Happiness Goals

I love the topic of happiness – just love it. I love to listen to the podcast “Happier” by Gretchen Rubin and her sister, Elizabeth Craft and I continually read books about how to live a happier life.

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I am currently rereading Gretchen’s book called “The Happiness Project.”

I love the simplicity of being happy. From reading books and articles to listening to Podcasts and interviews about happiness, I have found that happiness is simple. We tend to think happiness is up on a huge mountain to achieve, it’s always in the future.

I constantly believe this myth – I say “When Aaron gets x job, When we start a family, when it’s the weekend.” I tend to enjoy the future way more than the present.

I hate that this is the truth about me. I generally hope that people see me as a happy person, but inside I know that I could be happier if I just realized the happiness in each moment.

I think a lot of this goes back to mindfulness and living for/ in the moment.

I have been trying to practice meditation for a couple of months now. I love just being in the moment and not worrying. I will admit that I am not the best at it, my mind is always going a million miles per hour and I always have probably 20 questions that I would like to ask at any moment, but by trying out meditation (like 5 -10 min segments) I have been able to begin to slow down.

This goal of mindfulness is something that I want to excel at in all areas of my life – from how I eat, to how I work out, drive, work, watch TV, I mean everything.

I love how in the olden days, people sat and talked to neighbors and it seems like life was just less rushed. I want to get back to that in my own life. I want to enjoy the small things.

I think that doing this helps lead you to a happier life. By enjoying each moment you find way more reasons to be happy.

Currently, on my adventure to happiness/ mindfulness I am trying out a couple of different ideas/ goals.Here they are:

  • Pick out one happiness/ positive quote per day ( I write it down and send it via text to my mom and Aaron – and also usually post it to instagram. Follow me at catlin_rankin )
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  • Take one picture per day! – record your life. Chose one happy thing per day to take a picture of it. It will make you smile and remember the good times and then a year later you have a whole album of happiness for the year 🙂
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  • Workout 4 times per week
  • 10,000 steps per day – personal goal of mine. For some reason it gives me an extraordinary amount of happiness when I see my fitbit hit 10,000 steps
  • Blog 3 times per week – this one is new but is important. It requires me to work for something tangiable, helps me connect to others and also puts me out of my comfort zone.
  • Think about 3 things I am grateful for each day

So that’s it for my current happiness goals – and I think the key to all of them is to enjoy the process (at Gretchen would say)

And I highly recommend listening to the Podcast Happier and also the TedTalk podcast called Simply Happy. Go check them out!!

Have a great day!

Thanks for reading!!! You’re the best!!

Questions:

-Do you have any goals to make you happier?

-What brings the most happiness?

-10,000 steps? Yay or Nay?

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Wanting more for life

I am at a point in my life where I am wanting more – wanting more from my work, wanting more for Aaron and wanting more for my family. I am discontent. That is so hard to write and I sound so silly and honestly dumb saying it. I have been going through a Bible Study with my friend, and we were talking one night about how we are never content. Honestly, if you looked at my life from the outside I am sure you would say that I was living the American Dream. And I totally would agree, God has blessed me beyond measure with a wonderful husband, a great job, a house, a family that loves me and so much more.

But the crazy thing is I am still not happy – I want more.

How can that be? How can I want more when I seem to already have the world.

I think it comes down to a sinful heart. I am jealous and envy what others have and am not truly thankful for the things I have. How can I, a child of God, not be thankful for what my Father has given me. When can I learn to say, just a Paul said, “I have learned that whatever state I am in to be content” ?

This thought has been laying heavy on my heart for some time. I don’t know the quick fix to this problem, probably because there is not one, but I do know what I need more than the things I want, is more of God. A big dose of God and a reminder of his mercy and grace is what I need to change my wants to a yearning for him, and my cries for more to a song of praise to Him.

A life always wanting, I believe, leads to a life not truly lived. It is a life always looking around the bend.

I am saying this because that is how I live my life. I am a scheduler to the nth degree and love to know what’s coming next. But I am learning that this is not the life that God has in mind. He knows what is around the bend and wants us to say “Lord, I trust you, where you lead I will follow. I am thankful for all that you have, You are enough for me.”

That is so so so hard for me – I wish you knew. I am not writing this because I am doing this but because I know that this is what God has called me to do. I am called to live for Him.

The verse that says “What good is it if you gain the whole world but lose your soul?” comes to mind. In this culture we live in today, it is easy to never be content or happy with what we have. But I want to change my prayers from “Lord, please give me x” to “Lord, please use me, and help me enjoy the life you have given me. Please let me be used by you and lead me down your paths. Thank you for knowing what lies ahead, I trust you Lord.”

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All the wanting and yearning for the extras in life will get me nothing – I must first yearn for Him.

“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all His rightousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”

My very first thought this morning

Today has been a pretty good day so far.

Last night I started to feel pretty down on myself because I felt “heavy”. I had been trying to really do Tracy Anderson for a couple of days and just felt even worse than when I hadn’t been doing her workouts. I think I can contribute it to the water weight of my body using those small muscles and also the crazy calf muscles from her dance routine but I was still feeling pretty down.

I kept thinking “What am I doing wrong? Why do I feel heavy? I’m doing everything right.” And I went to bed feeling like a failure. I expected to get up in the morning and try to figure out my next steps by working out like crazy and skimping on food but.. one thing changed.

I woke up this morning with the thought – What am I thankful for?

This is such a great thought to start the morning out with – It will truly change your day.  I reevaluated my day and began to think about how many things God had blessed me with.

So the day started off on a pretty awesome note! It is so encouraging to really start your day with a positive attitude. (It takes practice so give it a try, it will get easier and easier)

I think because of that thought this morning my day followed suit – I faced the day with an attitude of gratitude. I forgot about the silly thoughts of feeling heavy and found that I felt lighter in the morning. Just that one simple act this morning, changed the course of my day.

I was able to wake up and make breakfast for my husband, kiss my husband good bye, workout, meditate, tidy up the house,  and drive to work read/ pray. All before 7:30 am . 🙂

The rest of the day was just work work work but during that time I really payed attention to being mindful and really trying to enjoy the moments. That is something that I am working on also.

Ok this is just crazy – this post is all over the board, a basically what is Catlin working on post .hahaha

But to conclude this crazy, kind of everywhere post I just want to sumarize  with this – how you start your day effects the rest of the day.Don’t beat yourself up about thoughts you had the night before and anything in the past.

So my challenge to you is to get up and say “Today is going to be a good day!” The rest of your day my just follow suit 🙂

Ancient Grain, Arugula & Chicken Salad – Panera Salad Review

Yum yum yum – Panera bread was delivered to may work today.

I sure do love fairy drug reps lol 🙂

So today I ordered the Ancient Grain, Arugula and Chicken Salad. It says it has “Chicken raised without antibiotics, arugula, our ancient grain blend, red grapes and fresh apple and cabbage slaw tossed with white balsamic apple vinaigrette and topped with toasted pumpkin seeds”

Here’s my pic of this delicious fall salad

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The chicken, as always, was what truly made the salad. Oh my goodness, I don’t know how they make their chicken so tender and juicy but I love love love it. I loved the arugula and pumpkin seeds. The other stand out of the show was the grapes – who knew they pair well with chicken and salad. (just a little back story – im a pretty picky eater, or at least I used to be, so the whole world of eating different combos is completely new to me.)

The only negative or bummer i might say is that I had little to no ancient grains 😦 I was hoping for some cool looking quinoa or brown rice.

The salad was still amazing but I am pretty sure the accidentally left off the famous ancient grains.

I would totally recommend this salad. – go buy it and give it a try. and tell me what you think 🙂

Questions:

  • Are you a picky eater?
  • Any awesome weird food combos?

the first post – what im all about

Number 1 – wow can I just tell you how excited I am for this post. I have looking forward to this for a long time. I have been reading/ following blogs for a couple of years and have even tried a couple of times to start my own but never really committed. Well this time is different.

I wish yall could see my passion for helping you see how much more life really is.

I think today is a great day to start out telling you a little back story about how this vision came to be.

I am going to try to keep it fairly simple, because I am sure I will tell you more details later, but here we go.

Definition: Living for a little more – to live beyond your limits, to know there is more to life than what is seen, having hope, enjoying the mundane, to see life in color, etc.

Living for a little more is so important to me because I felt like for a long while, I wasn’t living for more. I was so focused on what others thought about me, all the pressures of this world and everything I had to live up to. I was living life just making it through. Of course I had great times, but a lot of my time was spent worrying and wishing I was someone or somewhere different. I wanted to be prettier, I wanted to be smarter, I wanted to be richer, etc. I guess in a sense I was “living for more”, but not really in the true sense. My mind was consumed with the idea that I needed too, had too, have a different situation to be happy. And that is just not right at all.

I have learned that living for a little more means living with the hope of Christ, seeing that whatever situation you are in – you can be happy, your attitude changes almost all situations and that there is always a way to learn how to dance in the rain.

I am so blessed to see that I can now really live. I can experience life to the fullest because I am living for more than this world can offer. I am enjoying and embracing the things that life sometimes life just makes you pass by. I am learning that when I am truly present in each and every moment, I am finding pleasure and happiness.

Living for a little more is all about learning to experience more of life and loving the little things.