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11 Reasons to be Cheerful

11 Reasons to be Cheerful

    We tend to focus on our problems in life and to take for granted our blessings and achievements. It is natural that we think about the difficulties we face and the challenges we have to overcome but there is a real danger that when we do this we can become become weighed down with worry or negative feelings.  It is good to step back for a moment from our day to day cares and to list all the things that are going well in our life.  It will give us a positive lift and help to put our problems into perspective.  Here is one way to count your blessings.

    1. Life.  Start by giving yourself one point for being alive. It may sound silly but wait a moment.  Your life represents a tiny interlude between the vast times when you did not exist and when you will be dead.  You are in that tiny moment right now and you can do things to change your life so be thankful for that at least.

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    2. Health.  If you are healthy and do not suffer from any major diseases or afflictions mark up another point.  We take our health for granted and only realise how important it is when we become ill.  Most of us have some minor ailments but if you are reasonably healthy then you are much better off than people suffering from serious illnesses and you should be deeply thankful.

    3. Relationship. If you are in a stable relationship with another person then chalk up a point.  If you can honestly say that you love them and they love you then give yourself a bonus point.  Many people search for love without success so if you have found it then cherish it and count yourself lucky.

    4. Family. If you have children, brothers or sisters or your parents alive then add another point.  They may be frustrating and they will have their faults but they are your flesh and blood.  Whatever happens in life your family remains your family and if you have them around you then you should be thankful for that – just ask someone who has lost family members.

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    5. Work.  Give yourself a point if you are in work or full-time education.  Even if it is dull and unfulfilling at times you are still better off than the many people who are desperately seeking employment.

    6. Value. If you can honestly say that you are doing something that makes life better for other people and adds real value then give yourself a point.  This might involve your work, your volunteering, your parenting or some other aspect of your life.  Are you making the world a better place?  If not then this is an area to think about.

    7. Achievement. Can you look back on something that you are proud of?  Did you achieve something worthwhile?  This might be at work, in sport, with your family or something else.  If you can you point to something that people would admire then give yourself another point.

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    8. Future – 1. Do you have something good to look forward to?  This might be a holiday, a promotion, a wedding or just a trip to the cinema with your partner. If you have something good coming up then think about it, smile and add another point.

    9. Future – 2. Do you have a plan for your improvement and success?  This might include your career, your education, your finances and your relationships.  If you have a plan then add a point.  You are better off than most of the population.  People with plans generally do better than those who just muddle along.

    10. Financial security. Are you financially secure?  Are you living within your means?  Can you see a reasonably prosperous future?  If so you are much better placed than people who are burdened with excessive debts and who struggle to make ends meet.  You should get some satisfaction from that and you can add a point.

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    11. Friendship. Do you have one or more good friends who you can share your joys and problems with?  Is there someone whose company you enjoy and with whom you can have a laugh?  If so give yourself a final point.

    Add up your total. How many points did you get?  The maximum is 12.  Eight or over is a good score.  Now take a moment to express thanks for your success and good fortune.  You have a lot to be grateful for.

    Image: Pixietart

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    Paul Sloane

    Professional Keynote Speaker, Author, Innovation Expert

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    Last Updated on November 18, 2020

    15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

    15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It)

    It’s okay, you can finally admit it. It’s been two months since you’ve seen the inside of the gym. Getting sick, family crisis, overtime at work and school papers that needed to get finished all kept you for exercising. Now, the question is: how do you start again?
    Once you have an exercise habit, it becomes automatic. You just go to the gym, there is no force involved. But after a month, two months or possibly a year off, it can be hard to get started again. Here are some tips to climb back on that treadmill after you’ve fallen off.

    1. Don’t Break the Habit – The easiest way to keep things going is simply not to stop. Avoid long breaks in exercising or rebuilding the habit will take some effort. This may be advice a little too late for some people. But if you have an exercise habit going, don’t drop it at the first sign of trouble.
    2. Reward Showing Up – Woody Allen once said that, “Half of life is showing up.” I’d argue that 90% of making a habit is just making the effort to get there. You can worry about your weight, amount of laps you run or the amount you can bench press later.
    3. Commit for Thirty Days – Make a commitment to go every day (even just for 20 minutes) for one month. This will solidify the exercise habit. By making a commitment you also take pressure off yourself in the first weeks back of deciding whether to go.
    4. Make it Fun – If you don’t enjoy yourself at the gym, it is going to be hard to keep it a habit. There are thousands of ways you can move your body and exercise, so don’t give up if you’ve decided lifting weights or doing crunches isn’t for you. Many large fitness centers will offer a range of programs that can suit your tastes.
    5. Schedule During Quiet Hours – Don’t put exercise time in a place where it will easily be pushed aside by something more important. Right after work or first thing in the morning are often good places to put it. Lunch-hour workouts might be too easy to skip if work demands start mounting.
    6. Get a Buddy – Grab a friend to join you. Having a social aspect to exercising can boost your commitment to the exercise habit.
    7. X Your Calendar – One person I know has the habit of drawing a red “X” through any day on the calendar he goes to the gym. The benefit of this is it quickly shows how long it has been since you’ve gone to the gym. Keeping a steady amount of X’s on your calendar is an easy way to motivate yourself.
    8. Enjoyment Before Effort – After you finish any work out, ask yourself what parts you enjoyed and what parts you did not. As a rule, the enjoyable aspects of your workout will get done and the rest will be avoided. By focusing on how you can make workouts more enjoyable, you can make sure you want to keep going to the gym.
    9. Create a Ritual – Your workout routine should become so ingrained that it becomes a ritual. This means that the time of day, place or cue automatically starts you towards grabbing your bag and heading out. If your workout times are completely random, it will be harder to benefit from the momentum of a ritual.
    10. Stress Relief – What do you do when your stressed? Chances are it isn’t running. But exercise can be a great way to relieve stress, releasing endorphin which will improve your mood. The next time you feel stressed or tired, try doing an exercise you enjoy. When stress relief is linked to exercise, it is easy to regain the habit even after a leave of absence.
    11. Measure Fitness – Weight isn’t always the best number to track. Increase in muscle can offset decreases in fat so the scale doesn’t change even if your body is. But fitness improvements are a great way to stay motivated. Recording simple numbers such as the number of push-ups, sit-ups or speed you can run can help you see that the exercise is making you stronger and faster.
    12. Habits First, Equipment Later – Fancy equipment doesn’t create a habit for exercise. Despite this, some people still believe that buying a thousand dollar machine will make up for their inactivity. It won’t. Start building the exercise habit first, only afterwards should you worry about having a personal gym.
    13. Isolate Your Weakness – If falling off the exercise wagon is a common occurrence for you, find out why. Do you not enjoy exercising? Is it a lack of time? Is it feeling self-conscious at the gym? Is it a lack of fitness know-how? As soon as you can isolate your weakness, you can make steps to improve the situation.
    14. Start Small – Trying to run fifteen miles your first workout isn’t a good way to build a habit. Work below your capacity for the first few weeks to build the habit. Otherwise you might scare yourself off after a brutal workout.
    15. Go for Yourself, Not to Impress – Going to the gym with the only goal of looking great is like starting a business with only the goal to make money. The effort can’t justify the results. But if you go to the gym to push yourself, gain energy and have a good time, then you can keep going even when results are slow.

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