I've been giving a lot of thought over the past week about what my word for 2016 is going to be, and last night I finally found one that spoke to me. The reason it's been so hard for me to choose one is because the word I chose last year completely changed my life. Last year, I chose the word JOY.
This time last year I was in a pretty rough place mentally. I'd been in Jacksonville for just about 6 months and other than being so close to the ocean, I had nothing good to say about this place (not even the weather, I still claim that it's way to hot here). I'd just started a new job, after having 3 here that left me totally miserable every day. It was the holidays, I was away from most of my family, my friends, and there was no snow here. I was quickly spiraling into a depression that I knew would keep me down for months, and I knew I had to do something to stop it because that was not a road I wanted to go down again. I decided I needed to find the JOY in my everyday life. And boy did I ever!
I got a journal and each night I wrote in it the things that made me happy that day. It was hard at first and some days I honestly had to search really hard to find something, but the longer I did it the easier it got for me to notice these things as they happened. And as time went on I noticed a change in my attitude and way of thinking. It didn't take long either. I was just looking back through my journal and this entry on Jan. 16th was when things really started changing. It was the catalyst to a lot of amazing things that have happened in my life since then. "Had a great phone convo w/ Brian & Jessie tonight - I'm excited about joining the Juice Plus+ company. Not so much to make money, but because I really think the products are one of the pieces of my success puzzle. Love the shakes, looking fwd to the capsules!" I had no idea how right I was.
Thanks to JP+ I have found my passion in life - helping people feel better and live healthier lifestyles. I never could have done this if I hadn't of been living this mission myself, and man does it feel good. I no longer feel run down and tired all the time, I don't need coffee just to function , I sleep better, I rarely get sick anymore, I crave vegetables and could care less for sugary things, I love to be outside and be active, the list goes on and on. But for me, helping other people experience these things is what makes it all worth it. My husband has lost 30lbs and is no longer pre-diabetic, his blood pressure is back to normal. My son's horrible acne is 99% cleared up. My friends tell me how much energy they now have and thank me for it. It's so amazing to know how many lives are being changed and I am honored to be a part of that.
I know I said in my journal entry that the money wasn't a factor in me partnering with this company, I honestly just wanted to make enough to cover the cost of the products for my own family and maybe give Russ and I some play money to fund all our travel adventures. I had no intention of building a business, I just wanted to share my positive experience with the people around me and see if I could help them as well. Fast forward a year and my JP+ income is something I never expected. I've had some friends and family members join me with the company also and I love watching them experience the same things I did. They get excited about helping people just like I do. They get excited about their paychecks and I get excited for them. Watching them not stress about the extra Christmas expenses because of JP+, it's so rewarding. And the travel fund for Russ and I - that is one of my favorite parts! He has been busy with the Police Academy so our adventures together have been few and far between since August, but I have been able to take a few trips - so fun. I love to travel :) I went to Atlanta, Columbia, Destin Beach, and Rochester last year. So far between now and August I have several trips planned - Rochester again, PA, Seattle, Phoenix and MI. the first 3 are locked in,, still working on the last 2 :)
Part of me finding so much JOY in this year was all of the people I have met through JP+. It's so rewarding to be surrounded by such an amazing team of people who are all equally as passionate about this mission as I am. The encouragement and support amongst this team makes us more like family than "co-workers". Everyone should have a job they love and are passionate about, it's so good for the soul :)
When I started writing this I didn't intend for it to be all about Juice Plus+, but it's pretty typical of my life these days - conversation just kind of goes there LOL
I've found JOY in other places as well. I no longer hate Jacksonville. It's still not my favorite place on earth, but there are worst places we could be. I love that the sun shines most of the time. I love that there is always something to do here at any given time. I love that even though I am not much of a shopper, there are a zillion new stores and restaurants for us to explore. I have found some great places to go jogging. I love walking downtown over the bridges and around the stadium, especially when the Jaguars have a home game. I love that I am starting to enjoy Sunday afternoon football games with my husband, because of the excitement of walking around the stadium on game days LOL. Because I am stubborn, I would probably still not be admitting all of this if I hadn't of slipped up on one of our walks a couple weeks ago. We were at the top of the Acosta bridge and stopped to take a selfie. I remember looking out over the water, the sun was reflecting off the St. John's River, the palm trees lining the walkway, and I realized I was truly happy. Without even thinking about it I said out loud to myself "God I love this city." Pretty sure Russ about crapped himself, those are words he never expected to hear. And honestly, I never expected to say them.
2015 was a huge year for me, lots of changes, new beginnings, and a TON of personal growth. I am living proof that if someone changes their mindset and starts looking for the positive and finding the good in every situation instead of focusing on the negative it will truly change your life. Sometimes I think I overuse the hashtag #Lifeisgood but life really IS good!!
Shameless plug. Check this out, because you all deserve to feel as good as my family and I do (healthwise, physically and mentally)!! www.healthylivingrules.org