Live Life Fully: Twelve touchstones for more peace in your life

Everything is “figureoutable.”

I love this concept. Particularly at times like now ... when I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed.

I first learned this phrase from business author and speaker Marie Forleo a few years ago. I immediately found it comforting.

It’s been a placeholder for me whenever I feel like I have too many things on my platter.

I can hold this concept in the background — while I sort out my priorities and get myself “grounded.” This is always the key toward more peacefulness in my life.

Did you make it past Jan. 17?

If you’re feeling a little disjointed right now, there’s a good reason for it. As we’re approaching the end of January, you may be evaluating your progress (or lack thereof) in this new year.

For those of you who made New Year’s resolutions, Jan. 17 was a critical day. If you made it past this day with your goals intact, you’ve actually beaten the national average. Congratulations!

This research theory I learned from my good friend and physical fitness expert, Cindy Boggs O’Dell, holds that if you make it to Jan. 17 — still sticking with your resolutions — you have a much greater chance of carrying them through. Unfortunately, lots of people don’t make it this far and give up.

A fresh canvas

While the new year provides a clean slate, it can actually be daunting to think of what you’re going to create. Or to narrow your options down.

Some of you may just throw paint at the canvas to see what sticks. Others may meticulously make one brush stroke at a time.

If you weren’t in the Jan. 17 camp, let’s look for ways to go from here. Even if you didn’t set any New Year’s resolutions, you may find some of these nuggets helpful as you look down the road.

Planning for pitfalls

Before even trying to achieve a goal, think about these two things:

  • Plan for the bumps.
  • Tie into a deeper meaning.

Peter Gollwitzer, a professor of psychology at New York University, researches ways that goals and plans affect cognition, emotion and behavior. He says those who plan for pitfalls are more likely to stick with projects than those who don’t.

In a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Gollwitzer compared two groups of women who wanted to be more active. Both groups were given information on leading healthy lifestyles. The second group, however, was also taught how to deal with obstacles.

The groups were shown how to anticipate and work around potential bumps in the road by using “if-then” statements. Instead of thinking, “It’s going to rain, so there go my jogging plans,” the second group was trained to think along the lines of, “If it rains, I’ll go to the gym and use the treadmill or go to the mall and walk, rather than skipping my exercise session altogether.”

It should come as no surprise that those in the second group fared far better in the study. While this isn’t rocket science, it’s amazing how many folks don’t plan for such contingencies and end up sabotaging themselves.

Make it personal

You’re also more likely to reach a goal when it has true significance for you. Edward Deci, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester in New York, illustrates this point with the case of Jenni Perez-Ray, who was working full-time when she decided to go back to school to get her master’s degree. Her experience illustrates the concept of tying your goal to a deeper meaning.

Jenni knew that pursuing her goal would mean spending less time with her family and friends. “But I was the first person in my family to get a degree, so it was very important to me,” she explained. That’s what kept Jenni going. And she was willing to make the sacrifice of giving up a lot of evenings and weekends to write papers and complete projects.

Your own peace signs

Whether you’re reconsidering earlier resolutions — or examining your life overall — it may help to reflect on these classic touchstones:

  • No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
  • What other people think of you is none of your business.
  • However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  • Time heals almost everything. So, give your challenges some time.
  • Life isn’t tied with a bow. It’s still a gift, though.
  • Take care of your friends and family.
  • Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
  • Jealousy is a waste of time. Be grateful for what you already have. It’s the key to moving forward.
  • When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take “no” for an answer.
  • No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  • You never know what someone is going through. If we all tossed our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we may very well grab ours back.
  • All that truly matters in the end

...

  • is that you loved.

© 2020 Linda Arnold Live Life Fully, all rights reserved. Linda Arnold, M.A., M.B.A., is a syndicated columnist, psychological counselor and founder of a multistate marketing company. Reader comments are welcome at linda@lindaarnold.org For information on her books, go to www.lindaarnold.org or Amazon.com.

Funerals for Monday, February 17, 2020

Batten, Richard - 2 p.m., Taylor-Vandale Funeral Home, Spencer.

Cook, Dorothy - 1 p.m., Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens, Beckley.

Dickenson, Cosette - 11 a.m., Redeemer Lutheran Church, Charleston.

Hamilton, Stephanie - 7 p.m., Fidler & Frame Funeral Home, Belle.

McComas Jr., Oscar - 1 p.m., Lewis Memorial Baptist Church.

Mullenax, Claude - 1 p.m., Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

Triolo, Angela - 11 a.m., St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Logan.

Van Camp Sr., Danny - 2 p.m., Chapman Funeral Home, Hurricane.

Wilson, William - 1 p.m., Wilson-Smith Funeral Home, Clay.

Withers, Rosa - 1 p.m., Wilcoxen Funeral Home, Point Pleasant.

Yoak, Norma - 1 p.m., Stump Funeral Home & Cremation, Grantsville.