I have this Nike t-shirt that I bought a few weeks ago, and I’ve been dying to wear it but I haven’t. It says “Being Epic Every Damn Day.” I love t-shirts and I probably have more t-shirts in my closet than most grown women do. T-shirts make me happy. Anyway, this shirt hasn’t made it’s way into my summer rotation because I have two youngs kids: one who reads and another who loves to spell everything.
I’ve managed to keep both of them rather innocent. Despite the potty mouth I once had (and still have sometimes), they’ve never heard me utter a bad word (except for that one time in the car when I screamed “What the F$%#,” but managed to convince my son that I actually said “What the fudge.”).
So why did I buy that t-shirt if I knew I wouldn’t wear it? I think I bought it because I need a daily reminder of how important it is to be epic. I think we all need that reminder. Being mediocre is rarely the goal, but boy does it just show up in our lives without an invitation. We end up being “average” and settling right into our average lives. And don’t get me wrong; average isn’t awful. My life is average in many ways and that doesn’t make me unhappy at all. But I think something potentially harmful happens when we settle for average.
For most of us, settling for average actually doesn’t feel that good. It feels crappy because we know deep down that we are capable of more. We want to pursue and achieve more. But average feels so darn comfortable and easy that we stay there. We linger. We start to call our average lives “good enough.”
But what if you are selling yourself short by doing that? What if you have epic things in store for your life but you are just too damn scared to pursue them. I know that’s how many of you feel because I have been there (I’m actually still there in many ways). I let fear get into my head and work against all of my sensibilities. I let fear run the show. Have you ever been in a place that feels unsettling? That feeling is there because you shouldn’t be. No one truly feels unsettled in a place where they belong. Nervous? Maybe. Excited.? For sure. But unsettled shouldn’t be what you feel in your gut if you belong there.
So as we get ready to close out the month of June and the first half of 2016 (yes, I said half), I want to share a few tips that can help you make the rest of this year epic. I don’t care if you started the year off sick, in a rut, depressed, frustrated, stuck in sh*tty job, annoyed with a fading relationship, or anything else like that, I still believe you can make the rest of this year the bomb (do people still say that?). Anyway, here are 6 things you can do in the next 6 months to make the rest of 2016 EPIC.
Pick one goal and go HARD.
This is easier said than done, but you HAVE to do it. You know that notebook you have filled with goals and dreams? I know you have one. Well open it up, pick a goal, and get to it. I am so serious about this. Don’t be one of those people who waits for something tragic to happen in your life before you act on your dreams. I think enough tragic things are happening in the world for all of us to realize that anything awful could happen to anyone unexpectedly. That said, start working on a goal and go full force. Create an action plan, put a reward system in place for when you hit milestones, and get going. If you need a little help getting started, try using this SMART goals worksheet. If that’s not enough, grab a copy of my SHIFT workbook. You can also join the Candidbelle Facebook group for support. I am here to help where I can, but you have to take the first steps. I want you to end 2016 feeling like you crushed at least one of your goals.
Go to counseling or therapy.
I am a firm believer that almost everyone can benefit from some form of counseling or therapy. We need to all stop worrying about the stigma associated with getting help so we can actually get some freakin’ help. If you are depressed, anxious, stressed out, overwhelmed, or dealing with some pain or drama that is negatively impacting your life, please don’t just sit and wait for it to fade away. Sure, you can bury your issues, but when you bury something it doesn’t disappear. It’s always there–waiting to mess with your head and your life. If you have spent most of 2016 feeling stuck and frustrated, don’t let the rest of your year look the same. Take action and let someone help you. Here’s a list of resources to help you get started.
Shake what your mama gave ya.
I am so corny for this, but that’s okay. I seriously want you to get moving and shake what your mama gave ya. I am not talking about hitting the club (although you can definitely do that). I am talking about exercise. I see way too many women suffering from anxiety, obesity, depression, hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea, and the list goes on and on. We owe it to ourselves to take better care of our bodies because we only get one. And don’t stress yourself out about some gym membership or getting the moves right in a Zumba class. Just start out with walking or taking a dancing class with some friends for fun. Other fun options include: bike riding, hiking, African dance, Hip Hop dance, pole dancing (hey, why not!), training for a 5k with friends, or even indoor rock climbing (I am thinking about giving this a try). I just want you to love yourself enough to get moving. I promise (and I don’t make promises unless I truly stand by them) that if you start moving more, your health will improve and so will your life.
Say “No” and keep it moving.
Have you read “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes? I have and I loved it. But I think some of us need to focus on saying “no” with more ease before we can start saying YES. To say yes to your health, you have to say no to eating ice cream every single night. To say yes to self-care, you have to say no to some of the requests or demands that come your way. Saying no isn’t easy, but trying to have an epic year while you go around saying yes to everyone just won’t work. Worried about letting people down? Don’t. You can’t please everyone and the people who truly love you will be just fine. Even if your “no” leaves someone feeling temporarily disappointed, it should never impact your relationship if what you have with them is the real deal.
Start planning for 2017.
I want you to start thinking about what you want 2017 to look like. Don’t wait until December–a month that typically has most women feeling frazzled and overwhelmed. Start thinking about next year right now, when you have a clear head and some time to really process what you want your life to look like. The best way to figure out what you should do for the rest of this year is to start thinking about next year. Think ahead and then work backward. Do you have a copy of my 2016 planning guide? If not, grab a copy today. It’s free and even though we are 6 months in, the last 6 months of the guide will help you plan for the rest of the year. The end of the guide also has a section to get you thinking about 2017.
I hate to be dramatic, but chronic stress will kill you.True story. In addition to possible death (yep, I’m sticking with the dramatic angle), being stressed out all the time keeps people stuck. When you are uptight and overwhelmed, it’s really hard to make decisions, take action, make self-care a priority, have fun, or do anything else that is good for you. If you know you need to relax, use the next 6 months to do so. Also, if you start working on relaxation right now, maybe you can ward off some of that holiday stress that comes at the end of the year, right? Consider options like prayer, meditation, yoga, exercise, de-cluttering, and spending more time with friends as ways to help you reduce stress, breathe with more ease, and enjoy life a little bit more.
Now wasn’t that easy? 6 simple tips that can really help you enjoy the rest of 2016 and set yourself up for an even more epic 2017.
Drop me a note in the comments and tell me which tips you plan to use to help you enjoy the second half of your year.