Are You Living or Merely Existing? PDF Print E-mail
Perceptions - Self-Improvement
Written by Gerry Henderson   
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Do you wake up every morning full of energy and excitement for the day ahead? Or do need 3 cups of coffee before you can drag yourself out of bed; only to face yet another day of chores, demands and meaningless work, before collapsing onto the sofa for an evening of mind-numbing TV? Are you watching your life slip uncontrollably through your fingers at ever-increasing speed? We live in a fantasy that life goes on forever; we plan to do things differently tomorrow, yet 'tomorrow' never comes. We wait patiently for opportunities to miraculously just fall into our laps; yet rarely do these ever arrive.




So many people spend the majority of their adult lives enduring unsatisfying careers; just waiting for the next holiday or retirement so that they can finally do what they enjoy. Vocational dreams are abandoned through fear of failure, or lack of self belief. Others stay in difficult relationships, which stress and drain them on a daily basis; because to leave and seek the happiness they deserve means taking a risk and stepping outside of their comfort zone. Millions of people spend their lives overweight, yo-yo dieting and on a rollercoaster of highs and lows, because they fail to see that the real solution to weight loss lies within them?


The only guaranteed time we have is RIGHT NOW, so if you want to be able to look back at the end of your life with no regrets, then NOW is the time to take action and really start living. Sometimes the hardest part to making changes and living a life you love is just getting started. So give the following steps a try, and start putting the energy, fun and passion back into your life right now...


1. Get active

Getting active gives us more energy, helps get rid of stress and releases all of the feel good hormones. How can you get more active right now? Can you go for a 10 minute walk/run? Do some gardening, lift some weights, stretch, park your car further away and walk, play with the kids, or book into an exercise class. It's a vicious circle; doing no exercise makes us feel grumpy, sluggish and tired; just bite the bullet and do something regardless. Decide on one small way to get more active TODAY. How can you get more active EVERYDAY?


2. Get back to basics with food

Stop eating processed foods and get back to basics. Eating a wide variety of fresh, wholesome food will not only improve your health and give you more energy, but it's also great for weight loss and ensuring that you stay healthy. Ditch sugar and processed foods; cut down on caffeine, drink more water and swop white bread, pasta and rice for wholemeal. Fresh, wholesome food can be just as cheap as processed and if you think that you're too busy to cook from scratch; try making double quantities of soups and one pot dishes so that they can be frozen and heated up in the microwave as and when. So why not pick up some cookbooks, get inspired and discover the real joy of food?

What one change can you make to improve your diet right now? Remember what you eat is a direct reflection of how you really value yourself.


3. Learn to relax

Stress is a major factor in most serious illnesses; too much of it also doesn't make us nice people to be around! When we're trying to juggle career and family, shopping, housework and all of the other demands we place on ourselves, relaxing is usually bottom of our list of priorities. With social media and mobile phones etc, we are often on call 24 hours a day ( even when we feel we are relaxing, we are often checking Hotmail, Facebook and texts!) However, you NEED to relax. Taking time out for ourselves, is not only incredibly beneficial for our health, but also gives us time to reflect and focus; making us much more productive, calmer and nicer people. Work out what works for you; maybe it's meditation, reading, having a soak in the bath, reading or listening to music etc.
So make a commitment to yourself today, to spend at least 10 minutes every day relaxing totally. Turn your phone and computer off and do whatever works for you.


4. Value yourself

If you don't value yourself, then is unlikely anyone else is going to either. You are an amazing individual, but sometimes you may need to remind yourself of this. Make a list of your major achievements in life so far. List all of your natural strengths and talents, then go and do one thing right now to use one of those strengths. How can you use these strengths and talents every day either at home or work? Remember to value yourself on the outside as well as the inside; take pride in your appearance and make sure that you feel good for you.


5. Stop tolerating!

Tolerations drain our time, energy and can sap our self-esteem and self-development. Write a list of all of the things that you're tolerating; from cupboard doors that need fixing, leaky taps, clothes that need mending through to negative friends, rude bosses and poor customer service etc. Deal with one thing today and get it crossed off your list. Aim to deal with at least one toleration each week.


6. Write a list of 20 things that you want to do before you die

I know that it's morbid, but life is for living and the time to take action towards living the life you want is not tomorrow, next week or next year, it's RIGHT NOW. Imagine you were on your death-bed; what things would you regret if you DON'T do them? Think about your ambitions, goals and aims in life and write down the top 20 things that you really want to achieve. Pick one goal to start working on, and do one small thing to bring you closer towards you goal TODAY. What will you do tomorrow?


7. Identify what's holding you back

Is someone or something stopping you from achieving what you want and living a life you love? Is a lack of confidence or fear of failure holding you back? Write down what these things have cost you in your life so far. Have they stopped you from going for a promotion or asking someone out on a date etc? Now write down how different your life would be if these things hadn't held you back. Decide TODAY to TAKE ACTION and stop being held back. Speak to a coach and together you can develop an action plan to identify self-limiting beliefs, learn new techniques and strategies for developing confidence, and be empowered to move forward in your life. Invest time in dealing with these; if you keep doing the same things nothing will ever change.


8. Do what you love

The more you focus on the negative things in your life, the more you will get them! Take some time to think about the things that you love doing. This may be catching up with friends, walking in the countryside, going to the theatre, cooking, reading a great novel or playing with the kids etc. Make an effort to do more of the things that you love everyday; the more positive experiences you have in your life the more positive things you will attract. What one thing can you do that you love right now?


9. Stretch your comfort zone

Our comfort zone is our mental boundary within which we feel safe and secure. To venture outside of this makes us feel uncomfortable and fearful. However, if you never step outside of this you will never realise your true potential and will never achieve the things that you're capable of. Instead of taking a giant leap outside, why not stretch your comfort zone instead? Try doing little things differently everyday; such as speaking to new people, driving home a new way, learning a new skill, cooking from a different culture or watching a film in a genre that you're unfamiliar with. Each time you do something different you will make your comfort zone a little bit bigger and become more and more confident in your own abilities.


10. Take action RIGHT NOW!

You are amazing! You are capable of achieving wonderful things and living a totally awesome life. The secret to success is taking CONTINUOUS ACTION. It doesn't matter how small the step you take each day is; by taking action EVERY DAY you will be constantly moving closer towards the life you dream of... eventually you WILL get there. Create a vision of your ideal life, write down the goals you need to get there, break them down into smaller milestones and take 5 little steps everyday towards each of your milestones.


Think about how your life could look in 6 months if you make changes and take action. Now consider how it will look in 6 months time if you DON'T take action...will it be more of the same?


By Gerry Henderson

Gerry Henderson is a personal and professional coach; helping others improve confidence, self worth, find their true values, and put the passion and balance back into life. Passionate about helping people realise their true potential and discover what they CAN do, but don't; Gerry strives motivate and inspire others.


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