I can admit it: I’m a self-help junkie. I’ll trade a Nicholas Sparks book for some “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” anytime (I’d rather let Channing Tatum tell me the story via Netflix anyway).
If you’ve been in my office, you’ve likely spotted my collection of titles from which I pull favourites for clients (and for myself). As a life coach, I’m constantly thinking of ways to improve, and to help my clients do the same; so I may be contradicting myself here with what I’m about to tell you: but sometimes, to really improve things, you have to put the proverbial self-help book down.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a ton of helpful information out there that can inspire positive change in your life. The problem is, if you don’t stop to smell the roses once in a while, you may never recognize or enjoy the improvements you’ve been working so hard for.
So consider your summer vacay officially in session and take a little break. Of course, my advice doesn’t come completely sans homework – you didn’t think I’d let you off the hook that easy, did ya?
Use it or lose it
Whether you’re a regular in the self-help aisle at Chapters or you prefer to just stick to your own personal life lessons, it’s important to take a time out to reflect on the things you’ve learned and put them into action. Write down those tidbits of wisdom that really resonate with you and create a plan of how you intend to put them into use in your everyday life. Knowledge is power, but you have to turn the power button on to make it work.
Celebrate your successes
I remember when my friends and I had finished college and all finally reached that sought-after goal of getting our first “grown-up” jobs – only to look at each other and go, “now what?”
When your life becomes all about chasing goals, it can be easy to lose sight of why you wanted to accomplish those things in the first place. On top of that, you’ve probably grown and changed along the way and you may find that you want different things than you thought you would.
Before you move on to the next thing on the to-do list, take some time to make sure your next goals still align with your vision, as opposed to doing something just because it’s on your list. And don’t forget to give yourself a nice little pat on the back and celebrate how far you’ve come too. Cheers to you!
Keep it Simple, Sweetheart
Think about what happiness means to you and pinpoint where that exists in your life now.
Often, it can be found in the simplest places.
Meditate in your underwear. Eat way too many popsicles. Listen to your fave Beyoncé song. Listen to it four times in a row while performing a self-choreographed dance for your cat (totally speaking from experience).
Whatevs! If it makes you feel good, go with it. If you have zero time to yourself, find two minutes in the day to give yourself a little warm-fuzzy, even if it’s just saying a few positive affirmations and doing some deep breathing while you pee. Do one thing each day simply for the reason that it makes you happy.
It may not be life-changing, “aha moment” happiness, but that no-strings-attached joy – the kind that you can hear in the belly laugh of a three-year-old chasing bubbles around in the backyard, is a beautiful thing. And experiencing that kind of happiness on some level each day can be pretty life-changing after all.
Faye Armstrong is a life coach based in Winnipeg who is passionate about living life to the fullest and helping others to do the same. For a little motivation or to learn more about personal coaching, visit http://www.fayeaarmstrong.com.