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Feature Article You Deserve a Joyful Life

By Patricia Sheffield, Life & Wellness Coach

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It’s the dawn of a new year and the writer and motivational speaker in me feels as though I should have a list of “tips” that will help you begin your journey to success for whatever you want to accomplish in the next twelve months. I have more of an innate tendency towards storytelling than creating lists. However, I’ve decided to make an exception and offer my thoughts in the form of a list I’ll call, “Four Tips to a Successful New Year.” Here goes:

  1. Embrace doubt, but set it free - Humans are known for having doubt, whether it’s about ourselves, other people, or the world around us. Most of all, I think for many, doubt can be discouraging and weaken the strength of our ambitions. Amazingly, with enough force, you can turn doubt into strength and use it to accomplish anything you want. I really think it’s a “gutsy move” to get rid of it, but when you do, the rewards will be great.

  2. Live authentically - This is something I’m still working on. For much of my life I have felt that sharing my true self was too risky and that the moment people figure out who I really am, they will run as far away as possible. Although, it’s not just others, many of us are terrified to be authentic with ourselves. That is perhaps the most difficult. The road to authenticity may be long and well, unrelenting sometimes, but I’m finding it to be quite a journey. I think we really enjoy sharing our lives with people that have this part figured out already. So how about we try it out for ourselves? You may find that even in small amounts, living this way is pretty remarkable and a wonderful gift to others.

  3. Avoid “not enough” thinking - Ugh, I’m guilty of this too. Most of the people I know have are deeply affected by this plague of sorts. It usually starts with not “being good enough” and goes downhill from there. Wherever that thinking comes from, it is time to put it to rest. I’ve done a lot of self-reflection in this particular area so if you want to know how to dispose of it let me know. I will share my tools with you. It starts with self-love and ample amounts of compassion. The truth is, we are all enough.

  4. Be kind to your body - Even with an abundance of reading materials, resources, fitness apps, healthy eating cookbooks, and activity trackers, we still find ways to not take care of ourselves. There are many reasons for this, all of them valid. But for most people I think it all comes down to finding the time and motivation. We have the information but we lack the drive and passion. We also have a knack for helping others and then coming up short for our own well-being. So, I think the first step is to find something you’re passionate about. It doesn’t matter what it is. When you find something you enjoy, you’re more likely to stick with it and find the time for it. Be patient and forget about comparing yourself to others. It only hinders your success.

In the end I think it’s about believing in yourself and knowing how deserving you are of a joyful life. The ride into the New Year may not always be smooth one. The manner in which we get from one day to the next will depend on many things and at times be a compelling tale of overcoming obstacles. However the year unfolds for you; remember that being exactly who you are is enough and that your importance as a human being is simply a matter of trusting the profound truth that you are valuable and worthy of love.

I wish each of you a healthy and happy new year!

Patricia Sheffield

Patricia Sheffield is a Wellness-Life Coach for Samaritan Health Services.  She provides coaching to employees and community members in Benton, Linn and Lincoln counties. Her office is located at SamFit - Albany.