What about your mind — is it in shape? What does that mean? There are three facets to your mind: intellect, creativity, and emotions. Do you stimulate your intellect, exercise your creativity, and keep your emotions balanced?
How about your environmental life – that which exists external to your body and mind? Are you happy with your home life, job/career, relationships? As a certified Life Strategies Coach with additional certifications in fitness and personal training, I look at all aspects of an individual’s life. I look at their whole life fitness. So let me rephrase the question. Is your Life in Shape?
If the answer is yes. Then rock on, keep up the good work! If the answer is no, then it’s time to take stock and focus on steps to shape (and shake) things up.
The Body. This is the easy one. In previous articles I have addressed fresh approaches to nutrition and exercise, keeping things in moderation, staying pro-active, and in general, making a life style change to create the realistic body image you desire.
The Mind. This area is tricky. The mind is a terrible thing to waste was a brilliant ad campaign against drugs, and is my favorite mantra as a life coach. Regardless of time or energy depletions, you must seek to challenge your mind (intellect). Make it a goal to read at least one non-fiction book once a month, or read the newspaper daily (not just the comics and entertainment sections). Get involved with clubs that read and discuss books; organizations that improve speaking techniques (like Toastmasters); or charity focus groups. Even a once-a-month commitment on your part, can have a huge benefit on your feeling of sharpness and competency.
Being creative seems to scare many people. I can’t draw, I have no imagination, I’m not good at crafts. These are just some of the excuses I hear. Think back to when you were a child. Remember finger painting, or the joy of playing with Play-Doh. Maybe in high school you played an instrument, sang, acted, or had electives where you made jewelry or ceramics. Spending time practicing any art from (from creative cooking to scapbooking) will reap huge rewards. Focusing the mind on artistic endeavors clears your head, lowers stress and blood pressure, and relaxes the body. (Not to mention that it’s just plain fun.) Embrace your inner child! After spending even an hour massaging the creative side of your brain, solutions for emotional or intellectual issues will seem clearer.
Environmental Life. Here is where people get the most stuck, making change is scary. Rocking your financial boat by changing jobs or starting a business keeps many from taking any proactive steps forward. But where there is true desire, a simple path can be found. Do some soul searching. Define what it is you truly wish to be doing with your life (and where you want to do it). Once defined within your own brain and heart, often the steps towards that goal appear much clearer and less intimidating.
In relationships, most of us do not want to confront a dysfunctional situation or unsatisfying relationship. Yet to let a relationship stagnate or disintegrate is never anyone’s desired goal, is it? Take that first baby step. Just talk to your mate, friend, family member. Remember to always come from a place of compassion and be willing to really listen as well as clearly ask for what you need (see last month’s article on communication). Once issues are cleared or resolved, you will be surprised how quickly a weight is lifted from your heart.
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From now on think about your life from now on in the terms of Whole Life Fitness. Take stock regularly, and when you feel an area getting slow, stagnant, or shapeless, rev up those engines and whip that area into shape! If you wish for more guidance, feel free to contact me at http://www.danelifefitness for a free life shaping session.