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Posted in Mental Health, Motivation

The 2 keys to Achieving your Goals – Motivation and Vision

A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more. – Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Motivation can take you far, but it can take you even further if you find your vision first! Your vision will motivate, guide you and keep you on track for your journey to success! Trying to succeed at anything without first having a clear vision of what it is you want to accomplish will only lead to you going around in circles and eventually giving up in frustration.

Vision comes from within, from the spirit or subconscious, whatever you choose to call it.To develop your vision, you must look inside yourself. Everyone has a vision that is uniquely their own, and you are no different. The challenging part comes in exploring your personal vision and how it applies to your personalized motivation plan.

Your vision will most likely not come suddenly like a bolt of lightning from the sky. Instead, it will grow from your experiences, talents, dreams, and desires, so don’t try to rush it. Instead, keep your motivation and allow your vision to reveal itself through you.

Here are five steps you can use to effectively find your vision:

Step One

Learn to listen to your inner voice. Learn to tune in, reflect on and eel what your mind and heart truly desire. Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What energizes you?
  • What is your greatest desire?
  • What kind of dreams do you have?

If what you want does not really come from the inner depths of your heart and soul, then you will find it tough, if not impossible, to not give up before you achieve it.

Step Two

Prepare yourself mentally. Your vision begins in your heart and mind. It’s something that needs to burn within your soul. Your vision of what could be should be greater than your all of your past memories, mistakes, and accomplishments. If you have a clear vision, you will have a purpose and won’t get lost on your journey towards your goal.. If you don’t know where you’re going or how to get there, the journey will seem a lot longer and harder.

In order to seek your vision, find a quiet and tranquil place, a place that will allow your mind to think creatively and concentrate on your vision.

Step Three

Seek out other motivated vision seekers. Greatness breeds greatness, and it is for this reason that you should surround yourself with others who can appreciate and support your vision. Your circle of like minded people will keep your motivation high.

Step Four

Keep a notebook and pen handy. You never know when your vision is going to come to fruition and you’ll get inspired, so keep a small notebook with you at all times. My two keys places are on my nightstand and in the bathroom (stop laughing! – it gets lots of ideas in the shower), write down whatever comes to mind, no matter how silly it seems at the time. You may write down a hundred crazy ideas but number one hundred and one just might be the vision you were searching for.

Step Five

Don’t try to fully understand your vision. The vision you are looking for will most likely come to you in ways that you won’t fully understand at the moment. That’s okay. Just follow as much of your vision as you can right now, and more will be revealed to you as time goes on.

All truly successful people have a vision that they follow, no matter what challenges they may face, to its eventual outcome. Start by following the steps above to start establishing your vision today and remember that true, lasting success will never come to you until you know what your vision is and how you will make adjustments to your thoughts, routines and lifestyle to your follow it. 

You will be unstoppable if you combine your personal vision with a healthy dose of motivation!

Inhale. Exhale.

Violet Buddha


Posted in Holidays

How to Avoid the 4 Most Common Christmas Arguments

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. – Thomas Merton

The Christmas season is a fabulous time filled with family, friends and goodwill. Of course, it’s also a time of high expectations and the occasional conflict. Every family member is hoping for wonderful things to occur over the month, and they’re likely to get vocal if they don’t think things are turning out as perfectly as they envisioned. Even the most cheerful family isn’t likely to make it through the holiday season without an argument or two breaking out. Keeping tempers from flaring can be as easy as staying calm, putting yourself in the other persons shoes and knowing what to say in order to diffuse the situation. Read on for some easy tips on how to respond when you hear these words…

  • “I Want to Sleep In on Christmas Morning!”
  • “We Should Spend Christmas with My Family This Year!”
  • “I Want Something Else for Dinner!”
  • “We Can’t Afford That!”

“I Want to Sleep In on Christmas Morning!”

For little kids ( and even some adults), the alarm clock can’t ring early enough on Christmas morning. They’re so excited to see what presents may have been left under the tree by Santa that every second of waiting feels like an hour. Once the kids kit the teens years, they will most likely be less excited about getting up in the wee hours of the morning. If there are still young kids in the house, explain to your teens (and/or husband) that it’s important for the entire family to be involved in Christmas activities. If all of your kids have grown out of “Santa age,” you can easily push back your Christmas morning celebration to early afternoon. At one point, I had young, kids, teens and young adults to deal with Christmas morning so we set a rule that coffee must be in hand and the clock must read at lest 7:00 am!

“We Should Spend Christmas with My Family This Year!”

If your family spends every single holiday at your parents’ house, your significant other might decide that it’s time for a change. It’s important to reach a compromise so that they get to partake in their own Christmas traditions as well. You might alternate between family Christmas parties from year to year, or spend the morning with one family and the evening with the other. I am blessed that the Christmas routine has been the same for many years and my parents are more that happy to get together with everyone after the Christmas chaos. if you still can’t decide where to be when, then I suggest making your own Christmas schedule to create your own traditions and invite both families at the same time to celebrate on Boxing day.

“I Want Something Else for Dinner!”

We all have at least one picky eater in our family or someone who has allergies or food sensitivities. The foods that you eat for Christmas dinner can become just as much of a tradition as the dinner itself. So, you may not be too happy if and when a family member wants veggie casserole rather than turkey and potatoes. Instead of changing the menu completely, come to a compromise. Cook a smaller portion of whatever your family member wants along with your traditional Christmas fare. Let the whole family try it. If they like it, add it to the menu as part of your annual feast.

“We Can’t Afford That!”

A strained financial situation is one of the main causes of arguments among couples, and the holiday season means even more strain than usual. If you and your loved one are arguing over how much a holiday party might cost, work out a budget together and stick to it while you plan your party. If that person thinks you’re spending too much or too little on gifts for the kids, create a gift list with them and decide how much you’ll spend on each child. There are several options to consider which makes it fair to everyone involved. My youngest kiddos don’t understand the cost of things but what matters to them is that they open an equal amount of presents.

These are just four common Christmas-related disagreements that may pop up during the holiday season. Be prepared! Keeping these examples (and solutions) in mind will help you ensure the most peaceful Christmas possible.

Inhale. Exhale.

Violet Buddha

Posted in Holidays

15 Tips to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.

Jim Rohn

When you’re trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, the holidays can be a real challenge. Watching your diet is next to impossible with so many Christmas meals and treats tempt you for weeks. Germs are hard to avoid when you travel on a train or plane in order to visit family. Even if traveling doesn’t make you sick, a little too much holidays eggnog just might cathc up to you. Follow the tips i’ve shared below to keep yourself feeling happy and healthy this holiday season and into the New Year.

1. Whether you are the host of the Christmas meal or simply a guest, try to keep yourself focused on fun traditions and activities instead of dinner and dessert.

2. Stay away from gravy or use it sparingly on your meat or vegges. Using less sauce or gravy on your foods should lead to a much healthier meal.

3. Don’t underestimate the impact of a healthy breakfast. A good breakfast can keep you from feeling hungry later in the day and increase the likelihood that you will staty away from the less-than-healthy Christmas treats.

4. Stay away from holiday stress by having a plan for events. Stress makes you feel anxious and irritable, and even has a negative impact on your immune system. Decide before hand what you plan tp eat, what time you are expecting to leave and stay out of family squabbles or omments that can lead to conflict.

5. Plan fun family activities that get you moving. Sledding, ice skating or skiing are great fitness-friendly options that everyone can enjoy.

6. If you plan to travel using public transportation, bring along some sanitary wipes and wipe down surfaces in your area. Make sure you clean the armrests, tray table, seat belt buckle or anything else you might touch during your trip.

7. Keep yourself active, even if you’re travelling. If you have to wait for your flight to be ready to board, walk around the airport terminal rather than sitting to wait. Find a flight of stairs and go up and down a few times. Remeber to strech your legs, neck and shoulder to release tension that can build up.

8. Chew some gum after eating to help resist the urge to head straight for the treat table.

9. If you’ll be staying in a hotel then try to find one with a pool or fitness center. This will give you a place to get active in between all the family functions.

10, Drink plenty of water. It’s easy to forget about staying hydrated during a busy holiday season, especially if it gets cold where you live or are visiting.

11. Instead of candy, encourage your family to eat fruits like apples and oranges. They’re a healthier way to satisfy cravings for sweets.

12. If you’re going to be drinking wine or eggnog, make sure you know your limits. A Christmas morning hangover can be devastating, especially if you’re going to be around excited kids who want to open presents. A holidat headache can really put a downer on the holiday vibe.

13. For every alcoholic beverage you drink, try to also drink a glass of water. This will leave you feeling hydrated and hangover free the next morning.

14. Consider using a fitness app on your smartphone to set fitness goals and keep track of how much exercise you get over the holidays.

15. When all is said and done it’s important to remember not to get down on yourself, in the event you “slip up” during the Christmas holiday season. After all, it’s typically the time to spend with family and friends enjoying yourself. We all deaserve a cheat day every once and a while.

You can always get back on track after the holiday is over and ring in the New Year with renewed commitment to your health focused goals. That’s what the new yearis for – right? If it makes you feel better, you can even try to be a bit more health-conscious in January and February. Things usually have a way of evening out!

Inhale. Exhale.

Violet Buddha

Posted in Holidays, Stress Reduction

How to Say No at Christmas

The oldest, shortest words – “yes” and “no” are those that require the most thought. – Phythagoras

From the toy aisle to the dinner table, the holiday season is full of “no’s.” It’s important to be able to say no when it comes to things that you can’t do, do have time for or even don’t want to d at all. Unfortunately, expectations run high during the holiday season which makes saying no to friends, family, or even complete strangers very challenging. After all, everyone knows that Christmas is all about giving and thinking of others before ourselves. Don’t be afraid of coming across like a Grinch because its important to take care of your mental and physical health too. I’ve put together some tips to help you say no – even at Christmas time.

Stay Positive

Even if you need to say no, you can still state your case in a positive way. If someone is asking you to organize a holiday party, bake or to set up decorations, try to highlight the benefits of doing things a different way rather than the negative aspects of their plan. You could suggest a girls day to tackle the tasks together. Like John Heywood said “many hands make light work.” You can also propose getting the kids involved in baking, decorating and meal prep.

Be Confident

People can often tell when you’re feeling unsure of yourself and this can make them less willing to take no for an answer. If you want people to take you seriously, it’s important that you project confidence and speak assertively. When you need to tell someone no, say it with clearly without wavering so they can see that you’re serious. This doesn’t mean that you need to be aggressive or rude. Just be firm and concise, and stand up for yourself.

Find a Better Solution

If you’re telling someone no about something but you don’t have an alternative to suggest, the person you’re talking to isn’t likely to come up with a new plan. Instead, they will probably try to find a way to make their initial suggestion seem more logical to you. While a compromise may be better in some situations, you’ll still end up doing something that you didn’t want to. Instead, try to come up with an alternative plan for the person to consider. They just may go along with it, and that way you can avoid their request without actually saying no.

Avoid an Argument

Any disagreement can turn into an argument at any moment, especially during the stress-filled holiday season. With tensions running so high, even the smallest issue can turn into a Christmas confrontation. If saying no causes an argument, ask if you can discuss the subject once things have calmed down. Arguing isn’t likely to lead to an agreeable solution, and can also cause feelings to be hurt unintetionally.

Stick to Your Guns

Stick to your guns, no matter how hard someone tries to sway your decision. Remember that you don’t need to feel guilty about saying no. There’s no reason to be upset about it either. The majority of the time, it really is in everyone’s best interest. Simply explain that you’re not saying “no” to be mean or difficult. Reiterate the reason or reasons why you’re saying no, as gently as you can.

Yes, believe it or not, it’s entirely possible to say “no” at Christmas. Armed with all of the tips listed above, the task is probably easier than you think.

Inhale. Exhale

Violet Buddha

Posted in Mental Health

A Season of Depression

It is during our darkst moments that we must focus to see the light.

`Aristotle

Don’t act surprised when some of your friends seem to be grumpy these nest few weeks.  We have definitely started the winter weather that occurs during the months of November to February, the days are shorter and colder, and the nights longer and darker. Many people are already dealing with a considerable amount of snow already. As the climate changes, many people actually feel the effects of the season change and feel gloomy or miserable. Many feel the need to hide away and hibernate like a grizzly bear hoping for Spring. In many occasions, this isn’t simply a disdain for winter, but actually, a mood disorder is known as winter depression, or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Based on statistics released by the SAD Association, approximately 12% of Canadians, 9.7% of people who live in the northern states of the  USA, and 8% of people in the United Kingdom have experienced some form of winter depression. According to world statistics, the incidence of SAD increases dramatically as you go 30 degrees of latitude further north or south, while the condition is virtually unheard of in the tropics.

What is SAD?

Winter depression has a sound medical basis that involves changes in the body’s mood centers brought on by shorter daylight hours and a lack of sunlight. Most people suffering from this depressive illness experience a sense of utter isolation and loneliness. The only consolation is the fact that many people go through the same feelings during this time of the year. It provides a sense of comfort and assurance that sufferers are not alone.

Some Key SAD Symptoms

Be on the lookout for:

  • Low mood that occurs daily for an extended period of time lasting more than two weeks straight and is affecting your performance at work, school or your desire to socialize
  • Changes in appetite and weight (gain or loss)
  • Sleep problems/Insomnia
  • Withdrawal from family members and friends
  • Feelings of  hopelessness, excessive guilt, pessimism or having low self-esteem
  • Agitation or feeling slowed down
  • Irritability
  • Overwhelming Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating, remembering and/or making decisions
  • Oversensitivity or feeling like crying but not being able to
  • Thoughts of suicide (which should always be taken seriously)

Can Light Therapy Help?

Light therapy, one of the most effective and clinically proven treatments for SAD, has been shown to benefit some 80-85 percent of SAD cases. It may sound very simple but the process involves more than just turning on a light and sitting beside it while twiddling your thumbs as you wait for that renewed energy to power up your whole well-being.

The average home or office light emits a paltry 200-500 lux (a lux is a unit of illuminance) whereas a minimum of 2,500 lux is required to alleviate the symptoms of SAD. In comparison, a clear summer’s day can reach an intensity of 100,000 lux.

Using these measurements as a basis, a number of specially designed lightboxes have been invented that emit precisely the right amount of illumination. Symptoms of SAD gradually subside by sitting in front of one for about 30 minutes to several hours throughout the day, depending on the severity of the condition.

When it comes to the treatment of SAD symptoms, light therapy could be the best approach to consider. But to those with severe symptoms, addressing the root causes of the condition may involve the use of both antidepressant drugs and psychotherapy treatments. There are some other ideas to consider:

  • Moving to a warmer climate that does not have high amounts of rain or snow
  • Vacationing near the equator 
  • Watching movies that are set in warm, sunny, summery climates, marked improvements in mood are demonstrated. Any film with clear blue cloudless skies, palm trees, and an absence of snow may qualify for a movie therapy.
  • Watching outdoor sports like cricket or golf

 I hope that the information above can have a mood-enhancing effect and improve your overall well-being. If you are feeling the effects of the time or season change, please contact your doctor and discuss your symptoms.

Inhale. Exhale.

Violet Buddha