to run a marathon start and you are not a runner, the training will be overwhelming and you will self-sabotage yourself from the get-go. However, if you start training for a 5k and then a 10k, and then a half marathon, by the time you start your marathon training you will be comfortable with the time and the distances that you will need to run during your training.
Setting small goals towards your big goals will allow you to avoid to self-sabotage yourself into quitting.
Surround yourself with a support system. Having your spouse, kids, parents, siblings, and friends supporting you along while you conquer your goals is important. If we want to read more books per month (or year) perhaps finding a person that wants to be a “reading buddy” for a book or two would be great, or if you want to reach weight loss having someone that will walk with you in the afternoons or will help you find easy and healthy recipes would be fantastic.
Be aware of negative or unsupportive people around you. Yes, just as much as we want a support system, we need to get rid of the unsupportive ones. If you are trying to have a solid month without drinking alcohol and your friends keep telling you to forget about it and go for a night out, then you will likely sabotage yourself sooner than later. Or if you are trying to learn how to cook, and your spouse or roommate want to eat take out all the time, you will not accomplish your goals.
Be aware of how negative comments can affect you, your mindset, and your goals, and when those comments or thoughts come from people close to you like coworkers, friends, or family we need to put boundaries for them not to affect your goals.
Pay attention to your physical and mental stages while accomplishing the goals. If your goal is taking too much time away from family or your self-care routine, you may start feeling unbalanced and frustrated, easily allowing you to give up your goal. If you need to slow down your pace, or need to do changes to the schedule, or need to extend the time you needed to reach your goal, do so, and do so without any hesitation. We are human and the most important is that you are not giving up, you will just trying to find a better way to get there.
The road to self-improvement is always ahead of us, setting goals to get better at new skills, or accomplish a personal agenda, or create a new positive habit should be a constant in our lives. Setting goals and accomplishing them provide us comfort in our growth while taking responsibility for our actions
I hope these tips help you create a sense of awareness towards accomplishing the goals you have set up for yourself, and can also provide you with a clear reason of why you have been failing to accomplish that new skill, habit, or action that is in your agenda.
Very simple, but oh so effective. Going outdoors does not necessarily mean that we need to gear up to make a 1 hr walk around the neighborhood (although if you can EXCELLENT!), it can also be just sitting on the bench outside watching cars to drive by or like in my case, just go to my little backyard and watch my 10-year-old kick soccer ball for 20 minutes, encouraging and laughing with him. Also, it can be to attend to your growing herbs, plants, or flowers or simply putting the yoga mat outdoors and doing some simple stretches. Go outdoors and relax with nature.
2. Listening to your classic oldies.
This always works for me, and in my house, they know that at the moment that they hear the Spanish singer Miguel Bose or the band Duncan Dhu or Sublime it means that I am recharging my soul and my mind. I have nothing against listening to new hits (like the latest reggaeton song by Bad Bunny), but if you want to have a boost of energy put on that song that you would hear with your friends growing up in repeat! Listening to Aerosmith “Crazy” is a direct battery recharge and at the same time brings me memories of happy times!
3. Drink a cold beverage.
Preferably not caffeinated, however, from natural juices to water, to sparkling flavored water (Bubly Strawberry Flavor is my to-go-to drink right now), ice tea, kombucha, or a fruity smoothy! A cold drink will make your body feel fueled and ready to tackle what is next!
4. Quick gratitude meditation:
Being grateful and mindful of the good things in our lives is also a great way to boost our mood and energy when we feel depleted. As we get more tired we tend to focus on “the list of things we still need to do” and lose focus on what the list truly represents (family, home, kids, husband, food on our table, clothes to wear tomorrow), so taking a few minutes to be grateful through a guided meditation (3 to 5 minutes will be sufficient) is super effective!
I am confident that these 4 easy tips that can be easily followed will boost your mood when you feel like you are “going down” and feeling depleted. They are easy to make, inexpensive, and all you need is the right attitude to want to change your present mood state.
This blog has my personal opinion and you are invited to provide any comments at the end of the blog.
I got this book as a recommendation in several Podcast. From the moment I heard about my curiosity sparked and I gifted it to myself on Christmas. It had been a while seems I was looking forward to reading a book and I must confess that the book lived up to its expectation.
The book has a unique storyline, Addie LaRue, in a moment of weakness, fear, and retaliation makes a pact “with the darkness” in order to preserve her freedom, and although she gets back her freedom with immortality, it also comes with a high price. Addie LaRue cannot be remembered. Addie LaRue becomes a 300-year invisible immortal “person”.
This is when the author V.E. Schwab reveals one of the most enigmatic characters ever written. Addie LaRue is in constant pursuit of finding validation for her existence. Finding ways to be remembered, to leave a print in the world that she so dearly loves. She has 300 years of blending in society, moving along every corner of the world, meeting all different people, and inspiring artists to create art and see her footprint through the centuries shown in all kinds of arts from paintings to sculptures and everything in between.
Then one day, it all changes. One person, after 300 years remembers her and her story is narrated going back and forth, presenting us the Addie that has found love in a human, and the Addie that through the centuries forged a relationship with “the darkness” with whom she made the pact and who patiently waits for her to surrenders her soul. It is a love story, but mostly it is a human story. A human story that includes all the elements we, as people with a finite amount of time on this earth, at times fail to recognize as important, including determination, creativity, kindness, pleasure, and satisfaction. Addie has 300 years of experiences that allow her to recognize the wonders of the world, of life, of love. And we are lucky to learn from her.
I personally enjoyed reading this book, I found it witty, funny, honest, heart-warming, and at times heart-wrenching… I read this book slowly and taking my time, savoring every chapter, every page, every paragraph. It’s been a while since I protagonist of a book got so many qualities I both admired and praised. Adeline LaRue is the most amazing optimistic character I have met, she is brave, kind, strong, stubborn, feisty, determined, thoughtful, she is character perfection.
My Personal Opinion:
This book was all I could hope for and more. I found it witty, funny, honest, heart-warming, and at times heart-wrenching… I read this book slowly and taking my time, savoring every chapter, every page, every paragraph. It’s been a while since the protagonist of a book got so many qualities I both admired and praised. Adeline LaRue is the most amazing optimistic character I have met, she is brave, kind, strong, stubborn, feisty, determined, thoughtful, she is character perfection.
“Books, she has found, are a way to live a thousand lives–or to find strength in a very long one.”
“But this is how you walk to the end of the world. This is how you live forever. Here is one day, and here is the next, and the next, and you take what you can, savor every stolen second, cling to every moment, until it’s gone.”
“I am stronger than your god and older than your devil. I am the darkness between stars, and the roots beneath the earth. I am promise, and potential, and when it comes to playing games, i divine the rules, I set the pieces, and I choose when to play.”
“What I was really thinking was: Don’t even for a minute think I’m vanilla because the truth is I am so hardcore I had to quit. I drank so mu“Do you know how to live three hundred years?” she says. And when he asks how, she smiles. “The same way you live one. A second at a time.”
The highlight of the book is its storyline. It’s complicated, yet beautifully written characters, and the infinite hope it provides when reading it.
Addie LaRue is an eternal optimistic that have been loving life and the living with same exact intensity for 300 years and is infatuating to be witness of her vast experience.
It touches on the sensitive subject of how we choose to be remembered, on what mark are we living behind in order to be remembered, by those who know us and by those who don’t.
Finally, the book is entertaining, I found myself been moved by Addie’s love for the arts, artists, freedom, and her cautionary take on love. Her freedom is admirable, and with her freedom and long life, it comes clear that she has reached a high level of clarity when it comes to racial, social, and gender acceptance.
At times it can be slow, especially during the middle of the story where it can feel that it lacks a bit of interesting substance. There are characters that are not fully explained and they can feel a bit empty and although you understand their role in the book, there is no affection towards them.
Information as found in Amazon:
Print Length: 434 pages
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: October 6th, 2020
Category: Fiction, Historical Fantasy
What are you reading right now? What book would you recomend me? I am always looking for recommendations to add to my reading list.
We all move through life like an over-rehearsed dance and it takes time and practice and a lot of will to slow the music and to use our intuition to decide when to stop the dance and watch our performance from afar.
We learn to focus on what we need to do to survive each day. Taking care of our loved ones and the people closest to us, but, sadly at times, we leave ourselves out of our own top priority list. As we move through life there are so many experiences that can trigger our attention. From playing a sport to knowing how to do pottery. Perhaps we are interested in learning how to read Tarot Cards or to be a bird watcher, or photography. There are so many interests from yoga practice to breakdown dancing… we need to let our hearts and mind guide our attention and release the fear of trying new things. We don’t have to be the best at it, we just need to try it, we need to be brave and kind and let go of what other people may think as we walk our own path.
These interests and passions are necessary to nurture our souls and to provide ourselves with the time and space for self-growth. Perhaps the interest will be short-lived (like when I wanted to learn about constellations), or perhaps it will develop in a life-long pursuit (like with my passion for quilting).
Sometimes these interests and passions will be not easy to pursue or to stick with. They may require a lot of time and effort from our side, but nevertheless, if we have the flame ignited within us we owe ourselves to make the effort and find out how it fulfills us in our journey of life.
Also, there is a misconception that we need to finish everything that we start. Not true. You can start to pursue an interest or passion and discover that flame has burned out midway. It’s ok, take in all that you have learned, and see what is next on your list. Maybe you will go from doing pottery to learning how to dance Flamenco… hey they both sound exciting!
Go out and pursue an interest, a passion, a hobby. Treat yourself with the gift of discovery free of judgment. From playing video games to learning how to quilt, there are so many interests to learn, to make our brains tickle with curiosity, to make our hearts beat at the rhythm of our own illusions and thoughts. We don’t need to have an artistic side or a tech side, we just need to set aside kindness to let our heart guide us into what attracts us and have the courage to pursue it.
Every morning is a new opportunity to pursue success and happiness. An opportunity to be kind, to be productive, to reach goals, and to make dreams come true.
It is important to have small morning actions that are part of your morning routine that propels you to start the day with a positive mindset. The majority of the time these actions are easy to put into practice and can make the world of difference in how your day goes forward.
I am providing five of these simple actions below. My intention is that some of them can easily be incorporated or added to your ongoing morning routine adding positivism, kindness, and peace to your mornings and setting up the day the right way mentally, emotionally, and physically.
Make your bed: It has been proven that making your bed boosts your sense of productivity. Making your bed provides you with the personal satisfaction of been productive and protective of your personal space. Also coming home to a room with a tidy bed provides additional comfort. Try it. Make your bed. Every morning.
Say good morning: Saying good morning is a kind way to start the day. Say good morning to your spouse, your kids, your pets, neighbors, coworkers, teachers, and classmates. Greet everyone you see in the morning with a heartfelt Good Morning. You will start noticing your heart-opening. Be kind and say good morning with a smile.
Listen to an uplifting and positive podcast: Starting your day with a positive podcast is a fantastic idea to add to your morning rituals. There is so many uplifting podcast nowadays, from short ones to long ones and from meditation to affirmations. Listening to positivism and motivational stories while prepping breakfast, getting ready, or commuting is food for the mind and soul.
Do breathing exercises: There are so many good free apps that have short breathing exercises for free. Just 3 to 5 minutes will do the job and you will feel alert, mindful, conscious, and peaceful.
Check your calendar: Keep track of what is happening in your day early in the morning. From using your phone calendar to an old-school agenda, take two minutes every morning to see what is up with your day. From grocery shopping to dinner planning, from doctor’s appointments, paying bills, or even doing laundry. Keeping track of your to-do list early in the morning will ensure you actually accomplish them on time.
There you have it, 5 easy actions you can incorporate into your morning rituals that do not change what you already are doing, but add zest, inspiration, peace, kindness, and happiness to your morning. After all, that’s what we want… HAPPY MORNINGS.
Go ahead and create your own inspiring morning ritual. It is not about adding habits that will take forever and even increase your stress level, but that you can easily add to your ongoing one. Try one of the tips every week and see if it works for you or not, then keep adding or changing them every week until your mornings become an open opportunity to get your body, mind, and soul ready for a happy day.
Hopeful by definition means “feeling or inspiring optimism about a future event” and in our lives, we need to cultivate the ability (or superpower) to be hopeful. It is hard to talk about being optimistic and about better times when we just closed a year full of uncertainties and fears, however, being hopeful is, together with gratitude, our security blanket for a better day tomorrow, for a better 2021 year.
When we don’t feel hopeful we don’t expect a better outcome, we don’t expect things to get better, we will hit a moment in which the fear of failure becomes the result.
So how can we help ourselves to be more hopeful? The road to being more hopeful is not difficult but it does require us to change our mindset. First, we need to learn to put the situation we are in in a perspective that can provide us a better view, looking at the glass half full is always a better perspective than half empty. Focusing on what we have, on what we keep, on what we maintain is key when focusing on a better perspective.
Also, it is important to surround ourselves with positivism, from daily affirmations throughout the day, to fill a positive quote board that we can access when we need to adjust our mindset. Feeding our minds and spirit with positive stories, quotes, moments, and thoughts will keep us moving forward.
Finally, practicing gratitude will allow us to fill our days with the certainty that we are lucky, that we are special, that we do have daily miracles happening to us. Keep a gratitude journal and when we see all the good things that happen in any given day we will realize that believing in good results and positive outcomes is a natural mindset that we can achieve.
When setting up our goals for 2021 year it is important to make sure we do it in a S.M.A.R.T. way. It is super important to set your goals correctly, taking into account many aspects that are needed for you to accomplish them on time. I usually use the S.M.A.R.T. approach when setting up my goals:
S – Specific: This is important as it is not the same to say I want to save money every month than saying I want to save $150.00 every month or to say I am going to read more than saying I will read 4 books every month. Be specific with your goal.
M – Measurable: Your goal needs to be measurable in order to know how far or close you are to achieving it. You need to be able to look and see that although you need to save $150.00 you have so far saved $75.00 and therefore be able to make adjustments in order to accomplish your goal.
A – Action Oriented: You need to be able to act your goal in order to accomplish it. You can save money by doing or changing or adjusting certain expenses, or you can read more books by setting up a time for it. Both of these goals are based on actions that you can take and that you can control. Setting goals in which you expect the actions of others will not reward you in the end.
R – Realistic: Your actions need to be realistic and you should e able to make them happen. If you have a busy working life or mom life, it would be very difficult to say you will read 100 books in one year or that you will take a 30-minute bath every day. Your goal needs to be achievable by your actions.
T – Time-based: Your actions should have a dateline. Either if it is a short term goal or a long term goal, putting a time will make you accountable and will allow you to see what adjustments you need to make in order to complete the goal.
Additionally, there are Short Term and Long Term Goals. My usual method when setting up my goals is to pick a Long Term Goal, for example, have a successful Life Coaching practice for which I can give it a 2-year Timetable. This Long Term Goal can be broken down in Small Short Term goals which can take up to 6 months and can be from completing additional Life Coaching Courses, to setting up a Marketing Strategy, completing Course Content, or getting clients. Each one will have a specific Goal based on the S.M.AR.T. mode which allows me to build on my Long Term Goal.
Call to action!!!
Come up with 2 long Term Goals that can from 1 to 2 years, for example:
Writing a book
Having a successful social media presence
Becoming a sweet baker
Learning how to cook a specific cuisine (Indian, Chinese, Korean, Southern)
Completing educational courses
Learning a new language
Then break this Long Term Goal into smaller S.M.A.R.T. Goals (at least 2) that you can complete within 6 months each.
Then commit! You are taking the time to make sure your GOAL is SMART and ATTAINABLE. You are now accountable to make it happen.
We all have different aspects of our lives that could potentially be holding us back. These aspects can be beliefs, habits, mindsets, or attitudes and for the most part, we grow so attached to them that we hold them as true. Limiting beliefs can be about yourself, about others surrounding us, about things that we own or that we want to own, or about things that we are afraid of or do not want in our lives.
Limiting beliefs do have a negative effect on our lives including:
Holding us back from making different or risky choices;
Keeping us from seeing good opportunities presenting or missing out on those opportunities because of our lack of confidence;
Blinding us from our self-worth and positive qualities;
Keeping us focused on the negative aspects of our lives accepting them as “meant to be”
It can be as simple as something that our parents, or older siblings, or grandparents have been saying all of our lives, for example, sayings like “Money doesn’t grow on trees” or it can be learned from friends, teachers, coaches, co-workers, culture and social media.
There are so many limiting beliefs that are an obstacle to our goals and dreams and if we are not aware of the true nature of those beliefs we will live our lives with an overcast shadow of doubt and we will pass it along to our kids, students, co-workers, or friends.
Below I am giving you a few of the limiting beliefs that resonated with me while growing up and when I was a young adult. These beliefs became a fundamental part of my belief system and it was not easy to weed them out as negative aspects that negatively affected my life.
All the good ones are already taken
I don’t have the skills of talent
Apples do not fall far from the tree
What is meant to be is meant to be
Is not good to swim against the current
Successful people are just lucky
I am not lucky because I never win anything
I am just not good with money
I always lose everything
Rich people are arrogant
Each one of the above is a limiting belief that has at some point put a damper in my love life, my bank account, my optimism and hopes, and at the same time have made me settle with less of what I am worth and with less of what I can do.
Call to Action!
Write down 5 limiting beliefs that you have and next to it add in what aspect of your life it could have affected you. By being aware of our limiting beliefs we can start changing them into an affirmation that can work positively for us.
Through trial and error, we become better at what we do. By doing the same task repeatedly we find ways to improve it, to be more efficient at it, and becoming experts in the subject. But is not easy to get there. It takes humility to accept our own shortcomings and our lack of expertise, and also it takes humility to accept criticism.
I personally grew up in a home in which all I did was always praised. The mere act of trying was rewarded and therefore it was really challenging when my school work, or professional work, or even my house chores had some criticism attached to it. I felt very big when I was praised, and in that same line, I felt very small when I was criticized.
However, with time I have understood that acknowledging that I am not an expert at certain things is an important first step in my road to a more humble me, the second step is to look up to people around me (or not so close to me) that seem to have a better understanding of the subject and ask for guidance. I have found out that most people are willing to help out from the bottom of their hearts.
As the end of the year approaches, let’s be open to being more vulnerable at admitting that there are actions, knowledge, hobbies, interests, and passions that we want to be better at, but that in the process of getting there we need to seek the guidance of people who have walked the path before us. Additionally, we need to be willing to show our progress so that it can be constructively criticized and allowing us to see where our gaps are so that we can get better at it.
We are perfection on the works, and the road to continuous improvement will always be ahead of us. Being humble and vulnerable while walking our path is how we will cross the finish line.
It is Sunday and as we pull out our bullet journals and start drafting how the week will pretty much plan out, let’s take the moment to choose one goal that we will focus throughout the entire week. It can be anything including:
Getting Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas Day meal menu (including shopping list)
Wrapping all Christmas presents
Commit to doing fasting for the whole week (either 16/8 or 20/4)
Commit to doing cardio every day of the week
Commit to not eat any sugar (cakes, cookies, pies) for the whole week
Write in your gratitude journal twice a day for the whole week
Whichever is your goal commit whole heartened for the next 7 days. As the year comes to an end and our hopes and faith get renewed based on the promise of the upcoming year finishing the last few weeks strong and reaching goals will give us the assurance that we can complete our goals.
Sometimes we just need accomplishments to move forward to more commitments!