This year will be twenty years since I graduated from DePaul University with a degree in English and Communications. I had no idea exactly what I planned to do with my degree, but I knew I wanted to be wildly successful. By my own estimation of comparing my piddly income versus my student loan debt, it’d be easy to think I am a failure because I am no where near where I thought I’d be. But all things considered, I am so grateful for my life. As a mother of six daughters and five years into my second marriage, I look at my life and feel overwhelmed with gratitude. There’s an old gospel song that says, “I’m not where I want to be, but I’m sure not where I used to be.” It’s lyrics like those, and a mindset like that that I never want to lose, and that’s because in spite of all the mistakes and mishaps I’ve experienced, I still believe I am one decision, one move, one day, and one moment away from my life catapulting into stratospheric success. No matter what, one habit I plan to keep is my belief that miracles do happen. That’s my first habit I want never to lose: I will always choose to be faithfully optimistic.
My second habit I plan to keep is exercising regularly. I’m sure exercising helps release the ” feel good” endorphins I need to help me maintain my positive outlook. Without it, I am sure I would be a depressed woman because anybody who’s gone from being on public assistance to earning not one or two but three degrees should surely be further along the road of success than I am, but that goes back to my optimism. I need it to survive.
The third habit that’s been life-changing for me is decreasing my portion sizes. I’ve trained myself, and have now made it a habit to ask for a take-out box when my meals first arrive when eating out and putting half of the food away before I even start eating. American portion sizes are so large that they can usually serve more than one person, and this one little habit has kept me from packing on extra unwanted pounds. Putting less food in my mouth is definitely a habit I hope never to break.
Am I a New York Time’s bestselling author? Not yet, but I’m crazy enough to believe that someday I will be. Add to that my idea of writing one check to pay off my six figure student loan debt from my dream of having and hosting a fitness TV talk show and that takes my dreams of grandeur to a whole other level. One of my favorite success stories is that of Chicago’s own Blue Man Group. They were men with full-time jobs with a unique idea of putting on paint while playing percussive instruments. People thought they were crazy, but they followed their bliss. They inspire me, which is why that is my fourth habit I hope never to break, which is, surrounding myself and immersing my mind with stories like theirs. I tell myself if it could happen for them, it can happen for me. And it is that statement, along with hundreds more like those, that I write and tell myself daily–which is my fifth habit, affirming positive statements for my life.
No, I may not be where I want to be, but I’m sure not where I used to be, and for that I am grateful. Every day in ever way I am getting better and better. It’s only a matter of time before I leave my indelible print on this planet. I am open, available, and ready for all the good God has for me because one day and one meal at a time, I choose to make healthy decisions for myself. I am here. I am deserving, and I am ready!
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