What If…

What if today you…

-Quit worrying and just acted instead.

-Stopped waiting for, “I’m sorry,” and said it first.

-Got up and declared “Today I’m going to do one thing that brings me closer to the person I really want to be.”

-Looked your spouse in the eyes and said, “You are the love of my life.”

-Looked at your child and said, “I believe in you.”

-Looked in the mirror and said, “I give myself the freedom to be who I am.”

What would your day look like? Shouldn’t it look like this?

One Thing You Can’t Escape…

Folks… I’m hearing a lot of stories of people going through unhappy times. It’s rough – I know. Sometimes, life just kind of deals you a bad hand and you have to make difficult choices on how you respond. My prayer for you is that you respond in the best way possible…

But here’s the thing – the largest number of people that I’m hearing about who are having a hard time with a particular situation brought it on themselves with bad decisions. Now, nobody is going to make good decisions 100% of the time but here’s the inescapable truth – you have to live with the consequences of your decisions 100% of the time, whether they were good or bad. Take your time and really think about what you’re doing and why – especially when the decision involves your faith, health, family, career and money. These are the biggest categories that give us BIG trouble when we repeatedly make bad decisions. If you’re facing one of these challenges, I encourage you to get past your pride, get past your insecurity, get past the blaming,  quit running from the issue and get to work on fixing the real problem. It’s not always easy but it has to be done. What other choice do you have?

Your Quality of Life Depends of Two Big Things

Two of the most important factors that will determine your quality of life are:

1. Your Health
2. Your Relationships

Your health is an obvious factor. It’s very difficult to have a high quality of life if your struggling with health issues (How did the flu affect your quality of life last time you had it?). While not all of them can be avoided, studies show that around 80% of the chronic diseases we deal with in the U.S. are lifestyle related. That means we could avoid most of them by changing what we eat and getting some excercise. I’ve found the more fruits and vegetables I eat, the more I crave them. Make a habit of eating well and excercising and your body will return the favor by giving you energy and a sense of well-being. Try it. If you stick with it through the first 30 days, you’re well on your way to making it a habit.

Next are our relationships. What is the quality of your life if you surround yourself with negative people? What affect does a toxic friendship have on your peace of mind? What kind of mood were you in after you last fight with your spouse? 85% of the joy that we experience in life is based on relationships. That statistic has always interested me because most of us don’t give our relationships the care and attention they need.  Our tendency is to let them operate on auto-pilot, which at some point is likely to carry them off course. Put some time, care and focus into your relationships and see what effect the extra attention has on your quality of your life. Just a few words of affection and support to your spouse and your kids can go a LONG way. Setting aside time to in your schedule to show your friends and family they are a priority also goes a long way in ensuring a strong, healthy bond with them. Healthy relationships will do wonders for your quality of life.

In what ways, today, can you begin improving how you care for your health and the most important people in your life?

Let Your Someday be Today.

I once heard a message by my pastor and good friend, Pete Wilson, on the danger of using the word “someday” too much. It really struck a chord with me. If you use the word “someday” often when you’re talking about your future plans, those plans probably will stay just dreams; they’ll never happen. How often have you said these things?

“Someday I’ll take more time off.”

“Someday I’ll start jogging.”

“Someday I’ll pray more.”

“Someday I’ll say I’m sorry.”

“Someday I’ll give more.”

“Someday I’ll save more money.”

“Someday I’ll follow my dreams.”

“Someday I’ll stop drinking.”

“Someday I’ll eat better.”

“Someday I’ll be a better parent.”

“Someday I’ll be a better spouse.”

“Someday I’ll be the person I know I can be.”

Most of the time, “somedays” never come. They stay out just ahead of us in the future. We become comfortable with saying, “someday.” It’s easier to say it than it is to do what you know you should.

Don’t let “someday” rule your life. Don’t let it become the norm. Fight the urge to say it over and over. Figure out how to turn “someday I’ll…” into “Today I’m…” Stop thinking that a better life is always in the future. You can take your first steps to your changing your life today. All it takes is movement forward. You don’t have to do it all in one fail swoop – just take one step. Once you do, you’ll begin to feel the momentum. The more steps you take, the clearer your path will become. The difference between “someday” being a dream and a reality is action.

You have the choice. Make today the day your “somedays” start to happen.

What’s your biggest “someday” and what’s the one step you can take today to move toward making it reality?

Your Dreams…

What you’ve done in the past got you where you are today.

If you do your best, you can go MUCH further.

If you go beyond your best and stretch your limits,  you can achieve your DREAMS.

So…

Think beyond your limits. 

Plan beyond your limits.

Do beyond your limits.

Now, watch what happens.

Remember this:  The thing that limits us most is not our ability or intelligence but our BELIEF of whether we can do it or not.  Change your beliefs and you change your life.

Get Away from Negative and Draining People

The Bible says, “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.” It’s hard to have happiness in your heart when you’re surrounded by negative and draining people. Surround yourself with a community of people who are positive, energized and balanced. If you do, you will be amazed at the difference in your state of mind. These are tough times for many, no doubt. But you can choose to wallow or climb. It’s easier to climb with people who are moving with you and not against you.

Do not underestimate the influence of those around you. Make sure those people are part of your solution, not the problem.

What You Think (to Yourself) Matters

The human mind is an amazingly complex and powerful thing.  It not only controls your body function, it can literally change the world.  What you think and the actions you decide to take affect you and your surroundings as you act.   One miracle of the mind with which I have always been fascinated is the ability to turn a thought into something tangible.  If you act upon your thoughts, you can take an idea and transform it into something you hold in your hand.  Amazing.   Our world was built upon this ability.  The car you drive, the house in which you live, the clothes you’re wearing, the computer on which you’re reading this post, all started as just an idea in someone’s mind.   If you’re able to grasp this, you begin to realize you hold an amazing amount of power within your mind.

We all have lots of ideas of how our lives should be.   Sadly, rather than acting upon those thoughts, we oftentimes let them just stay dormant in our minds.  That’s a waste.

I point this out because too many of us are thinking of creative ways to make our lives better yet we’re not acting on those thoughts.  Maybe it’s fear, apathy or even fatigue.   But, perhaps, there’s never been a more appropriate time to begin acting on those thoughts.  Take what your passionate about - what you enjoy most in life and begin thinking about how to increase it’s existence in your world.  Expand your thinking and stop telling yourself it can never happen.  Stretch your mind to consider the “impossible” as possible for you.  This is where you start.  The next phase includes writing it down, making a plan and then taking massive action on that plan every day.  Sure, you’re likely to hit some hurdles.  But when they appear, creatively work on getting over them.  This time, don’t let those hurdles stop you.  For most of us, we’re capable of so much more than we’ve done.  Don’t let that depress you - let it inspire you!   Don’t let your thoughts of how to be happy and how to make your world better sit dormant any longer.  Let them transform your world.

So, what thoughs will you begin acting on today?

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