We All Need Success

download (6)The other day I went to lunch with an old friend from high school who is going through a divorce. As we sat there and talked I realized that what (I thought) she needed was some success. In something. In anything.

Sometimes in our lives we go through phases where it seems like the world isn’t on our side. It seems like we can’t do anything right and we begin to feel really hopeless.

I get this… I’ve been there. I think most of us have at one time or another. And for some of us it is worse than for others. For me it got really bad a couple of times. I felt completely hopeless. The things that saved me were a combination of things.

For one thing, a healthy diet means the world to me. Cutting sugar and gluten out of my diet made a world of difference. It definitely made me more focused, I had more energy and was generally happier.

Exercise made a big difference, too. Getting my blood flowing, pushing myself, letting the endorphins kick in and finishing the workout strong made me feel like I had accomplished something. And that feeling of accomplishment is what it all comes down to.

For each of us, successes are a little bit different. Most of us are worried about our health, so diet and exercise are obvious goals for most of us. But there are a lot of things that can be successes. Maybe cleaning out a closet or writing in your journal or organizing your desk.

Some successes mean cutting out – less wine, less tv, less sugar. These are all good things, but sometimes they leave us feeling a little bit denied and depleted at the end of the day.

Other successes mean adding – add a delicious salad every day, try a new healthy recipe every day, write down 5 things we are thankful for every day, read a new book a images (9)month, join a book club, volunteer, join a workout group, say something positive about yourself every day, do an act of kindness every day, clean a closet a week. Sometimes adding something will change our perspective so that we feel like we are gaining something good instead of losing something we enjoy.

I would suggest to anyone fighting the feeling of hopelessness that they write a bucket list. Write down as many things as you can possibly dream of doing in your life – get creative, surf the internet, and dare yourself. Go crazy! Then pick a few little things that are achievable in the here and now and get started working on them.  Accomplishing a few of those things can make a big difference in your day and in your life and how you feel about it all.

And make sure to make your bucket list about you – not the people in your life. By doing good things for yourself, you will be doing good things for them – after all, they want you to be happy, just like you want them to be happy. Think about the line from the flight attendant on every plane trip… “if a breathing mask falls, put it on yourself before applying it to anyone else in need” – that is because you are no good to anyone if you haven’t taken care of yourself first. Also, if you take good care of yourself, they will follow your example and do the same – and that is what you really want for them.

So start taking care of yourself and your wants and desires and give yourself some success. Soon, some of the bigger accomplishments will start falling into place because you will be so excited about the little accomplishments. And I know I say it too often for your ears… but do clean up your diet and do exercise! It will make you feel a lot better! Remember, dead last in a workout  is much better than did not finish, which trumps did not start – and the same goes for everything else in life – just make a start!

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Here is my bucket list. I wrote it a few years ago. I’ve changed it a few times, too, as I change. Some of these are very small, achievable goals, and some are pretty huge. Some I have accomplished and some I may never accomplish… but I HOPE that I accomplish them all… and I hope that you accomplish yours!

  1. Tough Mudder (September 23rd, 2012)
  2. Be able to do 10 pullups without stopping
  3. Do a muscle up
  4. clean & jerk 150lbs. (now at 120)
  5. deadlift 250lbs. (now at 185)
  6. back squat 200lbs (now at 175)
  7. handstand walk 100 steps (now at 14)
  8. get my CrossFit certification
  9. teach CrossFitdownload (7)
  10. get my CrossFit kids certification
  11. teach CrossFit kids
  12. get my black belt in TKD
  13. compete in a full triathalon
  14. run a half marathon
  15. come in top 10 in a 10K
  16. learn self defense
  17. drop my body fat to 15% (now 18%)
  18. make the masters qualifying round for the CrossFit Games
  19. go to The CrossFit Games
  20. finish… or even start…  Alexandra’s Christmas stocking
  21. organize the kids’ baby books
  22. audition for a musical
  23. audition for a play
  24. star in a play or musical
  25. audition for a tv show or movie
  26. sing the National Anthem in front of a  crowd (and do it well)
  27. learn to tango
  28. learn to swing dance (well)
  29. get my masters
  30. get a puppy and a kitten and raise them together
  31. go to Italy
  32. Alaska
  33. Washington, DC
  34. a ranch in Montana
  35. Nashville
  36. New Orleans at Mardi Gras
  37. Spain
  38. Southern France
  39. Berlin, Germany – see the wall where I saw it in 1987
  40. Russia
  41. The Great Wall of China
  42. Japan
  43. Australia – opera at the Sydney Opera House
  44. Tibet
  45. Jerusalem
  46. Greece
  47. Chile
  48. Argentina
  49. Peru
  50. Brazil – during Carnival
  51. take a cruise
  52. kayak the Napali coast
  53. see the volcano on the big island of Hawaii
  54. see the planetarium in Hawaii
  55. go to a luau
  56. San Diego Zoo
  57. Sequoia Forest
  58. Yosemite
  59. see the Olympics
  60. Burning Man
  61. go on a safari
  62. Havasupai Falls
  63. hike the Grand Canyon
  64. raft the Grand Canyon
  65. ride in a helicopter – a fear of mine!
  66. firewalk
  67. see the Northern Lights
  68. Taj Mahal
  69. The Pyramids of Egypt
  70. Stonehenge
  71. Mount Rushmore
  72. Take my kids to Disneyworld/land
  73. skydive
  74. parasail
  75. experience weighlessness, zero gravity
  76. zip line
  77. learn to surf
  78. go on an all girls vacation
  79. sing in the church choir again
  80. have my own garden
  81. live entirely off my garden (veggie-wise) for a growing season
  82. own my own business
  83. build my own home
  84. have a country home
  85. raise money for a charity I believe in… ongoing
  86. learn about Buddhism
  87. Learn to meditate
  88. learn to speak well publicly
  89. learn to play golf
  90. play golf with my Dad
  91. join an adult sports team
  92. learn to cook extremely well
  93. go Christmas caroling
  94. write a book about a dream I had
  95. write a book about my travels and friendships
  96. keep bees
  97. join a book club
  98. win the Chili cookoff
  99. give up tv for a year
  100. see a psychic
  101. write down 5 things I am grateful for every day for a year
  102. send my kids to the colleges of their choice
  103. speak French in France and have them understand me
  104. teach my children to go for their dreams
  105. travel the country hiking and biking
  106. Be able to afford to do everything on this list!
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