With so many people out there set on complaining rather than taking control, it can be hard to get away from the constant negativity. Our friends, family members, co-workers, peers and passersby mean well, but their actions consistently show that little will change. As a result, our decisions to improve become more challenging. We find ourselves trapped between worlds, torn between mindsets and tired of deciding which direction to go. We feel certain we don’t like being out of shape, uncomfortable and unhappy, but we’re unsure about going against the grain and suddenly being the odd man out. As crazy as it sounds, many out there know it can be awkward to be the only happy and healthy person in a room of loved ones hooked on harming themselves. The looks of irritation burn through your whole being and for some odd reason, you’re suddenly harassed about all the reasons you made it work while others are destined to be victims of failure. Unfortunately, it often seems nearly impossible to reply with a good ol’ “shut the hell up and get your ass moving Mr/Ms. Excuses!!”
Ultimately, the actions (or lack of actions) and opinions of others cannot get in our way of success. The decisions we make to take our lives in a better direction must be done with our own priorities in mind and it can only be our hope that others will be inspired to do the same. Start today and take a step closer to living life on your own terms. Here are 6 things to focus on during your journey…
Identify your priorities – not the ones that revolve around your friends, family or anyone other than yourself. Try to focus on qualities you want to portray, habits you want to last a lifetime and feelings you want filling your days.
Be honest with yourself about your support system. The harsh reality is, most people starting their journey to a healthier lifestyle don’t have a huge support system. While there might be tons of people who say “great,” they won’t necessarily lace up their shoes to start running with you. Don’t put the responsibility on others to keep you going – this journey is yours and yours alone. At the same time though, knowing at least one person is there for you can be huge. If you know someone who’s already on their path to greatness, express an interest in being part of it! If you don’t know anyone “in person” per-say, don’t be afraid to reach out to an acquaintance or stranger. When I began my fit life, I sent a Facebook message to a friend’s brother who I knew was into fitness. I expressed that I wanted to be more active and asked for advice. For months after that first contact was made, we sent messages almost daily with the goal of giving advice, getting each other motivated and providing support.
Find your own space! No matter how much you have going on or how many people are around you every second of the day, you must must must find somewhere for yourself. Spending at least 5-10 minutes a day all by yourself will help keep you centered and focused on your goals. Take a bath, stop by the park for a few minutes, go for a walk, create a special space in your home, etc… Be creative and don’t be afraid to put yourself first.
Take personal responsibility. Yes, most of us are terrible at this… even though we’d like to argue otherwise. Right here, right now, drop the past and move forward. It doesn’t matter if you’ve pointed the finger at someone else every day of your life until now. What matters is making this process about YOU, your strengths, your weaknesses, your goals, your dreams and your actions. The only thing you can control is yourself – never forget that.
Stop worrying about others. No, that doesn’t mean turn into a heartless self-centered prick. However, it does mean you should take a deep breath and walk away physically, emotionally and mentally from the opinions, judgements and criticisms of others. The second you start looking and feeling better, a lot of people will have something to say about it… whether it’s said to your face or behind your back is a different story. Don’t spend a second of your precious time or energy worrying about that. Compliments are incredible, but should only motivate you to keep going! Condemnations are more often than not a reflection of how someone feels about himself/herself, not you and your progress. At the end of the day, you feeling incredible about yourself is what counts!
Don’t apologize for your good choices!! There will almost certainly be times when people make you feel like you’re somehow a bad guy for trying to become better, faster, stronger, more dedicated and actually making positive changes. Your success is a wonderful story to be told and the insecurities of others are not your problem, period. If you’re ever confronted with negativity, emphasize how proud of yourself you are that you set new priorities, made time for change and put yourself first. Your sincerity and positive energy will shine through. Just be yourself and keep moving in the right direction!!
To YOU, your journey and your happily ever after,