When I founded The Best Ever You Network in 2008, I implemented some of my beliefs and practices from my own personal life and career and made them come to life via the company. I felt, at the time, with my dad so ill and a number of other issues, that I would help create a place that would help all of us learn to be out best. I was inspired one day at around 39,000 feet, while flying from Maine to Minneapolis, to write a blog about being your best bold self, working with what you’ve got and prevailing under all circumstances to the best of your abilities. One of the first steps in that process is taking a look within and a look at your life. I invite you to design the life you want and choose to lead for yourself. This might feel overwhelming, but try to envision your life one year, two years, five years, ten years, and even 20 or more years out.
Let’s start with what your life is currently like.
What is a typical day in your life?
Start with the minute you wake up until you put your head on your pillow. Pick the questions below that inspire you. Write down your vision for creating the Best Ever You!
My Typical Day?
Your Vision for Your Life: Reflect on the following questions:
• What am I doing now?
• Where am I going?
• What do I want to be in the future?
• What steps am I taking to get closer to my dream?
Attitude and Inspiration: Reflect on the following questions:
• What is my outlook on life?
• What are my core values?
• What are my coping mechanisms? Do they work for me or against me?
• What values and attitudes do I want to embody within myself and project to others in the world?
Health: Reflect on the following questions:
• Have I had all relevant medical checkups and exams (including dental, vision, mammograms, colonoscopies, etc.) in the past year?
• How do I manage my emotions?
• How do I cope with chronic conditions?
Money: Reflect on the following questions:
• What has changed in my financial life during the past year?
• Does my budget accurately reflect my means and my priorities?
• Do I have the insurance I need?
• Can I make a plan to pay off debt or at least move it to a lower-interest account?
• If I’ve done well, what have I done to solidify my financial position?
Exercise: Reflect on the following questions:
• How can I incorporate a healthy amount of exercise into my schedule?
• Do I need to meet with a doctor to start an exercise plan or a trainer to tune up my workouts?
• How do I manage stress?
• Can I find healthier ways to handle stress?
Appearance: Reflect on the following questions:
• How do I care for my appearance?
• What do my looks say about me?
• What do I want my appearance to say?
• Can I find things I like about my face and body?
• Is the time and energy I spend on appearances appropriate to my life at the moment?
Home: Reflect on the following questions:
• What are my goals for where I want to live this year?
• Do I want to find a better or more suitable home, fix up the one I have, or make changes to my current one?
• Do I feel “at home” where I live? If not, what would it take to get me to feel that way?
Relationships: Reflect on the following questions:
• How is my relationship with myself?
• Do I have a balance of relationships in my life – partner, friends, children, siblings, parents, others?
• What is one change I would like to make in the way I relate to others?
Work: Reflect on the following questions:
• What type of work would I like to do?
• What has changed about my work life?
• What am I doing to deal with those changes?
• What am I doing to move closer to my career goals?
Leisure: Reflect on the following questions:
• What do I do for fun?
• Do I have enough fun?
• Do I have too much fun?
• What relaxes and renews me?
• What excites and enlivens me?
• What plans can I make to get the most out of my leisure time?
• How can I find more leisure time in my schedule?
Religion/Spirituality: Reflect on the following questions:
• What is my relationship with the Divine or with the human spirit?
• What beliefs guide my life?
• Am I closer or further from my spiritual center than I was a year ago?
• Do I have people in my life who share my spiritual outlook or who can offer guidance in this area?
• Do I experience a sense of a community or lack of it?
Food and Nutrition: Reflect on the following questions:
• What is my relationship with food?
• Do I eat mostly healthy things?
• Do I allow myself to eat something delicious but unhealthy once in a while?
• Do I stay connected to my feelings of hunger and fullness?
• Do I deny myself food when others are eating?
• Does food run my life?
Volunteering: Reflect on the following questions:
• What do I do to help others?
• What would I like to do to help others?
• Do I readily volunteer to help or wait until someone asks?
The Long Run: Reflect on the following questions:
• Do I have a will?
• Have I made legal arrangements for what would happen to my kids if I became disabled or died?
• Do I have life insurance?
• What is my financial plan for retirement and old age?
• Have I made a living will, health care proxy, or power of attorney?
• Have I discussed end-of life plans with others?
List five accomplishments from this year:
This year I will …
In 5 years I will …
In 10 years I will …
This recipe has been passed from generation to generation and is one of my world favorites. You may not need all of the ingredients to make this recipe, so mix up some of the items on a daily basis and follow the instructions below.
20 Cups of Laughter
15 Cups of Grace
10 Cups of Peace
10 Cups of Love
7 Cups of Elegance
5 Cups of Courage
3 Cups of Patience
1 1/2 Cups of Determination
1 1/2 Cups of Acceptance
1 Cup of Humility
1 Cup of Confidence
1 tsp. of wisdom
1 pinch of reality
Allergy Alert: This product was not manufactured in a facility with any fear, jealousy or doubt.
Step 1. Stop thinking everyone else has it better.
You know it when you think it: “They drive a cleaner car, have more cash in the bank, have a bigger shoe collection, a better job, a book deal, a better body, a new baby,” or whatever else you may appear to see or think you see or assume is true of someone else’s life. Everyone’s life around the world appears to be perfect with the exception of yours. There are days when you might catch yourself glancing at the marks on your walls thinking the house across the street is perfectly unscathed. But whose reality are you really seeing? Upon closer inspection, you will likely discover that no one’s life is perfect and for every cleanest, best waxed car ever there is a crumb somewhere else. So it is important to focus on yourself and only yourself with respect to your own life and world and to evaluate ONLY how you are doing in this life of yours. We keep the word perfect out of our vocabulary here at Best Ever You. It says Best Ever You, not Perfect Ever You.
Step 2. Moments Matter
How are you using your precious time? Are you living a life awake, aware and with purpose and intention or are you just moseying along? Are you in the present moment or are you in some future moment of worry or some past moment of regret or trying to reclaim a past glory moment. Nothing is worse than missing a moment. Think of the parent on the ever so important phone call or sitting at the computer as their child is trying desperately in any way to grab a moment of their real presence and attention, but the parent just nods and barely acknowledges the child or worse gets angry at the child. Think of the moments you wish you could steal back and replay with your parent or parents who have now passed. Think of the moments you wish you could bring back when your kids were younger. Life is a priority.
3. Find Your Why.
It takes a look within to learn and practice and be your Best Ever You. It is important to understand that it is a continuous process. There is always a moment to be your best or help someone be their best. When we become engaged, consumed or perhaps overwhelmed with life’s responsibilities it is easy to let ourselves slip into the behaviors or habits that are less than our best. We live our daily lives facing a continuum between best and stressed. Our environment can become cluttered, we may not sleep as well, we may make choices that reduce our positive energy and generates more of a stress based response to our daily life. These are all clues that something needs to shift. If we took a minute to write out what our life looks and feels like when we are feeling our best we would find there are indicators that we can follow to monitor our well-being.
Stop and think. What is your reason? What is your why? What inspires and motivates you?
4. Examine Your Positive Self
When you look in the mirror, what do you say? When you are in a room are full of people, what are you thinking or how do you behave? Are you spewing venom on yourself and killing your self-esteem. Quick. Find the antidote. It’s the power of positive thinking. Inject yourself with powerful positive language and live on. Say positive thoughts and words like “I am beautiful.” “I am loved.” “I am capable.” “I accept myself.” and “I am worthy.”
5. Create Your Best Life
Each day, each hour, and each moment we have the opportunity to stop and to reassess how we are feeling and start over. Examine the areas of your life that you wish were different and begin each moment to be your best. Sign up for our monthly newsletter and receive our free Create Your Best Life Coaching tool. Visit this link to get started. http://www.besteveryou.com/get-started-create-your-best-life.htm. This will help you identify those key areas that create stress versus joy.
6. Discover Your Values and Create a Value System for Yourself
This can be tricky as we age, as the values that we were raised with may not be the values we grow into. Our lives and our value systems are dynamic and change. What values do you have that direct your big picture decisions? If someone gave you a limited life expectancy would you be able to say you are living today, the way you would want to for the remainder of your life? What would change? What do you want your children to understand as most important or what do you want people to remember most about you? These questions alert us to whether or not our values are aligned with our actions and lifestyle. If values aren’t aligned, asking ourselves what is true to who we are, can redirect us and bring new awareness to what we seek to change.
7. Practice Wellness
How well are you taking care of yourself? Are you treating yourself well? What is wellness to you? Do you feel fit? Are you satisfied with how you feel? Are you eating well? Are you exercising? Are you stepping into your closet and having a cringe-factor moment where nothing fits? Practice wellness. It may be part of a new value system you implement for yourself. Practicing overall wellness has more components that just your jeans fitting on any given day. Wellness is an overall way of choosing to live. It’s eating healthier, mindset, exercise, and finding a way for yourself where the internal critical and worrying voice(s) quiet. It’s being ready for the big event now, for example, instead of seeing the event six months down the road and going on a crash diet for it. It’s a way of always being. It’s practicing wellness habits that help you feel your best each day.
8. Discover the Power of We and Us
The power of we begins with you. We think you are amazing and awesome in every way, but life is not all about you. It’s about us – together. Ask someone today, “How can I help you?” You’ll be amazed at the responses.
-What have you done for the world lately?
-Are you showing up when you are needed?
-How often do you do something for others just because you want to – not because it’s expected?
-Do you do things for others and expect nothing in return?
-Do you turn off that voice that nags at you when you can’t believe you did something for someone, but they did nothing for you in return?
9. Manage your behavior(s)
Who we truly are at our best is often reflected in how we behave. Does our behavior match our values? Do we respond to situations versus react? Are we generous and understanding versus critical and judgmental? We usually operate somewhere on a continuum each day depending on how calm and aware we are of what our wise inner voice is saying. When we aren’t able to hear that highest self-talk, we often neglect our self-care and turn to external calming sources. When we have tendency towards over-indulging it is usually triggered by this imbalance and not hearing our wisest messages coming from within. Quiet awareness and examination of our daily circumstances and their influence on our behavior can help us get back into focus of our best self.
10. Failure & Pain are Teaching Moments
How many times have you stopped yourself from trying something because you were afraid you wouldn’t be good enough? How many times have you hit your thigh on the corner of a drawer before you walk a different route or stop, pause and shut the drawer first in awareness that it is open and you’ve been through this before? We learn from failure or disappointment. Moments can be wake up calls and it is important to tune in, listen and adjust your life and behavior accordingly.
On a deeper level, when we pass through a crisis that brings fear and anxiety and sadness or whatever strong emotions that come, eventually, the realization that we can learn something and be a better us from the experience comes to us. The sooner we quietly assess a situation from a place of strength, the sooner we make the best choices for our lives.
11. Laugh at Yourself
Have you laughed at yourself today? We are each our own stand-up comedian routine if you stop and think about how funny life can be. Sometimes there is even humor in the darkest of moments and sometimes that humor guides us to see the brightest days. Laugh at yourself. We all do some of the silliest things.
12. Surround Yourself with Love
Side step naysayers. With even the slightest of change, comes a force around you trying to help you stay your very best same as always person. You may think to yourself one day, “Self, I just don’t want to be this way anymore.” As a result, you start to make changes.
Naysayers are people who make fun of you or try to stop you from making changes or who want you to give up. They may not even know how they are as sabotaging your efforts because they are out of touch with their own struggles. They’re often people who are trying to break the cycle themselves or have yet to acknowledge their habits. They aren’t wrong to think the way they do, but their thoughts just don’t fit yours anymore. Breaking free from their influence can be difficult. The only cook that needs to be in the kitchen is you.
13. Make Small Lasting Changes
Take one thing – a thought, an idea, a value, or a belief – and make that one thing a focus point. Allow yourself ten minutes each day in silence to write, think, or ponder whatever thoughts come up around this one thought or idea. It’s amazing how just one small change can have an everlasting ripple effect leading to bigger changes. Many people make repeated attempts, create resolutions, and demonstrate efforts to try to bring themselves to center. This generally doesn’t work well and usually the opposite effect occurs. In order to create lasting, transformative change, usually you must find your center and then adjust your lifestyle.
14. Find Your Best, Most Peaceful You
Peace rests within your heart. When your heart speaks, it is very important to tune in and listen. It’s your own internal peace guidance system. Find what makes you peaceful. Just be YOU. No one can take you away from you. You are you. We are each unique with our own special talents and gifts. Who are you? What is your: Who? What? Where? When? and Why?
Your favorite family recipes are passed from generation to generation.
The recipe cards are tattered, torn or sometimes so secret they are memorized.
Excellent recipes remain with us and feed our mind, body and spirit, creating our best.