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When Sh*t Happens, or When You’re Not Happy, Change Something

I’ve been having the most awful, cortisol-stuffed vein producing days lately. Sh*t keeps happening to me and I’m in a daze. Confusion settles around me like heavy cigarette smoke. It’s hard to feel like there’s ever a way out.

The important thing to know when you’re dealing with a day/week/month like this, is that you are never alone. There is someone who has been there, who has gotten through it, who is currently experiencing the same damn thing as you. Your situation is never 100% unique — there is always someone who has already walked in your path, overcome the sh*t and owned it.

Sometimes sh*t happens for a reason. Whether it was your fault or not, or whether you just had a stroke of awful luck and happenstance, it can bring along an unfortunate series of events. Most people will crumble. Give up. And they will never pick themselves off from being beaten down and throw themselves at whatever challenges them.

But the important thing to know is that you have the amazing ability to control the now. The present. F*ck the past, that’s spilled milk. Done. Over. Worst day of your life? Okay, but that was yesterday. It’s done, you can move on. 

Figure out what went wrong, find something you can learn from yesterday.

When sh*t happens, it’s easy to fall into an endless cycle of feeling sorry for yourself. 

Don’t. Stop right now.

The freedom that many have can be paralyzing to act — you CAN change the outcome. You CAN do something about it. It might be hard, or take a lot of courage, but there is always something you can do to make yourself happy when you’re not. 

The strategy is simple. But I didn’t say it wasn’t hard.

Not Happy? Change Something.

1. Figure out what makes you angry, upset, depressed, frustrated, and stressed.

2. Eliminate or get rid of these things. They are mentally, physically and spiritually destroying you slowly.

3. If the items in #1 require much planning, do that planning now. Need to quit your job that brings tears to your eyes every time you wake up in the morning? Establish a set of action plans to do this month, this week, and tomorrow.

4. Replace the negativity with healthier things that bring happiness. Especially if #1 items will take time to get rid of…paint, vent on the phone with a friend, go out to eat at your favorite restaurant, take a walk at the park, play with your kids or pet.

5. Establish the focus on your emotional state and stress levels, and do things to reduce it: get enough sleep. Eat vegetables and fruit. Drink plenty of water. Exercise. Meditate. Journal. Paint. See a life coach/counselor if you really need to, it truly helps. There is no stigma — help yourself.

Remember this: If you’re not working to make your life better, your life will not get better.

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How My Job Forced Me to Become an Early Riser

I hate waking up early.

There, I said it.

But there is something about waking up early for my job that gives me the kick in the pants that nothing else will. Not school. Not an appointment. Not meeting a friend or trainer at the gym.

So when my job completely switched me from mostly nights to almost exlusively early morning shifts, my first reaction was: oh shit.

How am I supposed to wake up at 5 AM, a time that I usually see from spending too much time mucking around on the internet (and too much caffeine)?

But it was surprisingly easy to switch. Why? Well, because they’re paying me. They allow me to pay rent, buy food, waste money on eBooks and other stuff.

Not only that, but the punishment of not going to work was clear: verbal warnings, written warnings, getting fired. Who wants this on their record: Can’t wake up early for a job.

Not me!

So I found it odd that after a few weeks of this new schedule, I began waking up early even on days that I didn’t have to be at work. Days that I used to easily sleep in until the late hours of the afternoon. Now waking up at 8-9 AM, like normal people do.

Moral of the story?

  • Habits are hard to change, except with a huge reward (money) or strict punishment (getting fired).

The next time you are trying to accomplish a goal or acquire a new habit, up the ante a bit. Establish a very clear reward and punishment system for your actions or non-actions, and tell all your friends or everyone in your social networks. Follow through on the rewards and the punishments.

There are some websites that help you do this by providing serious accountability, a fun-factor (apps and game-like quality), social support and pressure, and even some $ on the line: Rootein, Stickk, 21habit, beeminder. Most of these sites also have phone apps you can download for more convenience.

What habit are you going to start, either by yourself or with the help of a website or app?

My personal habits I’m working on for the month of March (and beyond):

  • exercise 4-5 times per week for one hour
  • eat less than 1500 calories per day and log calories in MyFitnessPal daily
  • wake up no later than 9 am on non-working days and be productive during that time (ie: go to the gym)

 

Epic Blizzard: Epic GSD Weekend

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Snow storm Nemo’s aftermath: 30-40 inches in most places in CT.

So I live in New England, which means my state got completely buried in 2-3 feet of snow with snow storm Nemo. I mean literally buried. So since I lost hours at my part time job, I decided that this was a fantastic time to GSD this weekend. I spend the past two days cleaning the entire apartment and finishing work on Fiverr. I caught up on reading and note-taking for all of my classes. I also decided that I wanted to learn more about copywriting skills, so I bought some Kindle books to read now and bought some paperback ones for later, whenever the roads are cleared and life slowly resumes back to normal.

It’s also a great time to force myself to eat whatever’s been hanging out in the fridge and pantry without resorting to buying takeout. But, that also means a lot of pasta.

School is already cancelled for tomorrow, and I already missed two days of work this weekend. But I have a few more gigs on Fiverr that I can complete today, so I’m at least still making money.

I truly feel a lot better when my work space is clean and organized. Since I live in a small space, that means my bedroom. I literally could not focus in a dirty, cluttered room. Now that everything is clean and put away, and the floors are swept, I feel like I can think more clearly. Funny how that works.

I think my agenda for today is to mostly read some of the kindle books I bought on my PC and also do some more studying since one of my classes has a test in a week and a half. And eat more pasta.

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