Working on making yourself a better person is hard. Everything from "How can I be a better mother?" to "How can I be a better employee?" to "How can I be a better significant other?" to "How can I get a rockin' bod at my age?"(not necessarily in that order...obviously it is most important that I have a rockin' bod), it's all very difficult.
I am learning that this difficult journey can be made easier through some important and obvious but often overlooked and shunned techniques.
1. Get a buddy. Seems so apparent, but often we are afraid to make the step to ask to make a friend. I myself am pretty afraid of this step. When I moved here to California, I was VERY alone but I wanted to be a better mother so having my new friend JoAnna was muy importante to this. I am not one to put myself out there to make friends (this JoAnna knows). I have realized despite my loud nature in person, I am an introvert at heart. Which made the fact that I reached out to Christine (her blog is here) ever MORE intriguing. But Christine was part of my I want to be a better friend work on myself... For my working out, I depend on several buddies. A fun buddy for me is my son, Joey, as he wants to train for his sports and now we RUN TOGETHER!! I have so much pride and excitement in this buddyship. SOOOOOO...whatever the project...want to get in shape? Run with a buddy. Want to do better at work? Work with a coworker. Want to be a better significant other? Make a friend. It is best to have a buddy that is willing to be your friend in times of need...to hold you accountable and to chat with...which leads me to number 2...
2. Communicate, communicate, communicate. So true and yet so hard. Many of us have been taught to keep our thoughts and especially our feelings to ourselves. If I admit that something is hard or I am bad at it or if I admit that I need support...I am showing weakness. I am less than perfect. I am not deserving of someone's love. NOT TRUE. Get your feelings and your thoughts OUT THERE into the universe! Admit you don't want to run on twitter and guess what? Someone tweets back, "YES, it's hard, but put on your running shoes and get your butt going!" Admit that you are so pissed at your significant other you can choke on the anger on twitter and guess what? Someone tweets back, "YES, me too! Why are men/women so annoying! Mine just left the seat up/refuses to put the cap back on the toothpaste/takes 30 requests to take out the garbage before doing it!" And then you are laughing. And soon after laughing you forget why you are angry. And communicate in person too. I've realized that instead of bottling up for three weeks all of those annoying little things my significant other does, if I JUST TELL HIM, well, we are making progress. I might find out why he does it. Or he might not have known he was doing it in the first place. And we might laugh together. Ahhhhh...the many benefits of communication.
3. Take time for yourself. I know that some of you read that and thought, "Hahahahahahahahaha-hahahahahahahahaha...Angel, you fool! There isn't enough time in the day for time for myself!" Well, guess what? You are wrong. If we do not take time for ourselves, where do we find time to reflect on what we have done, what went well, where we have opportunities, what our plan should be moving forward? Have you ever seen the Plan, Do, Study, Act Model? No? Well, here it is...
See that quarter of the pie (mmm...pie) that says, "Analyzing what works?" Yeah, that? Well, that is a the quarter of the pie (mmm...pie) that gives you permission to reflect on your life...what you've DOne and what you should ACT on...so that you can further PLAN for big changes in your life. So, reflect while getting a mani/pedi. Reflect while enjoying a day at the spa. Reflect during a massage. Reflect over coffee or better yet ICE CREAM with your bestie. Reflect while trying on shoes at Nordstrom WITHOUT THE KIDS. Whatever reflection is for you...do it.
4. Be kind to yourself. Okay, so this one? Is really, really hard for me. I am the bitchiest of my friends when it comes to the progress I make and the things I accomplish. Oh, I'm working out more? Who cares? It hasn't lead to weight loss or a hot bod. FAIL. Oh, I did a good job at work on that one project? Big deal. I need to do more to get noticed and be the hero of my team. LOSER. Oh, I brought my kids to the park on Sunday? Not enough. They need more time with me and they notice that I work a lot. WORTHLESS.
So, what exactly does being kind to yourself mean? Be gentle...when you make a mistake, it's okay. Nothing is a mistake. We learn best FROM our mistakes. Be sweet...when you spend the day with your kids, even if they want you more, it's because YOU ARE AN AMAZING PARENT. You haven't failed, you are doing the best you can! Be forgiving...you screwed up at work? Guess what, I don't think your boss expected to hire artificial intelligence. Your boss hired a human-YOU in particular-for a reason--humans are creative, flawed souls and can produce with talent and beauty and selflessness unlike the robot of perfection you expect yourself to be!
This is just a start.
We are human becomings-not human BEINGS-we are in constant flux, a constant state of change. Nothing is static-especially not our state of mind. So, when working on working out and other things that are hard, remember--you are becoming something great. Something wonderful. And I have noticed it, too.