Sunday, March 31, 2013

January 1st to March 31st: 31 Things I've Learned

The first quarter of 2013 is gone. What have I learned? I made a list of the things that I've learned so far. 

(Although some of these things on my list I already knew and lived by, in the amazing journey of life we need constant reminders/refreshers of the thing we think "we know.")

1.    Wake up with a smile. Be grateful for life, your loved ones and your health.
2.    Seek to always improve. I just want to be more loving and kinder, eat healthier, get fitter, be more eco-conscious.
3.    You are what you eat. My baby will be created from what I put into my body. Prioritize eating healthy, no one will do it for you!
4.    Move your body, exercise. Exercise is so important for overall health. Challenge your body. Have a buddy to remind you, push you and keep you accountable to being/staying fit.
5.    Be a public health advocate.  If you don’t speak up or give your public health opinion, who will?
6.    Stay in the loop on public health news and research. Learn and inform others, using social media and blogging are great outlets to spread the word. I get daily emails and weekly newsletter from the American Public Health Association and other credible public health sources.
7.    Email mentors, keep in touch and give a brief update. A simple e-hello brightens anyone’s day—just as much as a genuine thank you does.
8.    Notice and appreciate people in your life who will give you their time and affection. Don’t take anyone for granted. Remember those who have made a difference in your life one way or another. Stay in touch; send an email, mail a card, a text or FB message. Ask them out to lunch or tea.
9.    Take commitments seriously and keep promises. Before committing, take a minute or 2 or five or more and think about it before saying yes. This builds character and trust among others. Do what you said you would do.
10. Read a lot! Get curious about everything, and read! Making time for reading is a great mental and spiritual exercise. Visit libraries, book sales, book stores and just browse around borrow or buy.
11. Create a score board to track your goals.
a.    Reading - I’ve also created a “Books I’ve Read/ Want to Read” list to help me keep track. I’s fun adding to it. B-)
b.    Writing – To track my writing and remind me strengthen my writing muscle, I have an Excel worksheet with the date, day, project, writing goal and notes columns that I fill in as much as possible. 
c.    Words – I write down “the word of the day” I get each day in my email inbox every day.
d.    New Year’s Resolutions – I am just coming up with a system that works for me to help me keep track of my 13 Big Goals for 2013!
12. Notice your body language. Smile at everyone, give compliments, be genuine. Smile to random people in the street. Don’t be scared about what they think of you, you might just bright en someone’s day! It feels wonderful to see a grin on someone s face turn into an honest smile!
13. Don’t complain, be proactive. If you I don’t like it, do something about it and if there is nothing I can do, I have to accept it. When I complain about others, I have come to realize that I am being judgmental. I then ask myself, what am I unhappy about myself? My complaining about other people is a reflection of my feeling toward myself. Understand that what people do is a reflection of them; instead of resentment, feel compassion for them. Be proactive in the sense that I shouldn’t waste time worrying about what others do, but do my own best.
14. Notice and be honest with yourself that you have prejudices and biases. Address them and correct them. Be less judgmental of other people, including women. Treat people the same, be just. Ask yourself, “Would I treat this person the same/differently if they looked differently, were a certain race, gender, age, had a certain condition or disability?”
15. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Teach what you are good at and give people your best. If you’re weak in an area and want to improve it, don’t expect to become an expert over night. Always seek to improve!
16. Practice thinking outside the box. Think beyond what you think you know. Often ask why?
17. Train your brain, be challenged. The more you learn the more connections your brain makes with other cells. Train your brain to laser focus on important tasks.
18. Focus on the work you’re doing right here right now. Write down concrete steps that will move your forward. Set your alarm to go off in 15 minutes and focus on what you need to do for that time. If you have more momentum after the alarm rings, silence it and work 5, 10 or 15 more minutes-- don’t stop.
19. There is no such thing as multi-tasking. The brain can only do 1 thing efficiently at a time.
20. Write it down, write everything down. Don’t rely on memory- we are all human and we forget. Review your notes often.
21. Don’t take things personally. Before you respond, pause and think. What someone said or did to you is not about you, but a reflection of themselves, their reality. Still, be kind, smile and carry on.
22. Write your story, write with a purpose. I write my blog to share my story. I write to inspire other to make positive changes for their own health, their families, and their community. All these changes can change the world. “Be the change you want to see in the world.” ~Gandhi
23. Let children bring your inner child out. I love children! Looking into their innocent eyes and seeing how happy and peaceful they are instantly makes me feel happy and peaceful, too. Smile at children often; often times they smile back and it’s an exchange of beautiful feelings! 
24. Get organized, finally! Commit to having a place for everything. Think about getting rid of clutter and unnecessary stuff. Donate to the Goodwill (and you even get a discount to shop there). Reduce, recycle, reuse and do with less! (I’ve read somewhere that it was free, don’t take it.)
25. Be in the moment, live in the present. Look, smell, feel, hear, touch. Tell your loved ones you love them. Look them in the eye. Snuggle, hug, kiss, caress, be gentle.
26. Sleep as much as you can NOW! Once you lose sleep, you never gain it back. Sleep helps rejuvenate the body and recharge it for the next day. Treasure it, it’s a blessing. Sleep now because when I have a bay I will not sleep!
27. Don’t assume anything. Ask, confirm. Don’t be afraid. It will save you time, energy, reduce stress and irritability.
28. Do things right away! Take meds when my alarm goes off. Clean spills. Wash the dishes right away and make my bed as soon as I wake up (I’m working on these 2!) Return calls, text messages and emails as soon as possible.
29. Activism is any form of speaking up and being an advocate for causes you’re passionate about. Even if it’s trough the internet, cyber activism is still activism. Sign petitions, write emails, make phone calls, leave messages, etc. Spread the word!
30. Find inspiration in others. I feel inspired every day by so many people. My husband, my best friend inspires me to be the best I can me. My parents’ history and life journey inspire me and they continue to do so today. My siblings’ love, talents, work ethic and dependability inspires me. I also find inspiration through the community of ordinary people I work with. My amigas, mentors, and other women inspire me.
31. Take care of your teeth TODAY! Brush twice a day for 2 minutes! Try brushing with baking soda every other day. Floss every day. Use mouthwash whenever possible. Oral health is deeply neglected by most people.
 Everyday is an opportunity to start over and make it better than yesterday. I encourage you to rediscover yourself. Be true to yourself, be confident, be persistent, be happy, be silly and enjoy the process! Be relentlessly positive and have an “I can do it!” attitude.
Love, Joy, Peace and Health,


  1. Wow. I really needed this! Thank you.

    1. I'm glad you liked it wholisticnurse! About the brushing teeth (#31) I always did, but I now realize how important it is and how as a public health advocate I should talk to people more about oral health.

  2. Hola Beatriz! I just found your blog and I love the content you post on here. And, I agree with all the things you've said. It is important to be positive, smile and live in the present. It's also good to improve yourself too. No one is perfect. You got yourself a new follower, amiga. =)

    1. Helen, your comment is very sweet, gracias! Yes, the journey of life is fabulous and we must catch every single moment of it. Being and staying positive always will make a difference. :)