5 Steps to a Happier Life

 

I am no life coach. Nor do I have all the answers. I do, however, like to think that I have some life experience, and that I have made a lot of strides on this journey towards happiness.

Like I said, these 5 steps are not the end all be all and there’s no scientific formula behind them. These are purely “Laine’s” 5 steps to a happier life.

It worked for me. Maybe it could work for you too.

  1. Read. Read books that make you a better person whether that’s professionally, personally, emotionally, whatever tickles your fancy. The one book that has changed my life (no exaggeration) is You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. This woman’s take on life and how to look at things with a different perspective truly changed me. It was a turning point in my life, and actually happened to be the thing that gave me the courage to start Cheers, Laine. Thanks Jen!
  2. Own an animal. I wouldn’t say I’m an animal person. Dogs were dogs. Cats were cats. They were cute, but to have my own was not a top priority of mine. Until I fell in love with my Lucy. I talk about her a lot and how she also helped me have a happier life in my blog, The Pitbull That Saved My Life. Having a dog is a love like no other. It’s my equivalent to a mother and her child. (I do acknowledge there is a major difference between the two). Having an animal shows you what it’s like to love and be loved unconditionally. The power of a dog’s love truly can heal people.
  3. Have a work life balance. Seriously. Stop working all those hours. Or if you can’t do that, have a certain amount of time everyday where you DON’T look at your email. Growing up I watched my parents stress and stress about work. I knew I never wanted that. I didn’t want to work 12 hour days every day, but let’s be real, that happens sometimes. So make the conscience effort to clear your mind of work, even if that means an hour a day. (And no, smarty pants, sleeping does not count as clearing your mind from work).
  4. Workout. Whatever that means to you. If that means walking your dog around the block, great! If that means doing Cross Fit, well done! Whatever type of physical activity you need to do, do it. Physical activity can literally improve your life, your health, your mind, everything. We all know it ain’t easy to workout, but little progress is better than none. So keep on choppin’.
  5. Understand yourself. It is critically important that we as individuals understand ourselves. If you know what makes you tick and what makes you do what you do, then you will be able to see more clearly. You’ll know what’s important and what’s not. I’ve come to realize that I am the way I am because of how I was raised, good or bad. I’ve also come to realize that I can change the way I think and view things as I begin to better understand myself. Understanding yourself will shape how you do things.

That’s all she wrote, folks.

What steps have you taken to a happier life?

 

Cheers,

Laine

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Blessings from 2014

As I sit here, now in 2015, I can’t help but reflect on my 2014. The first 6 months of 2014 were a little rocky. I think I let a lot of my emotions from the 2013 year sneak their way in there with an obscene amount of drinking and stupid decisions. But what can you do but learn from it, right? So here I am, learning from my mistakes and counting my blessings heading into 2015..

Always100In my post, More Than MyselfI talk about coaching my kids and how much of a blessing they are to me. I did not mention, however, that in 2013 I took a break from all that. It wasn’t until January of 2014 I got back in the game with my new Always 100 family, which was probably one of the few good decisions I made during that first 6 month span. I thank God every day for these 9 young women, their families, and the coaching staff at Always 100 for bringing me back in to their lives and their program.

IMG_1956As I started to try and better myself come mid year, I decided not only to mentor my own kids that I coach, but to also become a Big for Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS). This was a big step for me. There was an extensive process in being matched with a Little. I was beyond nervous. What if we didn’t hit it off? How could I relate to a kid who came from a totally different background than me? Would we have anything in common?

Well BBBS really knows their stuff and matched me with the most amazing Little. It’s insane how much we have in common. She could be the younger version of me to be quite honest. We’re about 6 months into our match and the support from the BBBS family has really helped me to try and become a better Big for my Little. This girl and I are going to be friends forever, I just know it.

IMG_0702In August this year I ventured to Isla Muejeres, an island off of Cancun, for my first girls trip with two of my best friends. Can you say, much needed vacation?

The three of us had been inseparable for the past 6 months. What better way to top it off with a vacation to end the summer? And so we did.

Isla Muejeres was gorgeous and we were so blessed to have the chance to go to such a secluded resort, swim with whale sharks, golf cart the entire island, shop and bargain with locals, relax, and drink the amazing Mexican tequila.

Mexico just so happens to be my families favorite place to vacation. So guess where I’m headed to again in April? Yep, Mexico!

IMG_1296Now here comes the real kicker. The one moment in 2014 to change it all was this baby right here. Pretty gross, huh? Sorry for the gruesome image, but there are no words that would do this image justice.

This is what happens when you come down on a martini shaker. Seriously.

What a freak accident, right?! I had never had anything like this happen to me before. Straight to the ER I went: a lot of blood, 27 stitches, and 8 shots later, I was pretty much handicapped for 2 months.

Those 2 months were the 2 months that flipped my 2014 around. There’s not a lot you can do, but think and reflect, when you can’t move from your couch. I knew as soon as I was ready I wanted to make changes in my life.

The first was to read You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life by Jen Sincero, a book recommended to me by a friend, and one I have now recommended to many more. If there is anything in this post you resonate with, I really hope it’s to purchase this book. I recommend the audio version so you can take notes. I took pages upon pages of notes, which I keep next to my bed, to remind me of ways to better my life every single day.

From there it’s really been uphill for me.

My oldest sister had her 3rd (and final) baby boy.

My younger sister got engaged to the love of her life.

And I got a dog.IMG_2092

Don’t laugh, I’m serious. This was a huge step for me. I didn’t have a whole lot of support on this one, but that didn’t matter. I was ready for more responsibilities. I was ready to have someone else in my life. What better way than to save my baby Lucy from the SPCA. You can read her story here.

So that’s it. That’s all she wrote. Literally.

Overall, 2014 was a success. I ended it WAY better than I started it. And I’d have to say the journey through 2014 really blessed me with a lot. Even in those last couple days of the year.

Everything happens for a reason and everything is all about timing. Everything.

 

Cheers,

Laine