Gratitude

bandlI’ve seen an article floating around in my newsfeed this week.  You can find it HERE.

You see a few years ago, I would have read that article and listened to every word.  I would have soaked it in and used it as reassurance that I’m not the only one struggling.  I would have fed into the excuses and told myself that now is just not the time to try to accomplish my goals and aim for my dreams.  The article says that I need to wait to be happy so that’s just what I’ll do.  I’m going to settle for what I have now.  I would feed into the stereotype.

Back then, I was a new stay-at-home mom who showed up to playdates with a hat and yoga pants.  Stay-at-home moms didn’t have time to put themselves together and ACTUALLY wear make-up, right?!?  Yoga pants are part of the stay-at-home mom uniform, right?!?  The thought never even crossed my mind that there was a man that came home from work every day who may have found some enjoyment in seeing his wife in normal clothes.  I never thought to look nice for him.  I fed into the stereotype.

I didn’t have goals for myself.  I lost sight of who I was because I was told that being a mom is hard.  I was told that this little 2 year old was going to rock my world and change my life forever.  I COULDN’T workout, have any hobbies or even sit and read a chapter of a book without interruption.

Yes, I could.  I just chose not to.  I fed into the stereotype.

Opinions of others is one of the reasons that we fail to achieve our goals.  We cling to other people’s opinions as if they are the truth.  We use them for justification as to why we can’t succeed. We come up with a well-planned lie (an excuse) as to why we can’t live a life that we want.  So because this article is telling me that I can’t get myself back until I’m 40 years old, I’m just going to sit back and settle in my comfort zone for another 6 years?!?! No….HELL no!

When we are in our comfort zone, we breed dissatisfaction.  We start complaining about EVERYTHING!  Our house becomes a mess, we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t do what we want…we become ungrateful and don’t see value in what we have.  We start telling ourselves that we “just don’t have the time” to do what we want to do because of the kids, the cleaning, the errands…..ugh, excuses.  This complaining and negativity is going to lead to much bigger problems….low self-esteem, marriage troubles, depression, and the list goes on.

How do we get out of this vicious cycle?  We need to have a vision for where we want our life to go and NO ONE is going to motivate us except for ourselves.  We have to stop relying on other people to fix our problems and change our attitude.  We have to set goals for ourselves and find something to call our own.  We do NOT have to wait to live a life that we love.  We CHOOSE joy!  You are ALLOWED to put yourself above your kids.  You are ALLOWED to lock yourself in your closet for 5 minutes just to have a moment of peace.  You are ALLOWED to be happy!

Last year, Jeff was getting ready to deploy.  How was I going to balance full-time work, 2 kids, a house, the grocery shopping, cooking, and EVERYTHING on my own?!  I made a decision to surround myself with positive and motivated people.  I could have surrounded myself with the negativity and the ones that struggle to live when their husband is away.  I chose to be happy and be around strong women despite the circumstances.

So how do we change our mindset away from this “it is what it is” mentality?

1) Start with gratitude.  Every night before you go to bed write down 5-10 things that you are grateful for.  Some days you may just be thankful for your pillow and that’s ok….write it down!

2) “A man without a vision will perish.” Create visions and write them down.  Where do you see yourself in the future?  Write down a vision for your family, career, finances, physical wellbeing… Keeping these at the front of your mind will drive your goals and your actions in your daily routine.

3) Make daily to-do lists.  Writing down your goals and crossing them off will give you a sense of satisfaction and motivate you to aim higher.  Even if you put away one load of laundry…that’s success for the day!

We have no idea if tomorrow is promised.  Don’t you dare let excuses get in the way of achieving your dreams today!  You CAN and WILL achieve greatness!  Embrace the craziness and find the positive in every situation!

 

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