I’ve heard some people say they have no regrets, but that is not my story. Looking back at my life, it’s not the things I did that I regret as much as not doing the things I should have when I could have. I regret not taking advantage of the opportunities that were knocking at my front door. Step eight is all about opportunities, experiences and living!
The other day I was reading through some inspirational quotes and this one author summed it all up quite well in one concise sentence:
“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do.” – Paulo Coelho
I developed these eight steps because when I look back at my life, these are the steps I flowed through while re-building and reinventing myself.
The first step I took was to Sober Up. Nothing in my life would have improved if I didn’t change this one fundamental aspect of my life. Alcohol can be a de-motivator and it leads to poor eating choices. The second step I developed was to Improve My Diet by focusing primarily on consuming a basic, natural foods diet which contained the highest levels of nutrients necessary for good health and weight loss. The third step I incorporated into my life was to Condition My Body, so that instead of using unhealthy methods to control stress, anxiety and depression, I gave my body what it really needed to heal. EXERCISE!
After I removed alcohol from the equation, improved my diet and began to exercise regularly, I was able to begin focusing upon other areas in my life that needed attention. The fourth step I approached was to improve the condition of my maturing skin and Putting my Best Face Forward became a regular ritual. Step five was very important to me because Getting Rid of the Clutter simplified my life and eliminated many distractions I was unconsciously aware of. The more clutter I eliminated from my home, the lighter and more organized I felt! Step Six is my most important life practice and should be improved upon by each person. Learning to Relax and getting the right amount of quality sleep actually controls hormones in our bodies that are either bad for our health, or good for our health. Not to mention, sleep and relaxation help rejuvenate the brain and improves memory and cognition. Step seven is our Attitude, and attitude is 98% of what it takes to be successful at attaining any goal. If your attitude is poor, so will be your life. Once I had completed these seven steps, I was ready for step eight. Nike has a simple slogan, “Just Do It!”
When I was a young advertising representative in the early 1990’s, I had an artistically talented friend who was a graphic designer. While it was natural for me to maintain a positive outlook on life, my friend did not find it easy. It was my desire to include her in my new project, but she was a very negative person. One day, when I was describing my vision of the newspaper’s future to her, she burst out in tears! I was surprised by her response to my claims, so I consoled her enough to ask her why she was crying, and she told me this. She was so afraid of failure that she didn’t even want to be a part of my new project. Wow! I thought to myself, it’s so sad to consider all the awesome possibilities she will miss out on in life with an attitude and beliefs like those.
I have also known individuals who delay so many opportunities in their lives because of toxic beliefs such as, I’m too young, or I’m too old. Imagine not pursuing your dream of going to school because it will take four years to complete. Then, four years passes you by and you find yourself looking back, thinking to yourself – I could be graduating this year had I enrolled in school.
So many people miss out on the fun in life because of poor body image. When I was very young, I was guilty of this. I remember going on vacation with my family one summer to San Diego, California. We were at the beach, which is a place I absolutely love. I was so self-conscious of my legs that I laid on my blanket all day because I was too embarrassed to walk down to the water and swim. Not only did I almost suffer a heat stroke, I endured very serious sunburn!
Let’s not forget those individuals who spend their lives working hard towards retirement and forget to have fun. You know, the ones who die shortly after they retire because they lived a life of stress, sleep deprivation, unhealthy eating habits, no exercise and little joy. Don’t be one of them.
I have witnessed people start living once they have worked through my steps and improved their lifestyle. There are so many rewards to experience and the #1 reward is personal self-esteem which comes with feeling happier and healthier!
Step eight is to Go For It! Us older individuals often come to understand that time is too short, so it’s important to grasp opportunities when they present themselves to us. One unfortunate consequence to treating ourselves poorly and living unhealthy lifestyles, is that we often do not have the confidence in ourselves, or the energy it takes to go after the things in life we want. This is because we are either afraid of failure or rejection, or we just don’t believe in ourselves. Take control of your life right now! TODAY will determine what tomorrow brings you. Consider all the rewards and gifts in life waiting for you. You just need to make the effort to change enough to receive them.
Many years after my younger advertising days, I found myself in a rut. I had spent ten years working overtime at two jobs while drinking and eating excessively. I was not happy. I was depressed, yet covered it all up well with a big smile. However, I was also lonely.
One day I had had enough of my current situation. I got back in shape and became a wellness coach. I married a man I dated in high school who is my best friend. Together, we bought a farm and I quit that boring job.
I decided to attend school again. I became a certified Wellness and Lifestyle Coach. I opened a yoga studio and I coach clients from the comfort of my home office. I spend a great deal of time in my gardens, where I grow organic vegetables, herbs and flowers. And, I write. I love telling my stories! My life is much more positive and satisfying today than it once was.
It can be better for you, too. Check out the steps I took and try them for yourself! Instead of living a life you don’t love, working at a job you can’t stand, or not doing the things you enjoy, get up and go for it. Take that trip you’ve always dreamed of. Start your own business. Fall in love! You’ll never know how awesome your life can be unless you make the effort necessary and become the person you’ve always wanted to be!
“At any given moment you have the power to say, this is not how my story is going to end.” – Anonymous
Step 1: Sober Up | Step 2: Improve Your Diet | Step 3: Condition Your Body
Step 4: Put Your Best Face Forward | Step 5: Get Rid of Clutter | Step 6: Learn to Relax
Step 7: Attitude for Success | Step 8: Go After What You Want