10 Ways to Take Charge of Your Life NOW

take charge

We all want to feel like we’re in charge of our lives, having everything together. The unfortunate truth is that many of us struggle to take charge of our lives and feel like we’re lacking some control. This happens even more when we get around those who seem to have control of their lives with everything they need at their fingertips.

In my quest to defeat depression in my life, I have discovered ten ways to start to take control of my life.

1) Be diligent in taking yourself

It’s crucial to make time in your week to devote to self-care. The busier you get, the harder it seems to be to make time for yourself and, unfortunately, that’s when you need it most. Make time to take care of your personal needs, whatever they may be. After all, if you’re not at your best how can you expect to do your best work. Taking charge of your schedule and your personal health is an important first step to take control of your life.

2) Do what you want, despite convention

A big part of taking charge in your life is putting an end to the bad habit of letting others have a say in what you do. Don’t disregard good advice but ultimately live a life that is yours.

3) Get organized

This step may seem a little different and trivial compared to the others but getting organized is an important part of taking control of your life. Being organized can help to lessen your stress and anxiety, keep you in command of your schedule, and make your life easier overall.

4) Remember the power of “no”

While it’s important to be open to new experiences and opportunities, it’s more important to know your limitations. You can’t do everything, and no one can expect you to. You have to prioritize and say no to some things to keep your sanity. The decision of what to say no to should be left entirely up to you, allowing you to take charge in your life.

5) Be open to new opportunities

It’s easy to let saying no get out of hand and become closed off to new opportunities, experiences, and adventures. If a new opportunity comes your way, weigh it out. Consider the following: is it good for you; is it something you want to do or a stepping stone to something you want? If you answered yes to either of those questions, don’t let the opportunity slip through your fingers.

6) Make a goal list

Making a goal list is a good way to take charge of your future. It’s most effective when you parse your goals into multiple, reachable goal lists. This will help ensure you actually achieve your goals rather than just making the list and setting it aside. Be sure to measure your progress as you go, so you know where you stand.

7) Make “By the time I’m [age]” lists

Slightly different than the generic goal list we mentioned above, the “By the time I’m…” list is for things you want to have or have achieved by that age.

For example, common “By the time I’m 30” lists include things like getting married, getting set up in a career, and starting a family, while common things found on “By the time I’m 65” lists are retirement, moving to the beach, and traveling more frequently. These lists can help you keep track of what you want and ensure that you’re getting the most out of your life and taking charge of it.

8) Strive to empower and be empowered by others

One way to truly take charge of your life and ensure you’re headed in the right direction is to both be an example to others and learn things from others. It’s important to learn from those around you and allow them to inspire and empower you. It’s also important to strive to empower others and to be the best example you can be.

9) Stop settling

If you’ve been wasting your time settling for things you don’t really want, you’ll wind up wasting your life on adequacy. While in certain cases, settling is excusable or even acceptable, you can’t settle with everything in your life. A big part of taking charge of your life is getting rid of or turning down things you either don’t want or are detrimental to you.

10) Love and accept yourself

The only way in which you’ll ever take charge of your life is if you accept yourself for who you are, accept what you want in life, and treat yourself with love and kindness. Accept and appreciate the things you want in life, because if you don’t, who will.

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A Healthy Lifestyle is 100% Mindset – You Can Do It!

100% mindsetTo live a healthy & fit life, 20% of your results will come from your workouts, 80% from your nutrition, but 100% from your MINDSET. Think of the reasons you either got to the point where you are or gave up in the past.

“I can’t get motivated…. I don’t have time…  I don’t have the discipline to exercise….. I don’t have the self-control to stick to a diet….  I will never be a fit and healthy person… I can’t afford a gym….  I can’t afford healthy foods….”  ALL of these are SELF-LIMITING BELIEFS.

What if you knew that if you changed your mindset, you could achieve ANYTHING you want? It can be done through PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT. This is what the most successful people in the world do every day to start their day with a positive, goal-oriented mindset. This is what changed for me and started me down the path to defeating depression and living the life I truly desired . . . happy, healthy, purposeful!

A HUGE contributor to my mindset change was a book that I highly recommend, “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod. It helps sets the foundation of new habits that give YOU the POWER to change your life. It gave me the foundation I needed to take control of my life and stop being a victim to depression and to all of the things that happen in life that are out of our control.

Here is what I have learned during my journey, things that were keeping me from succeeding in my life.

1. No focus:  I didn’t set goals, I didn’t put my goals in writing, and didn’t keep my goals in mind daily (by reading them, affirming them, looking at a vision board, etc.).
2. No priorities: I didn’t create a system for my priorities and by not really setting goals in writing, I could I set priorities. They go hand in hand.
3. No support system: I tried to go at it alone; no buddy system, partners, friends, mentors or coaches to turn to for information and emotional support when the going got tough.
4. No Accountability: I didn’t share what I wanted to do, so I didn’t have anything to be accountable to. I didn’t up external accountability.
6. No planning: I winged it. For example, for my health and fitness journey I didn’t have a workout planned or a schedule or meal plans.

Are you guilty of any of these transgressions? If so, the solutions are clear and simple:
Focus, prioritize, get support, be accountable, be patient, and plan.

If you are looking for a supportive group where you can find all of this, check out our Facebook Group. I found my support in a Facebook Group and started my own to share what I learned there and create a loving and supportive community where we can all flourish.

Wishing you blue skies and sunshine.

Control Your Morning – Win the Day

morning

I used to lay in bed, kept hitting snooze, rolling over and snuggling up even tighter in my blankets not wanting to start the day. My mind, immediately upon waking, started with negative thoughts: I don’t want to get up, F&*k it’s that time already, and a whole lot of other shitty thoughts. By the time I actually get my ass out of bed, I have started my day in a shitty mood and my mind full of negativity. That’s what living with depression starts out like in the morning; and the day that followed kept the same mood flowing all day.

That’s what no control looks like. I let my negative thoughts lead my life. One day, I said no more. I am taking control of thoughts, my mind, my life. Through research and reading, I found that successful and happy people had many things in common and one of those is they take control of their morning with a routine that sets them up for success. I made a conscious choice to wake with certain thoughts and take certain actions that would help me start my day in a positive way.

Here are 6 habits I have adopted in my morning to set my day up to win.

  1. My first thought when the alarm goes off is “I am grateful to wake up today. I am grateful I get this day with my husband and family. It’s going to be a great day.” Honesty disclaimer: I still would rather roll over and stay in bed. I really like my bed; but my mind no longer thinks about that. I do not allow negative thoughts in my mind and I focus on gratitude.
  2. Personal Development Reading. I read for at least 15 minutes in the morning. It sets my mind up to look for ways to grow in my life and set my mindset to serve others.
  3. Journal. I take at least 10 minutes to journal. I start with 3 things I’m grateful for, 3 things that would make the day great and then affirmations. This trains my mind to focus on the positive, on the person I want to be and what I want to do.
  4. Drink water. Our bodies wake dehydrated. To get my body awake on the inside, I drink a bottle of water when I wake. Honesty disclaimer: Then I reach for my morning cup of coffee 🙂
  5. Exercise. Exercising for even just a few minutes in the morning significantly boosts my energy, enhances my health, improves self-confidence, emotional well-being and enables my brain to function better. Exercise has become my new medicine for depression.
  6. Breakfast. Our bodies has been fasting for hours and needs fuel to get moving. My morning breakfast is a delicious super-food smoothie. This makes it simple to make, it includes foods that fuel my body and brain. This has been integral to my healing.

Creating a routine that includes all of these habits has helped my defeat depression. It changes my mindset when I take action. It changes my mindset because I am consciously controlling my thoughts and not slipping into my old negative thought patterns. It changes how I feel overall. My body feels good and I mentally feel good, because I have accomplished something to begin the day.

Try it for 21 days  (the amount of time the “experts” say it takes to create a new habit). You have nothing to lose, everything to gain.

If you have any questions or want help to set up a morning routine that will work for you, please message me. Nothing brings me greater joy than to share what I’ve learned about defeating depression and living a happy, purposeful life.

Wishing you blue skies and sunshine,

Dawn

Exercise Helped Me Defeat Depression – It Can Help You Too!

designWhen I decided to take an active role in defeating depression, I did hundreds of hours of reading and researching. I knew I had to make big changes in my life, create new habits and create new thoughts. I came across two books that ‘spoke’ to me: The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod and The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. The Miracle Morning is based on creating a morning routine that includes Silence, Affirmations, Visualizations, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing (SAVERS). I knew that starting the day differently would help me start the day with a more positive mindset, a different mindset. So this is where I started. I will get into the SAVRS in another post. This post is about the E.

But, I have to admit that exercise is of one of the hardest habits I started on my journey to take control of my life and defeat depression. It was also the most profound in helping me. This wasn’t about losing weight. This was about making healthy decisions for my body and mind that would be empowering, boost my self-confidence, and positively impact all areas of your life. It was much easier said than done. Motivation runs out and excuses get easier. I knew I had to just do it now matter how I felt. What I found was working out in the morning is energizing! It is also mentally satisfying, because it’s something BIG accomplished early and it give me the feeling that I can do anything that day! This was HUGE for me!

The problem I had when I started was that I knew I wanted to exercise at home. I didn’t want to drive to a gym in the morning. I don’t like working out at the gym. I know this because my husband is in the gym 4-5 days a week. I would go with him sometimes and I just find it intimidating. Having always been filled with self-doubt, I felt like I was doing things wrong, or I was self-conscious that didn’t look as good as the other ladies. It just added my more anxiety to my life instead of making me feel better. So, I started using YouTube videos and it worked fine; but it was still lots of work to find the days workout.

I was fortunate to stumble across a health and fitness coach who uses Beachbody programs, and said yes to that online workout program (hundreds of workouts), yes to proper nutrition, and yes to myself. The workouts are easy to stream on my TV or laptop, there are so many options, there are schedules (which I need) within each program, there are modifications in the workouts for beginners (like me), meal plans, recipes and lots of motivation. I needed EASY because I am really good at excuses. Having to only hit play and follow made it much harder to come up with excuses that I could live with.

What I also got was an amazing group of women on their fitness and wellness journey, too. I became part of an online community that supports each other, cheers each other on, and we even workout together online sometimes. I have made some wonderful friends along the way. I have learned that I am stronger than I believed I was (depression does that). I have learned that almost everyone has something they struggle with. I wasn’t alone in struggling with depression and self-doubt. I’ve been part of this group for one year now and not sure if I could have stayed committed without them.

I feel so strongly about how much this has helped me, that I have said YES to being a wellness coach with this fitness company. I am empowered by how it helped me defeat depression and I have to share it with everyone who is on a journey to feel better and stronger (mentally and physically), who are looking for a stepping stone for an overall happy, healthy life.

 

 

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind?

I just don’t want to feel depressed anymore! What can I do?

Found out that I can do A LOT!

The light bulb went off in my head after trying a new medication. The medication helped me focus at first, but the side effects of feeling drugged and feeling nothing weren’t worth it. I hated it. Then it hit me! Why was I looking to medication first to fix my mind?

I think of it applied to, say, my car. When it runs out of gas, I don’t take it to the shop and ask for a new engine or a major repair. I instead, give it the proper fuel it needs and the car runs fine again. Or at an oil change, I request the high mileage oil because it helps the engine in my car run better than the low mile, low quality oil. I want the car to run well, so I put the best fuel in it and take care of it with regular maintenance.

I am doing some things to try to manage depression, like my morning routine, SAVERS, which I will share more on in another post. When I have bad days, though, my first thoughts are that my medication may need to be adjusted, or maybe try another one.

WHY did I not think to change my fuel?

WHY did I  not think I needed more “maintenance” aka exercise?

Maybe because I wanted an easy solution. Maybe because I just didn’t connect the dots.

In any case, I wasn’t doing that with my body which fuels my mind. I was eating kind of healthy and exercising kind of regular; which gave me kind of an OK result. I don’t want to feel OK. I want to feel good….. GREAT! So, when I realized I wasn’t giving my body all of the nutrients it needs to operate at its best, I set out to change it. I spent hours researching food nutrients, what my body needs, what helps boost the brain; and I created a list of foods I need everyday. It’s a process and I am spending 30 minutes everyday learning more and creating meal plans that fuel my body and mind (I will post this information in future posts).

I have also added at least 30 minutes of exercise a day into my schedule. This is a priority and cannot be skipped. I know that doing this daily will make me feel better mentally, and also make my body stronger and healthier. It’s just like taking my medication daily. I don’t skip that, so why would I skip exercise?

I guess its about taking responsibility for my mental health and doing everything I can to ward off depression. Instead of being passive and just letting life happen, letting depression happen; I am becoming an active participant in how I feel.  I have the power! I know I can’t just delete depression from my life; but I sure as hell can put up a better fight!