Friday, April 19, 2013

4 Tips to Beat the Blahs

Get some sunshine


Feeling bored and uninspired by life lately?

I dealt with this not so long ago. I felt bored with everything I did and found myself constantly searching for that "fun" thing that would get me fired up again.

I know I'm not alone in this, so I thought I'd share some of the things that helped get my spark back.


1. Do something different.

Sometimes you're in a rut, because you're well, in a rut. Walking the same paths, doing the same things, seeing the same people...

No matter how fun something is at at first, if you do it consistently enough, you run the risk of burnout. Rather than giving up something you once found fun, try doing something different for a while. Spice it up.

Take a new route for your morning walk. Visit a friend you haven't seen in a while. Read a book you wouldn't normally read. Find a way to add something new to your day.

2. Remind yourself of your goals.

How many times have you quit your workout routine out of sheer boredom? I sure know I've done it plenty of times!

But rather than quit, always remember why you're doing this. Never, ever forget your goals, remember how important they are to you, and find a new route to get there.

“The cause of most of man's unhappiness is sacrificing what he wants most for what he wants now.” ― Gordon B. Hinckley

3. Soak up some sunshine.

Sometimes you just need a bit of sun. While there are cons to getting too much sun, a bit of sun in small doses is great for boosting, not only your mood, but immunity, the quality of sleep, and lowering blood pressure.

Spend some time outdoors playing catch with your kid or take your dog for a walk that's more than just a potty trip. Instead of reading in bed, grab a blanket and find a park with a big shade tree.

Shady Tree

4. Take a break.

On the other hand, sometimes the lack of desire to do anything is your brain telling you that it really doesn't want to do anything. We seem to stay so busy these days, focusing so much on maximizing our days, that we hit sensory overload. It might be time to simply do nothing and relax.

Find a quiet place and just spend some time with yourself. Maybe in a quiet park, or a river bank. Or sitting quietly in a library. Pick something that won't stimulate your senses, and just be with yourself, your thoughts. You could also try meditating.

Do you have any tricks that have worked for you?

Image credit: 1 R. Nial Bradshaw; 2 Ralph Bestic

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Scavenger Hunt with Danny Iny

Today's post is going to be a little different.

Danny Iny and the crew over at Firepole Marketing is hosting one hell of a fantastic competition right now. The Great Online Marketing Scavenger Hunt is a 5 week event that has participants completing tasks, earning points, and competing for some really fab prizes.

If you haven't joined yet, but would like to, just click that link above and make sure you mention my player name [Kim Thirion] which will earn me challenge points!

As part of the challenge, participants must create a Tumblr blog to track the challenges we've completed and post screenshots  as "Proof" we've finished the task. You can find my Tumblr here, and you'll see that I've already begun earning some points!

I hope you'll follow along with my progress! I'd love to win some of those prizes!


And I'll return soon with regularly scheduled programming. In the meantime, make sure you're doing something for yourself!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

5 Truths about Perfection




You can never be perfect

None of us are perfect— we have our flaws, regrets, and desires. We wish something on our body would look differently than it does. We wish we were smarter, faster, thinner, stronger, more loving. We see all these things we want to change and ridicule ourselves when we can't seem to make them happen. We can't be everything at once, all the time, and for everyone.

If you're a "perfectionist" this may initially sound like a bad thing, but it's not! Let it free you— to open your heart, to feel the embrace of acceptance, and to truly and finally love yourself and those you care for.

Success won't always happen on the first try.

Or the 100th try.
"Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement." (Often attributed to Jim Horning, but according to him the original source is Mulla Nasrudin.)

So you try something and it fails. You start a new diet and on day 2 you eat 5 slices of pizza. You start writing a book, but get stuck and can't decide where to go with it. It doesn't matter what you do, the odds are you're to make a mistake.

The only difference between those who succeed and those who don't is persistence.

There will be things you'll never be able to do.

On the other hand, we won't always be able to perfectly master every single thing we attempt to do. Success isn't synonymous with perfection. You can have success without perfection, and you can have perfection without success. All you need to do it give your best effort and what will happen... will happen.

You can't expect perfection from others

Remember that your ideals and standards are your own. You can't expect someone else to live to yours. Your idea of a perfect afternoon is someone else's exact idea of a perfect hell. Each of us have a personality and set of beliefs unique to us. In your city, in your country or on your street, there might be "socially accepted norms" of how people think and what they believe, but each person interprets these norms in their own way, with their own individual spin.

One surefire path to failure is expecting others to always agree with you, to always know what you're thinking, and to do what you want them to do.

Acceptance is the answer

We have to give up this idea of perfection. Yes, we can strive to do better and be better. Yes, we can see where change needs to be made and put our best effort into making it happen.

What we can't expect is for everything we try to always work. We can't expect to get it all right on the first try. And we can't expect everyone to come along for the ride with us.

By accepting your imperfections, you're giving yourself

permission to try, to experiment, to live.

How many things might you try if failing wasn't a concern? 

Image courtesy of Bruce Berrien

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Are You Making These Huge Weight Loss Mistakes?


Did you know that over two thirds of America is overweight?

According to the CDC, the percent of all adults 20 years and older who are overweight (including those considered obese) is a startling  69.2%.

That is just shy of 70%.

70 percent!

That's a whole lot of people, folks.

Now, I'm not going to claim I have the magic weight loss secret. I don't know the magic gym formula. And I can admit that I'm overweight myself.  I don't have magic beans that will whisk the excess pounds away overnight.

But I do know the main reason that most people can't lose the weight, and why the majority of those who do gain it all back.

I can't promise that anything I write here will make you lose weight.

But I can promise that if you keep making these mistakes, you'll never lose the weight— at least not for very long.

So what is the problem?

The problem is you haven't done your homework.

And no, I don't mean researching the best moves or how much to lift or what to eat (Though it wouldn't hurt to do a little bit of that).

What you need to research is yourself

I know it's hard. And it might hurt— a lot. You might have to face a few personal demons you'd rather not face.

But if you skip this step, you're no different than a hamster running in its wheel: You're doing a hell of lot of work and getting absolutely nowhere.

It's time to stop wasting your time.

It's time to figure out what is holding you back.

Mistake #1: You want to lose weight for the wrong reasons

“How different our lives are when we really know what is deeply important to us, and keeping that picture in mind, we manage ourselves each day to be and to do what really matters most.” ~Stephen Covey

While there is no universal "right" reason to lose weight, there is a right reason for you.

You can't borrow someone else's reason for losing weight and be successful at it.

I see so many people fall into the trap of believing that getting healthy is the only acceptable reason to lose weight.

Screw that.

Every reason is the right reason. They're just not all your reasons.

You want to be able to run a marathon? Great.

You want to look like sex goddess? Fantastic.

You want to fit in skinny jeans and knee-high boots? Awesome.

You want to get big pair of arm guns? Go for it.

It doesn't matter what your reason is. It matters that you know what it is, that you embrace it, and you milk it for all that it's worth.

And when you find and accept the true reason you want to lose weight, you'll find that it come with it's own set of motivational tools. And you can't access these tools if you're working with a borrowed reason.

Mistake #2: You don't know why you gained weight.

To get the weight off, you have to know why you gained it in the first place.

First, rule out medical issues. Some people have a honest to goodness medical reason for their weight gain. And if left undiagnosed, no amount of effort on their part will change things.

But that's not the case for the majority of us.

So we have to go digging around our minds and our pasts to find culprit. This is the hard part. This is the painful part. But this is, and I can't stress this enough, one of the most important things we must do.

Do you overeat or binge? Do you crave that rush of pleasure at the first bite of your favorite dish? If so, why? Are you lacking in pleasure in the rest of your life? Does your life feel out of control and the only place you can find control is choosing what to put in your mouth?

Are you scared that exercise will hurt? Have you had bad experiences with exercise or trainers? If so, do some research, start easy, and don't jump in thinking that you have to be able to do 100 squats on the first day. What other ways can you overcome your fears?

Do you think it's all or nothing? That one bite of candy means your day is ruined. Not true. Think of your effort like a bank. Exercise puts money in, food takes money out. If you put in $300 dollars and splurge on a purse for $50, is your bank account automatically useless? No, you still have $250 to spend. I'm not saying to spend all your money. I'm saying that one little snack will never cash out all the effort you put in. But multiple daily snacks will. Keep your perspective!

Are your parents overweight? Were you taught healthy habits growing up? It's never to late to learn.

Were you bullied? Do you have zero self-esteem? Do you feel you really can't do this? You can. You absolutely can. You just have to want it bad enough and find what truly motivates you. Even proving others wrong is a dandy reason if it gets you off the couch! (Although secretly, the only one you'll truly be proving wrong is yourself. Which is way better.)

Do you ever get off the couch? Do you get enough sleep? Are you drinking too many sugary drinks? Are you letting your environment aid you in playing the victim?

I can keep going all day with questions. And so should you. Keep asking. Keep looking.

Mistake #3: Weight loss isn't a priority.

“Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.” ~Stephen R. Covey

When the topic of weight loss comes up, what is your automatic response?

"I don't have time. I'm too busy." 

"I don't have the money for healthy food."

"I don't have access to equipment."

Blah. Blah. Blah. Pardon my language, but I'm calling bullshit.

Those are excuses.

You might be busy, but you are not too busy. Dont you make the time to brush your teeth so your teeth don't rot out? Don't you make the time to eat, so you aren't sick from hunger? You make the time for what is important to you. 

You don't have money for healthy food? Fine. Define "healthy food". You don't need to eat only salads and salmon. You don't need to buy expensive organic produce. All you need to do is cook 90% of your meals at home. Buy less prepackaged food. Make sure you're getting enough fiber (it helps keep you feeling full). Don't drink your calories. If you're eating out 3 or more days a week, you can afford to eat healthy, you're just choosing not to.

You don't have access to equipment? Who cares? You don't need equipment. Your body is all you need. You don't need a treadmill, go for a walk. Cold? Wear a jacket. Rainy? Bring an umbrella. You don't need weights, your own body weight is all most of us will need. We're trying to lose weight here, not become Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Bored with walking and squats? Fine. The internet is filled with free resources. Want to change up your workout? Find a new video on youtube. Check out Sparkpeople — They'll tailor-make a program for you, including meal plans, articles, videos and forums absolutely free. You really don't need money to lose weight.

So the next time weight loss comes up in conversation and you find yourself wanting to throw out your usual excuse— don't.

Instead, I want you to tell the truth.

"Weight loss is not a priority for me right now."

Because that is the truth.

It all boils down to you.

Every single one of these mistakes are connected by the same thread— They're all about knowing who you are, why you do what you do, and what you really want for yourself. And if you don't know, you won't get far.

Please make sure you've taken the time to answer the questions I've suggested here and really think about what they all mean to you. And don't be afraid to ask your own questions. Always ask questions.


Note: The topic of weightloss is one I haven't really covered on Un-Copied Life before and I want to know if you'd like to read more in this area. Your likes, tweets, +1's and comments are a fantastic way of letting me know you want more of something. And of course, if you know someone who could use this information, please consider sharing this post with them.

Image courtesy of Alan Cleaver

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How to Love When It's the Last Thing You Want to Do (Fight Back With Love Pt 2)

Last week, we talked about 10  Ways to Fight Back With Love when life is throwing punches at us. This week, I'm expanding on that post to show you how to accomplish these things, because, sometimes loving is the hardest thing to do.

You can click the link above to read the whole article, but I summed up the 10 Ways in the perfectly pinnable graphic below.

10  Ways to Fight Back With Love

So how do you actually do these things?

Be Mindful




Pay attention to your emotions and the feelings rushing through you. Force yourself to acknowledge any negative feelings. Recognize and name them - anger, frustration, annoyance, whatever. When you do this, when you call out those emotions, you have two choices: You can continue the behavior and give in to the feelings, possibly doing something you'll regret later. Or you can recognize the slippery slope you're on, decide you're better than that, and take back control of your life!

Don't Be Afraid

Whether it's fear of change or fear that you won't succeed, if you give in to it, you'll be right. If you believe you can't do it, you won't do it. It really is that simple. In order to succeed at anything, you must first try.

Think About the Other Person

It's so easy to get caught up in your own life, after all, it is the only life you know. But it is important to take a step back sometimes, and try to see things from the other persons point of view. If someone is being particularly hostile toward you, but you can't think of any reason they'd be angry at you, consider that, well, they might not be angry at you. Maybe they've had a supremely awful day, and you just happen to be the person around to receive all their emotional shrapnel.

Consider what might have happened to make them so upset. Maybe they are arguing with a loved one? Maybe someone has hurt them deeply and anger is the only response they know? Maybe all they need is a reminder that someone  cares about them?

You can always ask them what is bothering them (one way of showing you care), but if you aren't comfortable with that yet, simply imagine things that might make them act negatively. It doesn't really matter if it's true, because, often simply the possibility of it, is enough to trigger compassion toward them.

Give Up Needing to "Win"

You're right. They're wrong. Therefore, you need to "win" the argument, right?


How many times have you won an argument, but still came out of it feeling like you lost? This is because no ever really wins an argument. By getting your way, someone else loses, and is possibly hurt in the process. When we give in to anger, we're really giving ourselves to it. It leads the show, and it has only one objective: getting what it wants. It doesn't care what it has to do  to get it, and tt doesn't care who gets hurt in the process. But once the objective has been obtained, the anger steals away into the night, leaving you to clean up the mess.

Accept that losing an argument is better than losing (or hurting) someone you love. Stop what you're doing, and tell them you love them, and it's not worth the argument.

Decide That Love is What You Want to Do

I'm not sure who initially said it, and I've heard many versions of it, but always keep this in mind:
"Do not give up what you want most, for what you want now."— Unknown.

We're all very good at making plans and deciding we want something. We want something so badly, we set goals, we make a plan. And then we give up at the first hurdle.

If you care about something enough to work it into you life, then care about it enough when times are hard.

Love, even when it's hard.

What is one way you want to remind yourself to love?


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

10 Ways to Fight Back With Love

Fight Back With Love

Note: The logo vote was incredibly fun! You can see the winning logo above, which won by a large majority! I want to send out a huge thanks to all of you who voted! Now, on with the show.


The majority of my life could be categorized into two ways: Offensive Mode and Defensive Mode.

As a kid, beginning in elementary school, I was completely in Defensive Mode. I was shy and bullied - not a great combination for building self-esteem. I always felt that I had to defend myself and my choices to everyone. It didn't help that I wanted to be different, for sure.

I recall one 3rd grade morning recess with clarity.

I had been minding my own business, sitting alone and building a sand castle in the dirt (not a sandbox). Two girls walk up to me (they were known as the mean girls) and glare at me. One says "Look how stupid she is, sitting in the dirt." The other says, "You like dirt so much? Here's some dirt." And they both proceed to kick dirt on me.

It only lasted a few minutes, and I wasn't physically harmed, but that moment was one of the first in a string of incidents that molded my defensive behavior. In the moment, I wasn't defensive. If anything, I was merely submissive. Letting them do what they wished, in the hope they would get bored and move on. It worked, but it left me always wanting to scream "I'm not stupid!" or whatever was the choice adjective of the day.

To this day, being called any version of "stupid", being wrong, or making mistakes still makes me cringe. I've come a long, long way from that day, but I will be the first to admit, it's hard to turn off certain reactions.

I retaliated by proving that I wasn't stupid. I focused on my school work, acing class after class, bemoaning anything lower than a A. I graduated 9th in my class.  This was my defensive period. This was my way of saying "You're wrong, damn it!"

But when high school rolled around, I finally realized that defense wasn't any good without a great offense. And thus began my "Fuck the world" phase.

I never fell toward drugs or alcohol as many teens do, but I did become angry. Or well, I alternated between anger and apathy. If it didn't anger me, or prove my point, I didn't care. I lost a couple friends this way, but I didn't care then— I was angry. Sometimes, it felt like I would go out of my way to make people not like me. Because I was different, damn it. I don't need you to like me.

So what does all this have to do with you?

Everything or nothing. I tell you this story because I know there are so, so many of us out there who have been bullied, picked on, and made to feel like we're wrong for wanting to be different. There are many who are overweight, born different, look different, talk different. There are many who have their differences inside, and so, so many who have their differences on the outside. We have ailments, and diseases, allergies,and preferences. And there are so many who like to point out those differences and make us feel bad for it.

I tell you this story, because many of us get caught up in Defense/Offense Mode and we forget that there is another option— Love.

1. Rather than trying to convince someone how awesome you are, love yourself.

2. Rather than being angry at others, love them. You don't know what they're going through.

3. Instead of hiding your differences, love them. Unique isn't wrong, it's beautiful.

4. When someone tries to degrade your worth, remind yourself how much you love yourself. Yours is the only opinion that matters.

5. When you're hurt or sad, rather than lashing out, love yourself. Your own love is the best love.

6. When you insult yourself, correct it by reminding yourself how much you love you.

7. When you feel the urge to gossip, ask yourself if love is involved. Spite, jealousy, and resentment are enemies of love.

8. When you want to scream at someone, tell them you love them instead.

9. When someone is screaming at you, tell them you still love them.

10. No matter what, always, always love yourself. If you can love yourself, nothing else matters.


How are you going to spread some love in the world today?

Image courtesy of: Marc Falardeau


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Vote for Our New Logo!

I hope all of you are enjoying a happy and unique Sunday!

So what is it that has brought another Sunday post your way? Our logo!

You may have noticed that the website looks slightly different. That's because I changed themes due to an error with the last one that couldn't be resolved with the maker of the theme. I love the new theme, so I count this as a win.

The only problem is now the logo just doesn't look quite right. So, I set out to create a new logo... but I have a problem.

I can't decide which logo to pick.

So I decided to let my readers vote on the new logo.

The Logos

Logo 1

Logo 1 has simple circles with our original tagline and a new font.



Logo 2

Logo 2 has nested circles with new tagline, new font, and a black border (border can be removed if preferred.



Logo 3

Logo 3 has simple lines with a nested circle, new tagline, and original font. No outside border.



To Vote:

The votes will be based solely on the combination of Facebook "likes" and Google +1's on each individual photo. To cast your vote, simply follow the links below and "like" or +1 any of the logos that you like. You can vote for more than one and you can vote on both Facebook and Google+. The winning logo will be the one with the most votes combined from both places.
Voting will run until 11:59pm EST on Tuesday, January 15th. The winning logo will be announced on Thursday, January 17th.

Notes (Please read before voting!):

1. The logos aren't necessarily a final product. Feel free to comment on the logos you vote for to say if there is something about it that just doesn't seem to work. I can modify small parts. So vote for the overall look of each logo.

2. Some of the logos have introduced a new tagline for the site. I am hoping to expand the content on Un-Copied Life in the future to include a broader range of topics, but still centering on being unique and doing life your way. The new tagline is meant to show this. Please note your thoughts on the tagline in the comments below.

3. To vote on Facebook click here.

4. To vote on Google+ click here.
I can't wait to see which one you pick! Let the voting begin!