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Lately as I work out I have been reading inspirational books instead of my traditional novels of the past.  During the daytime I do not get much time to read, so exercising and reading is a great break from the normal.  It all depends on my mood but if I’m on the stationary bike or elliptical, I can read from my beloved nook.  Running and reading on a treadmill rather makes me dizzy, I know some can do it but I consider these people members of the ‘super-human club’ which my membership has been declined on numerous occasions. Inspirational books, for me, not only break the silence of working out in a quiet gym (ours has no television and most days no radio) so unless you appreciate hearing others grunt while lifting-weights or panting on the machines, reading is a great escape.  Plus, it helps boost ones’ mood and studies have found one learns more quickly while learning and exercising.

Thanks to these books, I have been thinking and reading of how one makes positive changes in ones’ life without faultering.  Every person is given his/her own life, each one is not categorized or scheduled out to be a certain pattern of events which is organized by another person.  At any time you feel as though your life is, you can change it at any time.  For example in my hometown of Michigan, parents encouraged ones’ children to go throughout primary school, attend college at either Michigan or Michigan State University, then finally return to ones’ hometown and find jobs within the family city limits.  Growing up, I knew I would never follow along with this small-town tradition and hence was very different.  In fact, I was the first person to go overseas for education while in High School (to Japan).  When I returned to the USA, I knew I would again leave to return to Japan after a few years of university and hopefully never move back to Michigan permanently.  I broke the mold of younger generations in my hometown and others followed suit which I’m thrilled to see others following their dreams.  One must follow a dream instead of merely just following along with tradition.

There have been many different goals I have accomplished from looking outside the box of my very traditional hometown residents. (Don’t get me wrong, I love my hometown but more of a short visit than a permanent residence.  Others may think differently but their life goals are different than mine.) It’s hard to go against the grain (especially if it involves family members dissatisfaction) but it can be done.  How you ask? Well, one simply has to come up with a goal and keep positive.  Positive thinking is such a motivational aspect to getting anything done.  There will be times things get tough and nothing may be going your way however this is just a strength test.  Keep going and stay positive, something good will arise through the ashes of a ‘negative’ as long as you turn it upside down.  Every hole can be climbed out of if you just keep trying.

So how do you start to make a goal?  Let’s first start with being positive.  For years we have been taught to think negatively so creating a goal may be very hard at first.  It may take some time, so start thinking of your dreams throughout the day when possible and journal all your positive thoughts and things you would like to do in your lifetime.  Make it a positive goal!  No negatives!  For instance, my goal about 5 years ago was to lose weight.  Little did I realize at first that my goal was a negative one.  Basically by saying to yourself “I need to lose weight”, you are telling yourself you are fat.  Why start a goal with a negative thought in your mind about yourself?  One can’t accomplish something by feeling bad about oneself, this is why so many diets fail.  So start trying to think positive thoughts.  It may sound corny but just you wait!

Dig deeper into why you want to accomplish your goals.  For me, I wanted to lose weight because I wanted to be healthy and not be breathless while running up stairs.  The numbers on the weight scale said nothing about my health or self-worth.  So once you have a dream in your journal, start making subcategories on why you want to do something.  By creating two subcategories I learned more about myself, my real goal, and had two tangible goals setup.In addition, I had a lot of daily positives to read through that instantly cheered me up when down on myself.

Once you have a few subcategories (no more than 5) that are tangible to accomplish, start writing down how you want to complete each item.  For me, I knew I had to increase my exercise which at the time was close to nothing (walking to the kitchen turned out not being enough- go figure).  I chose to start taking Genki Furry Baby out on walks, learning the art of running, and speed racing up stairs to build endurance.  Just a few months later I started to notice weight loss naturally through the tiny steps I was installing into my daily lifestyle.  Additionally, my mood was more cheerful and positive towards others and myself in every part of my life.

Throughout the whole process of learning of my goals and dreams in my life, I reached to keep everything very positive.  Sure there were times when I wanted to call myself negative names or have negative thoughts during the process.  Those days I would put away my goal journal and just work on thinking positive.  It was on these days I reminded myself thinking negative was not the way to accomplish anything and I would review my subcategory goals that were achievable as long as I just tried.  Today I am much more positive of my body (although I still have trouble days), I am extremely healthy for my age (commented by my doctor) and I can climb stairs like no one else. More importantly though, I feel good about myself because I am accomplishing something many do not do on a daily basis – I am able to think positive about myself.  One has to love him/herself before he/she can love others.

Do you have a goal you are working towards?  How do you stay positive?