Many, many years ago, when I was a child and living in Michigan, our family would travel to New Jersey each summer to visit my grandparents who lived there. I did not like New Jersey. I really have no good memory why I did not, except a feeling that it was always gray there. I don’t remember blue skies and sunny days at all. I vowed to NEVER live in NJ…and this year will be my 28th year here!

I just got back from a brisk walk under amazingly blue skies, right here in sunny NJ. The sky was so breathtaking that I had to stop and take it all in. I have noticed these gorgeous skies quite frequently of late and they never fail to thrill me. It literally puts an extra bounce in my step and gives me an extra boost of energy to be out under one of them. Which is part of the reason I do it.

For the 9 millionth time, I am focusing on self-care. Why I ever stop doing it remains one of life’s mysteries… This time, I am going with the mantra “I choose to live a healthy lifestyle.” It is more a message of abundance than focusing on the lack. So far, so good!

To begin the process, it helps to understand what works for you. Start with these fill-in-the-blank statements.

___________ make(s) me happy.

I feel better when I ___________________.

The second part of this, and just as important, is to think it through. For example, eating cookies makes me happy! However, what happens when I eat them? That joy lasts until my last swallow, then I’ll have a sugar dip, I’ll feel lousy about myself, and the cycle will start again. Not a good thing. But, if I take a walk under blue skies, the result is I have more energy, and I feel great about myself. That is obviously a better choice!

Taking the time to observe your behaviors and their results is the first step towards your goal, no matter what it may be. May the blue skies follow you!