The RESET Button

You know that big red button that says RESET on it? Don’t you wish that you could hit that button whenever you mess up? Guess what? That button does exist! It exists in your mind. Here’s how it works for me.

When I am unfairly harsh with my daughter, I can choose to feel shame that affects my whole day, or I can apologize to her, hit the RESET button, and go on with my day.

Because of my skin issues, I am careful to take good care of my body. When I have trouble keeping up with my health routine and my skin starts to bother me again, I can choose to feel helpless or I can hit the RESET button and start tightening up my routine again.

When I am not as consistent with my business activities, I can get overly discouraged or hit the RESET button and decide to increase my activity for the next week.

If I don’t meet my goals, I can choose to believe that I will never achieve them, or I can hit the RESET button and figure out what needs to change in my life so that I can meet my goals next time.

After I make any kind of mistake—big or small—I can choose to let it ruin my day, or I can hit the RESET button, give myself grace, and learn from the mistake.

Do you need to hit the RESET button? You will be more successful in life if you choose to hit the RESET button sooner, rather than later!

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Kindness Craving

When I was younger, I didn’t think that I had special talents like other people did. I was just the skinny, quiet Asian girl with big glasses and braces. So, I thought, well, if I can’t be really great at something, at the very least, I can be known as “the nice girl”. So, I tried to be nice to my peers.

As I got older, and started to embrace my unique gifts, (everyone has these) I started to care less about being the nice girl. When I was busy with school, work, and babies, I subconsciously told myself that I don’t have time to be nice anymore.

About a year ago, I realized that I was wrong. The world is craving kindness! And you know what? Kindness doesn’t have to take too much time or effort. Here are some ideas on how to show kindness.

Open the door for pregnant ladies, new moms—or anyone, really.

When I was pregnant with my first child, two gentlemen walked ahead of me and opened the double doors on each side of me. I felt like a queen walking through those doors!

When I was a new mom, it was overwhelming to go shopping with my new baby and a stroller. It meant the world to me when someone helped me open the heavy doors in front of me.

Instead of sending a boring text message, send a voice “text” message.

I don’t know about you, but I am on screens so much that I start to hate my cell phone. Instead of sending another monotonous text, send a voice text. I bet your loved ones would love to hear your voice!

Send snail mail.

I have a bad habit of only opening my mail once per week or once every other week because I like to avoid unexpected bills and useless paper. Snail mail from a friend is usually a welcome surprise!

Give someone the benefit of the doubt.

If someone takes your place in line, don’t get all bent out of shape. Maybe she had a lot on her mind and wasn’t thinking when she stepped in front of you.

Smile and be friendly to strangers.

Strike up a conversation with someone and see how someone’s day is going. If you are practicing “social distancing”, you can still do this from a distance.

Say nothing negative for a day.

This is good for the mental health of you and the people that you live with.

Be curious about someone else’s views without voicing your own opinion.

There’s a lot of division in the world—it’s really concerning and heartbreaking! When you have the time, why not sit down with Uncle Fred and ask him why he believes the opposite of you when it comes to Issue X? If you genuinely care to learn, Uncle Fred will probably be happy to share with you, you might learn something, and the whole conversation might bring you closer together. Uncle Fred might even ask you to share your views with him. I struck up a conversation like this with my aunt a few years before she died. If I had not initiated this conversation, I might not have known her or respected her as much as I do now.

For more ideas, check out Shaunti Feldhahn’s book, The Kindness Challenge. What other ideas do you have? I need more!

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Apple Cider Vinegar for Amazing Health

Whenever the skin on my hands becomes overly dry and irritated, I can tell that my gut needs a little help. In addition to increasing my water intake, I have started drinking apple cider vinegar again. I drink one tablespoon of Bragg apple cider vinegar—organic, raw, and made with “mother” enzymes”—in one cup of water before breakfast and lunch. Apple Cider Vinegar has many amazing uses—below are three of my favorites!

Bacteria Killer

In the time of Hippocrates and The Old Testament, apple cider vinegar and honey were used to fight infection and to clean skin wounds. According to one clinical study, apple cider vinegar has antimicrobial effects on E-coli, S. aureus, and C. albicans. It can help the body get rid of bad bacteria in the gut. A healthier gut leads to a healthier you!

Diabetes Fighter

Vinegar helps to lower blood glucose in people that have type 2 diabetes or people that are at-risk of developing type 2 diabetes. One study showed that a change in diet and one tablespoon of vinegar twice per day led to a greater decrease in fasting blood glucose than daily rosiglitazone or metformin use.

Weight Loss Helper

In one study, researchers concluded that apple cider vinegar reduced the risk of obesity in rats. In another study that lasted for 12 weeks, obese human subjects that consumed 15 mL or 30 mL of vinegar had significantly lower weight, body mass index, visceral fat, waist circumference, and triglyceride levels than subjects that did not consume vinegar.

Before you decide to consume apple cider vinegar, you might want to consult with your healthcare professional. Also, be sure to dilute it in water and do not overdo it. Over-consumption can lead to stomach upset, erosion of the enamel of your teeth, a decrease in your potassium level, and other unwanted effects.

What do you think of this natural remedy?

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The Mommy Pooch and Other Mommy Issues

When I visited my midwife six weeks after having my third baby, she told me that I had diastasis recti (abnormal abdominal separation) and referred me to a Physical Therapist.

According to Healthline, diastasis recti can lead to:

  • jeopardized trunk stability and mobility
  • back pain
  • pelvic pain
  • damage to posture
  • pelvic floor dysfunction
  • hernia, in extreme cases

I had two other kids at home and a newborn to take care of. How was I going to find time to see a Physical Therapist? I used to have really strong abs before I had kids. I could handle this on my own—that’s what I thought, anyway.

For the next few months, I went on YouTube and searched for workouts that targeted Diastasis Recti. I worked on my abs off and on for months, but the Mommy Pooch would not go away.

During this time, I also started having mild symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction (urinary leakage) and learned that childbirth can be a cause of that.

According to Healthline, symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction include:

  • urinary issues, such as the urge to urinate or painful urination
  • constipation or bowel straining
  • lower back pain
  • pain in the pelvic region, genitals, or rectum
  • discomfort during sexual intercourse for women
  • pressure in the pelvic region or rectum
  • muscle spasms in the pelvis

In February, I finally started seeing a Physical Therapist for diastasis recti and mild pelvic floor dysfunction. From day one, I could tell that the hands-on manipulation and customized exercises were helping to heal my abs. After two visits, I did not have anymore issues with urinary leakage. (The pelvic exam and exercises were a little awkward, but they were worth it!) After a couple of weeks, I could tell that my jelly-like abdomen was starting to revert to the solid muscle that it once had been. It is now easier to perform normal daily activities and I hope to be able to do some more intense workouts in the near future!

Have you ever been treated by a Physical Therapist?

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Stop Living on Auto-Pilot Mode and Live with More Joy and Purpose

I recently lost someone dear to me which has made me think about how short life is. Everyone says that life is short–we all know this–but does this knowledge help us to change the way we live? The death of my loved one has made me realize even more that I don’t want to waste time. I don’t want to live on Auto Pilot mode–spending the little free time that I have on my phone or watching Netflix. (Did you know that the average person checks their phone 80 times per day?) I want to live a life full of joy and purpose. If that’s what you want as well, then these ideas might help you!

Always Have Gratitude

I try to think about 20 things that I am thankful for everyday and whenever I am feeling down. Thinking about the good things helps me to be content with my situation and it helps me to generate more joy and energy.

Know Your Purpose, Goals, and Dreams

My purpose revolves around my faith and passions. What is your purpose in life? What are your goals and dreams? When you are on your deathbed, what will make you feel like you lived the life that you were meant to live? Years ago, I found this great article by Bronnie Ware–a woman that worked in palliative care for several years. Here are five regrets that people have on their deathbeds. If you were to die today, would you have some of these regrets?

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Constantly Remind Yourself of Your Purpose, Goals, and Dreams

I read a great book called High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard. Burchard says that highly successful people are constantly evaluating themselves, and they are consistently thinking about how to reach their goals. He recommends setting an alarm on your phone that will trigger you to think about certain things to keep you on track. For instance, when my alarm goes off, I think about a Bible verse (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18), the top five regrets that I don’t want to have on my deathbed, and the word Kind (I am trying to be more intentional about being kinder to my kids and husband).

If you don’t want to set an alarm, you could hang Post-It notes on your refrigerator or create a digital reminder and post it on your phone and computer. Vision boards can also remind you of your goals. You could buy a tack board and put pictures on it that remind you what your purpose, goals, and dreams are. Instead of a vision board, I have a digital notebook in my phone that has pictures of past successes and hopeful future successes. When I am feeling down, I look at the pictures and listen to a song that gives me motivation.

Make A Detailed Schedule

I love to read and have been reading self-improvement books since I was a kid. A lot of the books recommend making a schedule for maximum productivity. This is something that I resisted for so long–making a detailed schedule just seemed so cumbersome and oppressive to me. But, to my benefit, a couple of months ago, I finally made a detailed schedule of my week. I used Google sheets to plan out my week from the time I wake up ’til the time I go to sleep. It helped me to see that I needed to cut certain things out of my life, and it helps me to see when I am available for business calls. It helps a lot!

Maximize Your Free Time

When I have free time, it is tempting to go on Auto Pilot mode–automatically checking my email and phone throughout the day. I have found that this is not a good use of my time because whenever I pick up my phone, I see another notification or click on something that distracts me. So, instead of spending one minute checking my email, that one minute inevitably turns into 15 minutes or longer. If I continue to pick up my phone throughout the day, that eventually adds up to a whole lot of wasted time! So, instead of mindlessly picking up my phone, I have started to intentionally click into my schedule or think about the most productive thing–or the most enjoyable thing that does not involve my phone–that I can do next.

When Spending Time with Loved Ones, Spend Quality Time with Loved Ones

I know that I am harping on about the phone a lot, but when you are with the people that you love, put down your phone and devices. When you are on your deathbed, you are not going to wish that you were more engaged with your phone while you were alive. Loved ones that are right in front of you are more important than digital “friends” on your newsfeed. Spending quality time with loved ones and decreasing screen time will increase the amount of joy in your life. Also, Burchard mentions that multi-tasking is not very effective, and it stresses us out. So there’s another reason to put down your devices when you are with your loved ones–the multi-tasking will suck some of the enjoyment out of those few moments with your loved ones.

Rest

Burchard recommends a resting time after each major daily task. He calls it Release Tension–Set Intention. Here’s an example. When you are done with the grocery shopping and you are about to go inside to see your kids, stop for 1-3 minutes and do this.

  1. Release Tension: Close your eyes for 1-3 minutes. Breathe deeply in and out, releasing physical tension and negative thoughts. Say the word Release over and over again.
  2. Set Intention: Think about what you want the next activity to look like. Think about smiling when you get in the door and spending some quality time with the kids before you have to start dinner.

Closing your eyes gives your visual cortex and mind a rest. This exercise will help you to feel more energized and it will help you to enjoy your next activity or help you to be more productive during your next task.

In addition to this, I believe that every person needs at least one day of rest per week–one day when you can take a break from working. If this is not possible for you, I hope that you can find at least a few hours of rest from work.

What are your tips for living a life full of joy and purpose?

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