“Well, if you want to sing out, sing out. And if you want to be free, be free. ’Cause there’s a million things to be. You know that there are.” – Cat Stevens
I literally laughed out loud when I heard this Cat Stevens’ song come on my radio a few weeks ago. I had just left a coffee shop on my work day and I was feeling stuck. I was thinking way, way too hard and desperately trying to force a 2014 plan for my business.
It’s easy to get all muddled up and trapped in your head when you’re feeling stuck. And these song lyrics that came on the radio at the exact right time just reminded me that it doesn’t all have to be so hard.
Even when you’re feeling stuck and backed up against a wall, you always have a choice. Even if you can’t change your exact situation, you could change your mind. Or, you could simply change the way you’re going to react to it. So much of how we experience our days is a choice.
“You can do what you want / The opportunity’s on
And if you can find a new way / You can do it today
You can make it all true / And you can make it undo
you see ah ah ah /its easy ah ah ah
You only need to know”
So, thanks Cat Stevens for that reminder to turn my thoughts around and give up trying to force an outcome. Which brings me to this: 3 things to give up in 2014 to have your best year yet.
Can you relate? There’s only one right way to empty the dishwasher; running is the only effective way to burn calories; the only time I can have a cookie is the Sunday night before I begin a diet!
See how that thinking really boxes you in? It leaves you with limited options and a win/fail mentality. Becoming more flexible or simply loosening up your strict rules for yourself leaves a little room for fun and spontaneity. Then yeah – maybe you can go skipping down the street with your 2 year old or dance around in your kitchen and count that as your exercise for the day.
It’s not all or nothing. There doesn’t have to be an exact way. You can’t mess this up. Phew, that feels better, doesn’t it? You’re left with more wins and probably more fun too.
The only thing I really remember learning about health back in the earliest grades was about US government approved, food pyramid nutrition. If you ate apples and vegetables you were healthy and if you ate cookies and candy bars, you were going to get fat. It was so black and white. So, blah.
In reality, some of the healthiest eaters out there are also the ones that are the most unhealthy people you know. All the broccoli in the world isn’t going to make up for the stress a job could bring or the sadness of an unhappy marriage. An apple can’t take the place of a good night sleep.
Your life is so connected. You are a whole, vibrant person so it makes sense that it’s not just one little thing that can change the way you’re experiencing health. So if you made a vow on January 1st to get healthy, take a minute and look at your whole life. All the little pieces. Where are you in balance, and where are you out of balance? Start there. (And then eat an apple.)
There’s an idea out there that you should be content with the life you have. That you have enough. That you’re not worthy enough to want more and you should just be grateful for what you have.
There’s so much fear around investing in positive change. What if it doesn’t work? What if you fail? Why rock the boat?
But maybe deep down you know that you’d love to leave your job. Or go back to work. Or travel to Tahiti by yourself. Or go back to school and start your own business. Or run a marathon this year.
To that, I say to you this: meet your fear face-to-face. You have just one life. Do you want to live sitting on the sidelines or do you want to dig in and get dirty?
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.”- Marianne Williamson