Celebration Time (and a time of thanks….)

SuccessJust a few days before my 14th birthday, I entered grade nine. That seems like eons ago (and considering it was just my 31st birthday, it was almost 20 years ago….yikes!). I write that because I just wrote a facebook post that reminded me of something from that day. For those of you who aren’t my facebook friends:

“The only way I can truly be a light for the world is if I love and believe in myself. Hopefully those that follow will see that and do the same. What can you do today to show yourself some love? Ok. Now do it. Happy Friday all!”

As I wrote that, I remembered the mirror. We all received a locker mirror that had a message on it that said, “YOU ARE A WONDERFUL GIFT,” in bright, burgundy (school colour) letters. At the time I just thought it was a cool mirror, so it stayed in my locker for the five years I attended (if you’re from Ontario and you remember grade 13, you know what I mean about five years). Then I went off to university and it ended up somewhere at my parent’s house.

A few years ago I saw it on my mom’s fridge. And as I would pass the fridge I would smile. I was reminded of that mirror this morning as I wrote my facebook post because I am beginning to understand what that phrase truly means. I am a gift to my parents, because I was born healthy, I continue to show them love, and I was a long time coming. I am a gift to my husband because I have shown him love throughout our relationship, and I take care of him in all the ways I can. I am a gift to my siblings because I am definitely the one who challenges the status quo and gives them new perspectives and of course as the one who shares new dessert recipes and advice to their children. I am a gift to my friends because I am there for them. I am sure I am a gift to others whose paths I have crossed throughout my short life too.

The point is that I could not be that person that I outlined above without being a wonderful gift to me. God gave me life. A healthy life. A life that would be wasted if I was to wallow in self pity around all of the mistakes i’ve made, and of course, by not sharing my light and my dreams for change with others. As I continue my life coaching path (and my self-help book reading), I am coming to terms with the idea that the things we deem failures are the things that get us one step closer to our dreams. But the only way that I can get up and try again is to truly, madly, deeply, love myself because I AM A WONDERFUL GIFT.

So this morning, I got up and worked out. This has been something I have put off for a very long time because the pleasure of food was always more important than the pain of having a healthy body. The tables have turned because I want to be the best Tara Rhodes I can be, and I can only do that and share my message if my energy levels are up and I am taking care of myself. So although I didn’t do it the way the trainer on the video does it (and I definitely do not have the six-pack abs she has), i’m getting there. I could have looked at it as a failure (Oh man! I stopped and had to catch my breath, I really suck!), but instead, I look at it as a success (I pushed through, and I did it, even though I wanted to stay in bed! Yay me!). One step closer to my healthy body goal.

My takeaway for today is CELEBRATE! When you accomplish something that is amazing for you, celebrate! Do a happy dance, tell a friend, write a blog post…whatever you need to do to feel good about it (unless it’s counterproductive to your goal), do it. But you’ve got to make sure you do these things first:

1. Make sure you reframe your definition of success. Instead of saying that success is that mountain you are looking at climbing, figure out how one step up that mountain can be your little success for the day. So in my example, I know that after one workout, I will not look like a super model. But I do know after one workout I am one step closer to getting to the body I want. I celebrate finishing one workout.

2. Have a method of celebration in mind. If you’re trying to lose weight and your method of celebration is eating a whole cake, that is counterproductive. Make sure that your celebration is in line with what you are trying to achieve. I celebrated by doing another set of abs exercises since I have been going farther every day. And I love how I feel!

3. Do it! Just go forward and do what you said you were going to do. Trial and error is the way forward. For example, you might do a workout and realize that you really didn’t enjoy that type of activity. Celebrate that you finished and find something else you can do. But do find something else you can do.

In Canada it’s Thanksgiving this coming Monday, so in the spirit of giving thanks, I have challenge for you. What are you thankful for? Really truly thankful for? If you have racked your brain and you can’t think of anything (although I am pretty sure if you are reading this blog post, you do have access to a computer, which is a pretty amazing thing to own…not everyone does…oh, and you’re breathing, seeing and living if you are reading this, so that’s pretty amazing too), here’s another question: what would you like to be thankful for next year at Thanksgiving? Really? That’s amazing! Now get to to work to do get it! You’ve got just over 365 days.

I’m thankful for life, for my family and friends, for the ability to wake up every day in a home and have food in my fridge, for the freedom to be Christian without persecution, for the rights that are upheld in Canada for women, for the abilities I have to learn all the skills I am learning as I go through my new career path, and for the beautiful smile that my parents paid for (thanks mom and dad for the braces!!). I also want to be thankful for my even healthier body next year! And I plan to celebrate every day.

Share what you are thankful for or want to be thankful for below. And if you have a goal you would like to reach, you can share that below too….putting it out there is the first step in helping it become real. Happy Thanksgiving! And remember, YOU ARE A WONDERFUL GIFT!

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