Seven Reasons to Give Thanks

November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Blessings

 

Thanksgiving Day is a day of rest and time to reflect on our many blessings. I offer some food for thought on seven reasons to give thanks. May your day be full of joy as you contemplate the many reasons for an attitude of gratitude in your life!

The seven reasons (health, home, family, friendships, work, worship, and country), and these are not in any particular order of importance, are listed below with some reasons why they should be worthy of your gratitude.

Health – I always say “Your health is your wealth” when I try to explain to someone why they may need to consider a certain regimen in their health care. It is a much better quality of life when you can maintain health rather than work at trying to regain it! When you are sick, you may not feel well, lack energy and focus, feel anxious or depressed, have pain or limited mobility, and much more. When you recover, it is easy to feel a sense of gratitude for the renewed energy, etc. It is more difficult to remember to be thankful when you are feeling well but cultivating an attitude of gratitude is one way to help you stay healthy. Being grateful and giving thanks actually help boost your immune system and give you a sense of well-being, happiness, and joy. Your life is fuller! So give thanks for your good health! (And if your health is not so good give thanks anyway that you recognize this fact and then do all that is in your power to improve it.)

Home – Home is where the heart is! Your home is your haven. It is where you can rest, relax, enjoy family and friends, and so much more. Your home is your compass. It is the center of your existence. Without a home, you have no focal point from which to proceed. Your home environment helps to shape who you are. If you feel safe at home, you can proceed into the world with confidence. If your home provides shelter and a warm and loving atmosphere, you can thrive in whatever you do. I hope you can feel gratitude for your home and all that it provides for you.

Family – Your family provides the relationships that you need for your existence. No man is an island! Those relationships nurture you through love, affirmation, nurturing, mentoring, and other facets of relationship that are the glue of your being. These core aspects of relationship form who you are and prepare you for life outside of the home, in the work place and in society in general. May you find love, peace, and joy in your home and in your family and may you recognize them through gratitude in the way that you respond in your family relationships.

Friendships – Your friendships are the “icing on the cake” of interacting in the world. They are an added bond that brings you to a fuller realization of your worth. Positive interactions in these relationships help to propel you to generosity of heart that is so needed in the world. May your friendships bring you to the awareness of gratitude for those relationships in your life.

Work – While work can be hard, and at times can be a source of stress, work is actually a good thing. It provides for financial security. Work also brings structure to your life and satisfaction in a job well done and adds dignity and a sense of self worth. Just ask anyone who has lost their job and they will talk about depression, anxiety, and loss of self esteem. Through your work you not only help yourself and your dependents, you also provide goods and services that are needed in your community. Your work benefits others and this also brings wholeness to your life. So why wouldn’t you be grateful for employment?

Worship – We live in a country where we have freedom of religion! That is our sacred right! We were created with the instinct and attraction to the Divine so we can offer gratitude that we recognize this innate need and that we have the freedom to express that part of our being. Thank You, Lord God Almighty!

Country – We live in the greatest country in the world. We have freedom, security, wealth, and justice. While our county is not perfect, it was founded on sound principles and we are blessed to have a Constitution that affirms that we are endowed with inalienable rights. Gratitude is in order here!

May God bless you and may God bless America!

Feel free to post your reasons below for gratitude this Thanksgiving Day!

 


Overcoming Obstacles to Exercise

February 20, 2013

Air Cav infantry Soldiers compete in company challenge

We’ve almost completed two months of this new year! If you’re not on track with your exercise goals, here are some tips that you might consider.

If you aren’t reaching your goals, it could be because the goals are set too high, you can’t physically meet them, you aren’t emotionally prepared, you aren’t prioritizing your time, or you simply don’t want to succeed. There might also be other reasons or excuses. First determine which category you fall under. Really examine your motivations. Try to be as honest with yourself as you can. You might also want to solicit input from others. How do they see you in relation to your goals?

What to do if you have set your goals too high?

  • This is a common problem. At the beginning of the year, enthusiasm and hope tend to be high. We might overestimate our motivation for change.
  • Parceling goals into smaller sub-goals such as amount of time spent in exercise per day helps improve the odds of success. Try starting with only a few minutes, maybe only 5 minutes in the beginning, especially if you are physically de-conditioned or have physical challenges such as arthritis.
  • Stick with the same sub-goal until you have measured success before progressing on to more challenge. Success breeds success, so if you can feel some measure of success, this motivates you to continue.

What to do if you are physically unable to meet your exercise goals?

  • Determine what your physical challenges are and find ways around them.
  • Swimming, biking, and walking are easier on the joints than jogging.
  • If you have muscle weakness, you might try strengthening exercises. Even though these are not aerobic, the increase in muscle mass gained will help you burn more calories and lose weight. You will also feel more toned.
  • Warm up and cool down are always important to avoid injuries.
  • For more specific physical limitations, consult you healthcare provider to be sure that the exercise you want to attempt is safe.

What if you are emotionally unprepared?

  • There are a variety of reasons that this might be the case: anxiety, depression, stress, etc. Get medical treatment, if these emotions are robbing you of your ability to function in your daily activities.
  • Be aware that exercise helps improve your emotions so having that resolve to “just do it” is needed. For this, you might want to get an exercise partner that can help you stay motivated and encouraged.

What if you aren’t prioritizing your time?

  • There are many reasons for this, the most common is over-scheduling your day or over-committing yourself. It’s okay to say “no” when it is detrimental to your health!
  • For some it is easier to schedule the most important things earlier in the day to be sure that those get completed and scheduling the less important things later in the day when energy levels tend to be lower. Find what works for you and implement that in your scheduling.
  • There are many good books available that deal with time management. Coaching is also helpful.

What if you simply don’t want to succeed?

  • Knowing yourself is key here!
  • A common reason for self-sabotage is fear of success. Is this your reason? What are you afraid of? Dig deep and be honest with yourself. You might also want to solicit the help of someone that you trust and that you feel knows you well. Or maybe an impartial person who can help you to sort through your various reasons for lack of success.
  • Sometimes working with another person who is not succeeding is good because you can see the negative things in the other person that you tend to avoid seeing in yourself. As you reflect on these and are helping the other person overcome their challenges, you can begin to see how those challenges are also holding you back.

These are just a few suggestions. I’m sure you can think of more! Feel free to post your ideas below or to contact me with your questions.

You CAN succeed!


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