Today I want to inspire you to become happier. Everyone needs a little pick up every once and a while and today I am sharing with you 100 ways to make your day full of a little more happiness.
So, without further ado, let’s get happy!
If all of these happiness-inducing ideas aren’t enough, I have decided to start giving you something a little extra each time I write a new post.
Did you know that there are almost 1,500 National Days throughout the year? Some of them inspire conversation, others promote change, and still others just make you laugh. Here are the National Days that fall on April 25, 2017:
To be honest, I was completely oblivious to this until yesterday. Here at The Back Forty, we have been feverishly preparing for the California Women’s Conference to the point that May 10th and 11th are the only dates floating around my head (if you’re interested in learning more about the California Women’s Conference or want to attend, click here).
Even though I forgot about Earth Day, it doesn’t mean that there is nothing I can do to make our world a better place and what day would be better than this beautiful Saturday to do just that. So without further ado, here are 3 easy ways to make the world a better place today!
This is one of the easiest things you can do for the environment and it will probably take less than an hour. Decide to get in your car and drive to your local garden or hardware store and pick out a tree you like. It can be a baby tree (my local Lowes has trees in stock for as little as $8) or it can be a bigger tree, just go pick one out and bring it home. The next step is to plant it. Find a spot in your yard and give your tree a new home. This one tree can produce 260 pounds of oxygen each year! Beyond creating oxygen, your little tree cleans the air, cools your yard, and conserves energy in your home (if it offers shade to any windows), along with so many other things.
Can’t plant a tree? Do you live in a condo or apartment? No worries, contribute to The Canopy Project hosted by the Earth Day Network. Each dollar you donate plants one tree. It takes 500 trees a year to get rid of the carbon dioxide your car creates each year, so why not help combat that and give back? Donate here!
We are consuming natural resources faster than the Earth can replenish them (1.5 planets’ worth of resources each year to be exact). Figure out exactly how much you are contributing to this problem by taking this Ecological Footprint Quiz.
After completing the quiz, you can explore different ways to reduce your footprint. Want a few simple actions you can take today? Buy a water bottle and stop buying bottled water, bring your own grocery bags to the store, or go through your mail and see which items you can choose to receive electronically.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service has an interactive map that shows you which species are endangered in your home state. Click here to explore the map!
After picking an endangered species to save, click here! This takes you to the World Wildlife Fund’s endangered species directory. Click “Ctrl+F” to pull up a search option and then simply type in the name of your chosen endangered animal (note that the WWF doesn’t include birds in their directory). I live in Colorado and chose the Black-Footed Ferret. Once you click on your animal you can learn more about it like why it matters, why it is threatened, and what the WWF is doing to help save it. Then, when you scroll to the bottom, you can choose to adopt your very own endangered animal. The adoption kits are $55 each and you get a 10′ plush of the animal you’re helping, a photo of the animal, an adoption certificate, a species card, and a gift bag.
I admit that you can’t find all of your local endangered animals on the WWF website, but there are plenty of animals you can help! If you have your heart set on an animal the WWF isn’t currently raising money for, simply search for the name of your animal with the word donate and you can find an organization that is working to protect that specific animal. For example, the WWF isn’t currently accepting donations for the Canada Lynx which is currently threatened in Colorado. I searched “Canada Lynx donate” and found Defenders.org where I have the option to adopt a Lynx. Defenders.org has multiple adoption levels anywhere between $20 and $200 depending on the animal. If you want to scan through the different adoption options they offer, click here!
However you choose to help the Earth, you can feel good knowing that you’re making an impact. And think of the difference we could all make if everyone who read this picked even one of the above options to help save our global home!
Are you reading this late in the day on Earth Day, or even after the fact? Don’t worry, as the Earth Day Network says, “every day is Earth Day”. You can still help! And if you don’t want to participate in any of the above options, you can help the Earth Day Network reach their Global Environmental and Climate Literacy Campaign. Earth Day turns 50 in 2020 and the Earth Day Network is already planning to celebrate in a big way by dedicating to ensure that every student around the world graduates high school knowing the importance of environmental and climate change. Watch their video below, or learn more by clicking here![youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5efkV0dt4mc]
Today I bring you another quote from The Back Forty archives. Take a moment to read it and then meet me on the other side as I unfold the meaning it holds.
First and foremost, if you’re asking what the heck the “back forty” of the ranch is – check out my previous post on that topic by clicking here.
Great! Now that we have that out of the way, let’s look at the quote. It isn’t often that we think of our second half of life as being “uncultivated”, “full of possibility”, or holding “infinite growth potential”. After all, when we think of our second half of life we usually think of things like slowing down, predictability, and stability.
But, if you actually take the time to think about it, it is all of those things that we think it is not.
In this way, your life IS uncultivated, full of possibility, and holding infinite growth potential. So take a moment to think about what adventure you want to work towards. After all, it’s all ahead of you!
As we grow older it sometimes gets easier to focus on our significant other’s faults instead of their virtues. Pet peeves slowly become intolerable and your relationship becomes more routine and boring.
Where did all that happiness go?
It’s not that the happiness is gone, but rather that you have stopped nurturing the happiness. When was the last time you did something special for your significant other just to show them how much they are loved? Chances are, all of us could do special things for those we love more often.
But what am I supposed to do? I hear you asking. Look no further because I have compiled my list of the top six ways to fill your relationship with happiness by showing your love.
This might sound counterproductive but let me explain.
Does your husband love watching a certain sport? Does you wife have a favorite TV show? Chances are, there is something on TV that you hate as much as your significant other loves. Well, I’m here to tell you that there is a way to turn these experiences into loving gestures.
Order your significant other’s favorite delivery food (Pizza? Chinese? Mexican?) and schedule to have it delivered right before your husband or wife’s show starts. About 30 minutes before their show begins, say that you are going to bed, or another room, or whatever you normally do to avoid watching this show. Once you leave, send your significant other a text telling them that their favorite food is on the way, to enjoy their show, and that you love them.
Tah-dah! Suddenly, avoiding something you hate has been turned into a romantic gesture.
Do you get home from work before your significant other? Maybe you wake up earlier than them? Go to bed after them? Chances are, you are “alone” at home at one point or another throughout the week.
Turn this into a chance to show your love. What part of the house gets messy the fastest? The kitchen? The living room? Pick a room, and clean it before your significant other gets home. Not only will they notice, chances are they will also appreciate it and feel the need to reciprocate at some point.
This one is my favorite idea by far. Think about something that you request from your significant other on a regular basis. Do you ask them to stop at the store on their way home? Grab you something from the other room? Cook dinner? Walk the dog? Now’s the fun part, you get to turn that mundane obligation into an exciting surprise.
Ask them to do the obligation and then surprise them with a fun activity. Ask them to grab some cheese from the grocery store and then surprise them in the cheese isle with plans to go on a hike and have a picnic. Or ask them to grab your glasses from the other room and then have tickets to the movies or a museum next to your glasses. Ask them to cook some pasta for dinner and then have a giftcard or reservations for their favorite restaurant waiting for them next to the pasta.
It is entirely up to you on how simple or extravagent these surprises are. The important part is that you are turning something they don’t enjoy doing into a fun experience for both of you.
This might seem like a relatively simple concept, but when was the last time you actively planned a date on your own? I’m not talking about deciding that you need a night away from the kids and planning something together or deciding that neither of you want to cook and going out for dinner. I’m talking about taking at least 30 minutes on your own to choose something to do together and booking the neccessary tickets/activities. Plan to take a weekend getaway, go to the zoo, or even just make a dinner reservation.
It’s not the extravagance of the date that is important. It’s that you took the time to plan to do something together because you enjoy spending time with your significant other. It’s a great way to say I love you, which brings me to my next point…
Have you ever heard of the “magic ratio” discovered by psycholigist John Gottman? He says that there is actually a ratio of positive to negative comments in a relationship that can pretty much guarantee a stable relationship. What is this ratio?
For every negative comment you make to your significant other, you should make five positive comments. So think about it, what is your current ratio? How often are you saying “I love you”? How often do you tell your significant other that you appreciate them? Now, how often are you complaining? The longer we are in a relationship, the easier it is to take the positives for granted and become more frustrated with the negatives. This can cause our ratios to get completely out of whack.
So what am I suggesting you do? Figure out what your current ratio currently is, and then work towards that 5:1 ratio. Start with just a week and see the difference that it makes in your daily interactions when you try to stick to the ratio. Chances are, you will both become happier.
Pet peeves. We all have them. And we all have pet peeves about our significant other. Maybe they leave the toilet seat up, or they leave their clothes all over the bedroom floor. Chances are, by this point you are thinking about your biggest pet peeves about your significant other. Well, stop!
Think about your significant other’s pet peeves about you instead. You know what they are. Now, actively try to stop all of those habits. Start with just a day and see how long you can make it last. I’m not saying that you change forever, but make an effort and your significant other will notice.
With all of these new ideas, I know you can actively bring happiness into your relationship. Because, after all, who doesn’t want to be happier? Your relationship is important and worth the time it will take to strengthen it. Even if your relationship is already stable and relatively happy – these six tips can bring even more happiness into your relationship.
Do you have any other examples of special things you do for your significant other to bring more happiness into your relationship? Tell me your favorites in the comments below!
I don’t know about you, but most Saturday mornings I need a little inspiration to get me going. After all, if you’re not careful, it is easy for the weekends to get away from you. So, today I am going to help inspire you to make the most out of not only your weekends but your life!
Here are 5 inspirational people who decided that they had yet to do what they were here to do in midlife and beyond (plus a bonus)!
Winifred currently holds the World, National, and State records for single lift bench press for her age group and weight class. At the age of 47 she was dangerously obese and decided to make a change. By the age of 68 she had set world records for bench press (lifting 176.2 lbs) and deadlift (lifting 270 lbs). She is now a proud great-grandmother of 3 and healthier than she’s ever been.
Buster claimed to be the United Kingdom’s oldest employee. He worked for Pimlico Plumbers in London and even refused to take a day off on his 100th birthday! According to Buster, he was born in 1906 and continued working until he died at the age of 104 in 2011. If that isn’t a dedicated employee, I don’t know what is!
Fauja is the first 100-year-old to finish a marathon. He also accomplished eight world running records for being the oldest man to accomplish each record in ONE DAY. He is currently 105 years old and living in the UK. He ran between the ages of 89 and 101. Why so late in his life? A tragedy led him back to it. He witnessed the death of his fifth son in 1994 and decided to return to his passion for running. He began training and started running international marathons at the age of 89. At the age of 93 he completed the London Marathon 58 minutes faster than the previous world record. Eight full marathons after the age of 89? Pretty impressive if you ask me.
Dorthy was a stand-up comedian starting in 1916. She thought she would never become famous until she got the chance to perform on the Tonight Show at the age of 100 in 2011! After that, she decided that she was never too old to achieve what she wanted to do. She performed on the Tonight Show again in 2012, for her 101st birthday she ziplined the Snake River Canyon, and for her 102nd birthday she base jumped off the Perrine Bridge into the Snake River Canyon and became the oldest base jumper in the world.
Werner is the oldest person to climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. He climbed his first mountain on the list in 2002 at the age of 64 and completed the last mountain on the list in 2013 at the age of 76. How many people do you know who have climbed Mount Everest? Not to mention at the age of 69!
To learn more about Werner, see his Facebook Live interview with The Back Forty Co-Founder, Darrell Gurney, by clicking here!
Meet Tao. She is the world’s oldest yoga teacher at the age of 98! She is pretty amazing. So amazing, in fact, that I wrote an entire blog post about her a few months ago. Click here to find out what makes Tao so special!
Hopefully, that is enough inspiration for you today. After all, as we say in The Back Forty, “You have yet to do what you came here to do!” So, what is it that your second half of life has in store for you?
Join us for The Back Forty INFUSE Program May 5-7 in the Los Angeles/ Long Beach area. This 3-day midlife makeover will leave you renewed, inspired and ready to express your playful, passionate and purposeful second half of life.
In the Back Forty, we say that you have yet to do what you came here to do. Come get clear and on track to accomplish that!
From now until midnight PST, March 31, enjoy SUPER EARLY-BIRD tuition of $597 (because we’re still picking the location). The West LA or Long Beach location will be announced soon. This discount ends when our venue has been finalized after March 31…so grab the best tuition this program will ever have!
First 10 registrants get a FREE pre-program coaching session with Darrell & Alexandra!
Did you miss the SUPER Early-Bird sale? Don’t worry – you can still get our most recent discount by clicking here!
To get this Back Forty INFUSE SUPER EARLY-BIRD Tuition, click here. After you add the program to your cart, click “Apply Coupon” and type in the coupon code: SUPEREARLYBIRD. This will reduce your tuition to $597 before midnight March 31.
The Back Forty Story
The Back Forty INFUSE Program launched in May 2015, when Darrell & Alexandra first offered their new curriculum to a small, private, pilot group over two days. The reviews and testimonials afterwards were rousing.
Inspired by this response, Darrell and Alexandra then offered the program again in July 2016, expanding it by half a day to offer even more of what participants wanted and needed for this midlife makeover.
Now, Darrell and Alexandra have expanded the course to three full days, to offer the most radical restart to a life of play, passion and purpose to be found anywhere. The program will take place May 5-7, 2017, again in Los Angeles.
Be a part of this growing movement and community and give yourself The Gift of a Midlife Shift toward being who you came here to be and doing what you came to do.
Register before March 31 and get the same tuition as those in the 2015 pilot program! Where else can you get an entire midlife makeover for the price of 100 Lattes? And this is far better for your health!
“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.”
The human condition hungers for certainty.
Yet, nothing new or creative was ever born from it.
It’s a constant dance, in the middle of “Certainly!” and The Uncertainly, “Of course!” and off course, where anything out of the ordinary appears.
Whatever changeup from the way life is currently and/or comfortably going, whatever crazy dream or aspiration your spirit just won’t let you forget, whatever outlandish step all the pointers of your world are directing you to take…none of these can start with certainty.
For example, our initial offering of The Back Forty INFUSE Program was over a two day weekend in 2015. We had no certainty whatsoever as to how the content would be received, and were basically only putting on our first program as a pilot…to see if the message stood the chance of empowering people.
The response – and testimonials – were surprising, but we had only intentions going in…no certainty or even expectations.
Another example is our Back Forty Broadcasts, happening every Wednesday on our site live stream at 10:30am PST and on Facebook at 12pm. They started out with me in front of my computer sharing a tip or two, with no understanding of the technologies involved (YouTube Live, BeLive.tv) nor even any format. We just began as an experiment. It has evolved into an interview format, sharing ideas and great inspiration from leaders in the second half/best half of life mindset…and is both a helluva lot of fun for me as well as contributing to viewers.
No certainty going in, and even seeming certainty of unworkability many times in the midst of trying, but out the other side comes something valuable.
These are just our recent experiences in The Uncertainly. What are yours?
It pays sometime to remember the FIRST time we tried a new thing, especially if that activity has now become old hat and second nature to us. It wasn’t that way in the beginning.
Remembering these instances of The Uncertainly can support us to take risks even now, and now, and now, as we move into our greater yet to be.
The bigness of the game we want to play will determine how willing we are to reside in the not knowing.
Robert Burns said “There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing.”
That means, don’t wait for certainty…because it’s a mirage. If you see it, run away. If you don’t see it, run toward.
Where can you play bigly, even in the face of off-course-ness and The Uncertainly?
Here’s a few tips to support you to engage in and embrace The Uncertainly:
Pick an area where you have wanted to make a move, whether it be a dream you’ve wanted to pursue or simply a new habit you’ve wanted to incorporate. Just pick something to use as your test case of embracing The Uncertainly because, if your success in whatever it is had already been assured, you’d likely already be pursuing it.
Lock yourself in to some new routine, schedule or commitment to devote time, energy or resources to whatever that thing is for you.
Is it signing up for a 3 month salsa class? Is it devoting 2 hours per week to research some subject in the library? Is it committing to send out 5 inquiries a week to ask for meetings with people doing something that you’d like to know more about, possibly a new career direction or hobby?
Whatever it is, lock yourself into engaging in that thing for at least 3 months, and get a buddy to hear your commitment. Tell them that you want their support to keep pursuing this thing for AT LEAST 3 MONTHS and, if you waver, they are allowed to beat you up to get you back onto your game.
Whatever it takes, simply do what you said you’d do and keep to your schedule for those 3 months.
And, when the voices come up to say whatever they say that would take you away (and they WILL come up) – “This will never work”, “I look stupid doing this”, “I’m not cut out for this”, etc. – just let them fall upon deaf ears because you have committed to a schedule, and you gave your word. Plus, your buddy will beat you up if you stop!
After your 3 month commitment to action and engagement on that thing ends, simply take a sober and loving evaluation of yourself and your interest and expansion into it.
Are you further along than when you started? Is there any more certainty, facility, or understanding from which you can now operate? Is it worth your committing yourself to yet another 3 months of experimentation to grow further in this thing?
Get your buddy to assist with this assessment because, if you’re like most people, you’ll discount your own growth and development. You’re around yourself all the time, so it’s hard for you to see your own expansion. But someone on the outside can see what you can’t. A good buddy will beat you into submission to have you realize how much you’ve grown, even in the face of your cynicism.
Notice that you are making a PLEA for your own courage and support to live the life that you think about but usually talk yourself out of even starting.
Just start, move into The Uncertainly, and you’ll build a muscle for more and more certainty around your second half/best half of life to unfold.
Your radical, playful, passionate and purposeful Back Forty is here for you, in The Uncertainly!
“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties.”
Join Alexandra Levin, Co-Founder of The Back Forty and Caren Taubman Glasser Founder of The Little White Lie for a live co-creation webinar of “IMBUE Your Beautiful You”. This beauty “town hall” will take place today (Tuesday, March 21) at 2:30 pm PST on Facebook Live (you can RSVP here).
On this webinar you will learn:
On this webinar you will offer:
We invite you to join not only to hear our ideas of how to “IMBUE Your Beautiful You” but to get yours!
Come join us to co-create this work, and let’s enjoy the freedom it offers together.
Either before, during or after the webinar we would love to get your feedback on our program by filling out the survey here (we also have some freebies to give away if you complete the survey).
Today I bring you a quote from The Back Forty INFUSE Program. Take a moment to read the quote and, as always, I’ll meet you on the other side.
The first part of this quote that I want to make sure you understand is the reference to “the front 40”. It is a pretty common misconception that the “front 40” correlates to the first 40 years of something and the “back 40” correlates to the last 40 years of something. As it turns out, that is not the case. The front and back 40 are just metaphors for the first and second half of something, whether it be life or career (if you want to learn more about exactly what “back forty” means click here).
Okay. Now that we have the confusing part sorted out, we can move on to the meaning of the quote. The thing I like about this quote is that it is a reminder of how far each and every one of us has come. Think about everything you have learned in your various jobs and careers up until this point. Chances are that if you actually take some time to think about it, you have learned so much more than you usually even think to acknowledge.
What are the skills, knowledge, education, and training that you have learned along your journey? I bet that the first things you started thinking of are your formal education and training, or maybe different skills you have honed like writing skills or negotiations. But I want you to look even further beyond those “planned” skills. What have you learned that you were not planning to learn, what have your hardships taught you? Your mistakes?
If you take the time to actually catalog every single skill you have acquired – chances are you are even more skilled than you were aware of. And that is what I want you to take with you throughout the rest of the day.
You are unique and skilled in ways that not everyone is aware of and when you add up all of your skills, you are a rare individual whose unique skills are unmatched by anyone else.
Today I found a new YouTube vlogger that I have absolutely fallen in love with.
Melissa is a 60-something wife, mother, and grandmother living in Tennesse. She has been posting on her Youtube channel each week for roughly 3 years with topics surrounding midlife beauty. While I was trying to find out more about Melissa, I stumbled across a quote of hers that I absolutely love:
“I feel like if we stick together in this aging journey, we can lift up each other and grow older gracefully and beautifully.”
She creates tons of wonderful content surrounding the conversation of aging and how to feel beautiful while doing it. However, my favorite video series of hers is The Aging Woman and in this video series, she covers everything from fashion and exercise to friendships and marriage. Today I am going to share a few of my favorite (initial) videos of hers that I am loving and maybe you will love them too!
This is the perfect example of what Melissa is all about. She uses her own experiences from finding her way through midlife to help other women abandon the stigmas surrounding aging and beauty and really embrace themselves. So, if you’ve watched the video, what’s your style and how has it changed as you have moved through midlife?
Craving more Melissa? Here are some of my other instant favorites: