Wednesday, May 29, 2013

begin with the end in mind

The 2nd Habit in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is to begin with the end in mind, i.e. to create a clear vision of your life as a whole, and keep that picture in mind every day. That way it becomes easier to use each moment of your life so that it contributes to your journey in a meaningful way.

This requires you to think about what really matters most to you, and how you want to spend your precious time here. And it prevents you from getting caught up in a life where you are busy just for the sake of being busy. By beginning with the end in mind you make sure that you are moving in the right direction.

Imagine yourself as a 100 year old wise and beautiful person. You are looking back on your life, what are you happy about? What are your regrets? How will people remember you? What was your contribution? Did you treat other people well? Do you think that you had a positive or a negative effect on the life of the people around you? Did you treat the earth, its anmials and resources with respect? Did you treat yourself with respect? What would you advise the younger you?

This week I want to think about which values and principals are important to me. I am going to think about the roles that I have in my life, and the goals I want to accomplish in each area.

To think about the end may perhaps seem a bit morbid, but I think that it is a very powerful way of getting to the core, of finding out how you want to live your life. So I will meditate on this and write up a personal mission statement that incorporates my values and visions.

Friday, May 24, 2013

recipe for success?

When thinking about my goals and how to reach them, I find it inspiring to look at all the wonderfully successful people around me. I have a friend who recently reached her goal of shedding 40 pounds in 6 months (by exercising and eating healthy). I know so many people who have set out to loose weight but given up half-way through. So what made her succeed?

  • Positivity. She is in general a very happy, positive person. During the whole process she has focused more on the benefits of her changed lifestyle rather than the difficulties. I.e. she focused on how much better she felt, and looked, rather than on that ice-cream and chocolate she had given up, to reach her goal.
  • Goals. She set her self a clear goal, with smaller goals to celebrate along the way.
  • Babysteps. She didn't try to change all of her bad habits in a day or two. In the beginning she only focused on improving her eating habits. Then she gradually started exercising.
  • Resilience. Like most of us, she had her weak moments. The key to success is getting back on track rather than loosing oneself in self-pity and despair.
  • Role-model and/or support. One of her friends had recently succeeded in reaching a similar goal. This friend was both her role-model and support throughout the process.
  • Internal Drive. She was fed up, and wanted to loose weight for her own well being. I think this is essential and that it is difficult, perhaps almost impossible, to reach your goal if it is only motivated by what you think you should do.

Are there other factors that you consider important ingredients in the recipe for success?

Have a wonderful weekend! /Di.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Staying Healthy While On the Road

This is a guest post from Mike Manning, who writes about health and positivity on his blog Manning's Musings.

Staying Healthy While On the Road

We've always suspected, but now the Mayo Clinic confirms it for us that being on the road makes eating right and getting the right exercise a lot more difficult. Whether you are headed on the road for a much-needed vacation or you have to travel regularly for business, you'll find that it is extremely hard to find ways to stick with your regular exercise regimen. Here are some tips to keep up the fitness battle on the road.

Plan Ahead

When you are booking your hotel, it is worth your time to see what kind of exercise facilities that they have. For example, many people find that staying at a hotel with a gym allows them to keep up with their exercise while they are on the road. Make sure to do some research on reviews sites on what type of amenities that hotels offer in the area. On a recent trip to Las Vegas I searched many reviews on hotels in Las Vegas that were in my price range. I ended up booking one that fit my personality and price range perfectly. It will truly make your trip much more enjoyable if you are in a place that fits your personality. You may get a chance to try out new exercise equipment when you are there, or maybe you can get a few laps in in the hotel pool. If the hotels do not have a gym, consider finding a hotel with a trail area where you can walk or jog.


When you want to make progress with anything, you need to think about how you can do it consistently. If you are someone who has created a workout habit, do not allow your time on the road to break it. Too many people allow their exercise routines to get disrupted while they are traveling. Not only does this make your exercise harder to get back to, you will also discover that it can slow your process. When you are consistent about getting exercise even when you are on the road, you will continue to progress.

Eating Well

Part of staying healthy while you are on the road is eating well. When you are traveling, you are often confronted with a lot of food options that are not your usual choices. Skip the fast food, and if you cannot, stay away from anything that is fried. Opt for green salads and fruit. If your hotel has a kitchen, do some of your own cooking instead of eating out. Not only will this keep more money in your pocket, it will prevent you from taking on calories that you do not need.

Exercise After Driving

Have you ever noticed how tired you feel after driving? Many people feel quite fatigued after they have been driving for a while, and all they want to do is to slouch around the hotel room. The truth is that after all of the time cooped up in the car, it is a lot better for you to do a small amount of exercise. This will reinvigorate you and help you sleep more soundly. Remember that even doing a bit of exercise is far better than doing none at all.

Take a few moments to consider what your options are when it comes to eating well and getting enough exercise while on the road. It takes some time and some planning, but it is an entirely possible goal. Think about how important exercise and good food are to your schedule and move on from there.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

weekly planner

Experts agree that one of they keys to success when it comes to reaching your goals is accountability.

I have been thinking about how to make myself more accountable, and just came across this idea. Christine from the Positivity Project has made her own weekly planner, including all her goals and commitments, and updates it live.

I think her template for the weekly planner is awesome, and it incorporates most of the things that I would want to have in my weekly overview. And by making your plan public you get an extra incentive to keep your commitments...which is exactly what I need!

So I've filled out my weekly planner for this week, and will be updating it daily:) I am looking forward to the week ahead. Cheers, Di.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

next project

It's been almost a year since I started the "happiness project". The project has brought many good things to my life. I feel happier, more positive, stronger, even a little bit healthier. On the other hand I am still chaotic, I still have problems with time management, with procrastination, and with completing tasks and projects.

There are many things that I would like to achieve in life. In my ideal world there would be no stress. I would have enough time to enjoy being with my kids, to do yoga, meditate, draw, paint, read. I would be near nature, climb mountains and swim in the ocean. I would be a vegeterian, grow my own food, make everything from scratch. I would give to others and find a way to help others improving their quality of life.

As I look back on the last 12 months, I realize that I was trying to do everything at the same time. When you try to do everything at the same time, the changes in each area can be so incremental that it can be a bit discouraging. So perhaps it is more effective to tackle one thing in you life, before moving to the next? So where to start?

Well after some consideration, I decided to start with money. Not because I think money is the most important thing in my life, but because I think it is necessary to get my finances under control. My debt, and perhaps more so my inability to get rid of it, causes me stress, sense of failure and imprisonment.

My consumer debt is about 10 thousand usd. About the same as it was a year ago! The main focus for the next few months is to improve my relationship with money, improve my financial skills, and find ways to spend less and/or earn more.

But I still want to focus on happiness, positivity, peace of mind etc. So here is an idea that I think will not take my focus too much away from my financial goal. I recently watched the Ted talk below: Fake it until you Become it. And was very inspired. So I thought that each month I could focus on a quality that I would like to possess, and focus on "becoming it". E.g. as I want to be more confident (energetic, positive, healthy, etc.) I will take a few minutes in the morning to pose as confident person, and think about how I can go through my day as a confident human being.

So this is what I am thinking, although I am still figuring out the details.

I would also love to hear about your own experience with doing a happiness project:) What has worked for you? And what has not?
cheers, Di.

Friday, May 3, 2013

May: Impeccable Faith

hello! it's been a while...

Although I've continued to think about and work toward my goals in the last few weeks, it has been a little bit unfocused and disorganized. I am inherently a rather chaotic person, so I think that in some sense I needed a break from resolutions, goals, to-do lists, etc. But although I accept that I am a bit chaotic by nature, the chaos in my life has grown out of control, and I need to (and want to) continue my journey to a simpler and happier life...

So now I am back to blogging and making resolutions charts:)

May is the 12th month of my project. I am going to use this month to reduce the chaos, to find more peace and serenity in my life. I also want to focus on faith. For the next 30 days I am going to have faith that things are as they are supposed to be, I will let go of the need to control all things in my life. I'll to have faith in myself and in my abilities, and I am going to believe that I am able to reach the goals that I set for myself.

Instead of introducing new resolutions, I decided to look back, and focus on the resolutions that helped me finding peace and happiness in the last 11 months. So this month I will:

  • go to bed before 10pm
  • read
  • meditate everyday
  • do yoga everyday
  • keep gratitude journal
  • drink plenty of water and herbal tea
  • keep my nightstand uncluttered
  • have faith

I am happy to be back:)
luv, Di.