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Episode #52:
Planning to Become a Happier You

Happier You
I hate the word goal. It puts a lot of pressure on me to make them and keep them. But there is so much benefit in "following our dreams". So I'm going to call it a wish. What do I wish to happen or become in 2023 that will help me be engaged in fulfilling activities. What do I wish I could do that would cause me to be happier? What could I do to focus on things that uplift me rather than tear me down? My quality of life is in my control. Yes...there is always opposition but that adds to the fulfillment of doing something this year I didn't do last year. Listen to my six strategies of how to become a happier you. A happier you also means a happier relationship with your adult children.

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You are listening to Bonnie Lyman and this is episode 52 Plans to Becoming a Happier You. Welcome to the podcast. Loving on purpose. I'm your host, Bonnie Lyman. If you're having trouble navigating through your relationships with your adult children, if you are struggling to connect with them or having specific challenges, you're in the right place. Welcome to the last week of the year 2022. I hope for most of you it's been a good year. We know that we have opposition in all things, so it wasn't all good. But I hope from having listened to some of my podcasts, that the things I talk about, specifically having to do with your relationships with your adult children, I hope you're finding that it applies to every part of your life. And I can't emphasize enough that most of the time, most of us need guidance on how to apply these tools that I teach you for being able to accept others for the way they are and in turn be able to love them for the way they are. That in turn enables you to live a more satisfying, fulfilled, happy life. So I really wanted to talk about goals this week, but I don't want to call them goals. We talk about goals, we talk about New Year's resolutions this time of year, and most of us just raise our eyebrows. There is a standing joke that I'm going to make the goal not to keep any of my New Year's resolutions, and so I can be sure of making that happen. But I think there is a real important reason that has to do even directly with feeling better about the relationship we have with our adult children if we set goals. But let's decide right now that we're not going to call them goals, let's call them a wish, or let's call them a mission. Or maybe you want to call it an aspiration you have for the year, or there is some lifelong dream of something you wanted to accomplish that you want to go after this year. You could call it an accomplishment or a purpose for this year, but whatever it is, I want it to be something that you are intentionally working on and have a plan that will help you to become a happier you. Our brains love solving problems. That's what they do. So if we don't give it something good to solve, it's going to find something bad for you to focus on and make even worse. So we have to intentionally manage our brains by giving it good problems and reminding it often that we want to be happy and fulfilled and live a good life. And if we remind our brains enough of this, then it starts to default to finding evidence for those things. For you, one of the best ways to accomplish more happiness in your life is to envision yourself having accomplished something that brings you happiness and then you can even work from it backwards. So let's say a wish, a dream I had this year was to get better at exercising. And so in order to do this, I need to visualize myself already exercising every day. And it doesn't have to be a triathlon, a marathon. It can just be a simple wish to walk 15 minutes every day for the next 90 days. And then if you see yourself doing that, step back and notice how that makes you feel. And so because it's our feelings that cause us to act a certain way, we have to feel that way. We will be feeling when we have accomplished that wish. I'm just going to call it a wish of having exercised every day for the next 90 days. So in order to make that happen, I'm going to see myself exercising. And so what's the thing I do right before I exercise? Well, in my case, if I'm only going to be taking a walk for 15 minutes a day, I don't necessarily have to change my whole clothing attire, but I do want to put on some different shoes. And so I see myself putting on those shoes, putting on some comfortable walking shoes. Now, if it inspires you or you don't have any comfortable walking shoes, then the first thing is the next step before putting those shoes on would be getting some walking shoes. Why not just treat yourself and go buy some new ones to incentivize yourself? So before you do that, you have to have the money to buy the shoes, or you have to have a way of getting the shoes. So if it's going to the store to buy them, you might say that you need transportation to get to the store to buy some shoes before getting on that transportation. Remember, we're working backwards here. You have to decide, what day am I going to go get those shoes? And then before that, you have to plan your day so that you can go that day. And before that, perhaps you set up a reminder. So Brooke Castille taught me this is you kind of work backwards. You see yourself having accomplished your goal or having fulfilled your wish of exercising every day, and what's the step right before each step to make that happen? And it will happen that way, and it's a very effective way to start planning to fulfill your wish. I found it interesting that one of the things we have to do is when we make that plan, we plan backwards, but then we start at the beginning, is that we become committed to the plan. There are no excuses, and you write it down on your calendar. Walk 15 minutes. Now, some of you, it may be more incentivizing to set up a specific time of when you're going to work on your wish. But for me personally, that restricts me. And so I kind of have a rule in my house that if it's 15 minutes that I'm going to spend on my wish, I don't allow myself to watch TV at night that I really love to do unless I have spent that time working and moving forward on accomplishing my wish. Brooke says the reason diets don't work for people is not because of the particular diet. It's because they don't follow the plan that the diet suggests. That's all. They just haven't followed through. It's not like some diets work better. But we do have the choice to pick the one that feels best to us, just as we have the choice to pick out the shoes that are most comfortable for us or the time of day that works best for us. If our goal was to get 15 minutes of exercise in. But remember, this has to be a wish, something that you really want to happen, that you can visualize yourself being happier because it's more fulfilling to have accomplished that goal or that wish. The reason I don't like the word goal is I feel like it puts a lot of pressure on us and we start judging ourselves that we should have goals where wishes are just something we all have. So I'm going to give you a process to kind of decide what you want to work on this year. But I really feel that having the desire to work on something in our life, whatever you want to call it, that we know will make us happier, will do more to find peace in our relationship with our adult children than just about anything else we can do. We are shifting our focus from our life with them to our life with ourselves. And when we improve our own personal happiness, we're going to automatically improve the relationship with our adult children. We forget it is not their responsibility to fulfill our need to be happy. It is our responsibility. This we have control over. We have control over accomplishing wishes, of meeting dreams, of making strides in learning new things. We don't have control over what our children feel about us or how much time they want to spend with us, or just exactly where they want us to fit into our lives. So the first thing we need to do in living a happier life in 2023, I want you to pick a word to name your strategy. You might call it becoming a happier you this year. You might call it a mission. You might call it an aspiration. Maybe you want to call it a dream. Maybe you want to call it my purpose for this year. Maybe it's a wish, maybe it's an accomplishment. But you pick it, I'm going to refer to it as a wish. So the first thing you're going to do is you're going to name it. And then the second thing you're going to do, you're going to write down all the things that are your wishes, even the silly ones, even the ones that maybe you want to save for 2024. But just write down all your wishes. Because if you don't write them down, they only remain a wish. Or we could say it just remains a thought in our minds. We are just interested in doing that. We're not really committed to doing it knowing that it's going to make our life happier because it's something that we want. The next thing we're going to do is we're going to pick one or two things off of this list that really lights you up. Something that sounds exciting to you, no more shooting on yourself. You can write down, I'm going to read my scriptures every day. But if you're writing that down just because you think it's something you should do, not necessarily, that sounds really fun and exciting and is going to make you happier. Let's just try to work on that without putting it on your list of things that's going to help you become a happier you. Don't get me wrong, I believe I am happier when I read my scriptures. But it often comes more from being obedient rather than having accomplished something where I had to strategize and make some plans to get it accomplished. I think it's important that you only work on one of your wishes at a time. What do you really want? Our feelings, remember, are always the cause of our behavior. So it's necessary to pick a wish to work on that feels exciting, desiring, happy, accomplished, something that gives you a really feel good feeling. Number four, then, is what is your plan to make that wish come true? Make a 90 day plan of what you're going to do every day to meet that goal. When you're done with the 90 days, then you can start on your second wish. And you know at that time, you may even decide that the second wish that you chose in the next week or so is different. And that's okay. You want to find out what your soul really hungers to be doing at this time in your life. What do you really want to be going on in your life? What lights you up? What makes you excited to get up in the morning? It may be a routine you have wanted to accomplish. Maybe you're learning something new. Maybe you're taking more trips. Maybe you're taking some class on YouTube. Maybe it's going out to lunch every week with friends. But just do something that is your heart's desire that you have always wanted to do. Maybe it's taking a nap every day, I don't know. Only you know what makes you happy. And our happy happiness comes from planning from it. Number six is no, this is number five. It's called deciding that you're going to practice living your dream or living your wish as if it's already happened. Remember back in step four, we made some plans, some strategies to make this wish this dream come true. I'm going to tell you the first two weeks are going to be hard. Your body and your mind are not going to want to do it. They're going to want to resist it. And so we have to be committed, not just interested, but committed to investing our whole selves into sticking with this plan. Because if we cave into resisting it or skipping a day or two on purpose, it prolongs the misery that we need to get to of achieving the long term purpose of accomplishing working through. And I call it the river of misery. I found this when I was trying to lose £10 and I decided to cut out all sugar and limit my bread and reduce the amount of calories. For two weeks, I went to bed hungry every night. I felt like I was clenching my fist. I had to put chairs in front of the kitchen door. So it was more of an obstacle to get into my kitchen. But you know what happened after two weeks, my brain caught on that this is what I really wanted to do. And my body started recalibrating to the different kinds of foods I was eating and that I was eating less and that it became easier and easier and it became more natural. What I say happens, I believe it takes two weeks of feeling uncomfortable trying to meet your goal and then it becomes a habit. And we know when it's a habit, it's when it's uncomfortable not to follow the plan to reach our wish, our dream, our new purpose. It feels more uncomfortable practicing that than it does by caving in to the urges not to stay on plan. Living a life you want to only happens or living a life that you want only happens when you learn that it's possible to feel anything you want if you learn to manage your thoughts and with that, if you're just willing to feel some negative emotion. If we can learn to manage our thoughts, we call that thinking on purpose. When we decide to think thoughts that are useful to our overall well being, that are useful to accomplishing and fulfilling our wishes and our dreams, we will learn how to interrupt those negative thought cycles and we can live a life that is quite peaceful. And one of the most important parts of this is this is the part that comes into you having a better relationship with your adult children. When you learn to get through that river of misery where it's so hard to practice these new behaviors. We are changing our brain to default, to hang on to useful thoughts that also change our thoughts, that change our feelings, that change our behaviors. In dealing with our adult children, that may be difficult to deal with when we can overcome hard things and we can work at it long enough and see that it doesn't happen automatically. But it takes time to have that wish or that dream come true, then the same thing happens in our relationship with our adult children. We are more patient and understanding of them and willing to wait for things to work out. I have found that there is all the information any of us need on the internet in the form of articles, books, podcasts, blog post, and I can't forget to include the scriptures to live a happy life, to follow and find those dreams and wishes that we want, and in turn, to have better family relationship. What is stopping us from living the life we want is we don't know how to apply all this information to our lives or even where to start. We were never taught what is the real reason for most of our problems. And that's why we hire coaches. There are weight loss coaches, they're money coaches, they're relationship coaches. And it's not because we're stupid, but we're given all this good information and yet we don't know exactly what to do with it. Because someone helped guide me through applying some of these tools that changed my perspective of why I was not content in my life. I now not only live a happy life, but I also have the privilege of helping others know where to start and how to change their lives. Do I still have times where I'm unhappy in my life? Of course. I'm not afraid of those times. I don't resist those times because I know it's going through unhappiness that helps me appreciate the times that are good. So I would be honored to help you personally live a more fulfilling life. Whether that's helping you to decide on a dream, on a wish, because anything that we work on that may be difficult to do helps us deal with difficult adult children. I ask you to share this podcast with anyone you might feel would benefit from it. If you decide right now what kind of year 2023 is going to be for you. Write it down, come up with a plan, write a note, and stick it somewhere where you'll find it next December. You'll be surprised at the power your brain has to help you to have that kind of year. Be intentional in seeking and planning to be a happier you in this year 2023. I look forward to talking to you. I look forward to helping you. I look forward to you having the best year ever. I will see you all next week. If you're frustrated because your relationship with your adult children doesn't look anything like the way you thought it would, I can help you. Moms who are in a painful relationship with their adult children tend to just spin in their sadness and in their pain because they're waiting for their adult children to change or they don't know what to do to instigate this change to have a peaceful relationship. My program is called Loving on Purpose. And I help you fix what's not working in your relationship so you can feel love and peace with your adult children and then be able to move forward in your life. I can help you feel that peace that will cause you to know exactly what you need to do to maintain that peaceful connection with your children. I can help you feel secure and confident in your role as a mom. I can help you be able to choose how you want to feel at any moment, and that means being able to move forward to live a satisfying, fulfilling life that includes always having love for your children. If you want some help, if you just want to get on a call with me and see what my program is all about or how I can handle help, you go to Bonnie Lyman.com and click on the little button that says Book a call. .

     
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