How to be healthy, happy, and stress-free:

Set goals.  Why do so many large corporations and companies set goals and focus on their vision for the future?  Because it works!  Knowing where you’re going–either up the ladder or in day to day life–is so important in personal fulfillment.

For my job, I had the opportunity to meet a couple who practices taekwondo.  In June, they both earned world championship titles.  Doesn’t sound all that groundbreaking or out of the ordinary, but these two special people are in their 60s! 

Both of them made it clear that they would not have won world titles without a bigger vision:  “Without a goal, you’re subject to all of the external influences that come and go.  When you look in the mirror and ask yourself ‘what kind of person am I?’ you say, ‘okay this is what I want.  This is my goal, this is my wish.’  Then every moment after that you have to kind of ask yourself, ‘is this, what I’m doing right now, in conformity with that goal?’  You have to listen to your conscience and your conscience will tell you.  You have to go in there knowing that you have done everything that you possibly could toward that goal.  And then it doesn’t matter if you win because you have won already. But if you don’t do that then you have lost already, even if you win.”

A couple of weeks ago I signed up for a half-marathon in December, and I can’t wait to start training.  I’m used to running only 2 to 3 miles at a time, so 13.1 seems a little daunting.  But I’m excited to try and I know I will be a better person for it.

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14)




how to stay healthy:

Drink water.  Lots of it.  An ounce for every pound you weigh. 

It sounds simple, but sometimes it’s not.  Especially when there’s a sugary delicious drink calling your name. 

Water is so important to staying healthy overall, and maintaining a healthy weight.  Someone wise (my personal trainer boyfriend) once told me that up to a certain point, your body cannot tell the difference between hunger and thirst.  This doesn’t mean you should never eat and just drink water, but the more hydrated you stay, the less likely you will be to grab an unhealthy snack out of desperation.  Also, just cutting out sugary drinks from your diet can help you shed pounds easily, if you are working on losing weight.

It’s also easy to stay hydrated when you’ve got a water bottle that you like.  I bought this one in purple, on sale at H-E-B grocery, and I love it.  It’s the perfect size, easy to carry, it doesn’t spill, and the mouthpiece is protected.  I’m serious–having this bottle helps me drink more water.  I highly suggest you find a bottle you like and get chuggin!

Also, because it’s Monday, and we all know I struggle on Mondays, I’m wearing one of my favorite new outfits: a dress similar to this one, but mine has a v-neck and a collar.  I couldn’t find the exact one online because I got it on sale at New York and Company for 80% off!  It was regularly over $45, and I bought it for $10!  I’m also wearing these Jessica Simpson heels.  Normally, I wouldn’t spend this much on shoes, but I got them for my college graduation, so I splurged a little…okay, a lot.  I love this outfit because it’s sleek and totally office appropriate, but it makes me feel confident. 

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

how to be stress-free:

Mondays are the pits.  I always find it tough to get going, and usually wind up dragging, then feeling lazy and unfulfilled. 

Wherever your drag day falls in the week, plan for it.  Do something out of the ordinary that makes you happy.  Plan to have your favorite meal for lunch, or meet a friend for happy hour after work.  Start that blog that you’ve been putting off. 

Plan to make it a great day, rather than grumbling as you roll out of bed, setting a negative tone for the entire day.

When I got to work today I made a to-do list.  I always feel better when I can get things done and cross them off my list.  It also provides perspective and a plan for my day and eliminates all of my would-have-been, “oh-i-forgot-tos.”

Today I finally made an appointment for a check-up like I’ve been meaning to, and filled out my volunteer application for the local Habitat for Humanity.  They’re small things, no doubt, but I feel better for doing them.

Last, but certainly not least, wear one of your favorite outfits.  It’s hard to be frowny-faced when you feel and look confident!  Today I’m wearing heels similar to these that I got on sale at Dillard’s for $30 (a steal!) and a navy blue zip-up dress from Forever 21.  And, of course, a little tinge of red lipstick to top it all off 🙂

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)

how to be happy:

Find what you love and do it.  Practice it, work at it, get good at it.  Really good at it.  Make a career out of it.

Why spend eight hours a day, 40 hours a week, 174 hours a month, and 2,087 hours a year going to work like a drooling zombie? That’s a whole lot of drool.  And no one wants to be near a zombie.  Either they’ll have to get rid of you or turn in to one themselves.  Neither option seems particularly pleasing.

Zombies aside, do what you love and everything else will fall in to place.  Cliché, yes.  But there’s truth in it.  And if you play your cards right, it will work out for you.  Lay down that pride and have a little patience.

Watch this amazing trio from this season’s So You Think You Can Dance top 20.  These guys aren’t pros yet, but they are surely on their way.  And I bet they didn’t get there by grumbling and complaining and giving up.

Also, check out Amie and Jolie Sikes of Junk Gypsies.  These two sisters found what they love and have made it into a career AND a television series.  I had the pleasure of interviewing them for a story and they’re the happiest bunch of sisters I’ve ever known.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2)

And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Hebrews 6:11-12)