Thursday, May 5, 2011

Georgia on My Mind

I absolutely love the south.  The slower pace, lower cost of living, friendly people, hot Summers and mild Winters are all to my liking.  Since moving here over 4 years ago, I've felt more and more comfortable with the area. 

A new day means I get to awake to the songs of the birds, that are carried by the light, warm breeze.  As I lie in bed, through my bedroom window, I see the massive acorn and oak trees, heavy with the weight of new green leaves.  

Everyday I get to enjoy my garden, and if time permits, I sit and watch the birds and squirrels peck and nibble at the feeders or occassionally drink from the bird bath.  Yes, I'm in love with where I live and each new day is another opportunity to enjoy the serenity of my surroundings.

There's no place like home.  (clicks heels together 3 times)  There's no place like home.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

What I Choose

In my newsletter today I wrote about choices. At the end of the newsletter I asked what choices my readers were willing to declare. So, I thought I'd be the first to declare one of my choices. Since I have been off the exercise wagon for a while, my choice is to get back on track and get back to regular exercise. Now, it's out there. All of you can hold me accountable.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Have You Told Them Lately?

"Have I told you lately that I love you?  Have I told you there's no one else above you? 

Fill my heart with gladness, take away all my sadness.  Ease my troubles, that's what you do."

Recorded by:  Rod Stewart       Written By: Van Morrison

What Have You Said Lately?

Those closest to our hearts can often be the ones we most often fail to tell what joy, inspiration, support, peace or understanding they provide in our life. We often assume they know how much we love them or how important they are to us.

The old saying, "Actions speak louder than words", is definitely true. We've all seen the people who publicly show affection and are always saying how much they love each other. Some of these same people are the ones who are forever arguing or whose relationship ends in a bitter divorce. So, I agree that words alone don't always tell the entire relationship story.

Despite this, people still enjoy hearing someone say they value, admire, appreciate or love them, and truly mean it. "People who feel loved, or when it's reciprocated, live longer, are happier, have better health and make more money," says Glen Jenson, Utah State University Family and Human Development professor and extension specialist.

Not only do people who feel loved have a better life expectancy, but when people experience relationships with other people, they are often experiencing a healthy lifestyle.  "To have someone who cares for you and loves you, you feel more encouraged," Jenson said.

Speak Up and Touch a Heart

Have you told someone lately that you love them? Have you told someone they fill your heart with gladness? Who inspires you to be a better person? Who is always there to give sound advice and support? Take the time to tell them and show them how much they mean to you. Don't put it off.  Make it one of the most important things on your "to do" list today.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's About Movement

"You must take the first step. The first steps will take some effort, may be pain. But after that, everything that has to be done is real-life movement."
Ben Stein

On the road to success, there will be times when your momentum slows. In fact, there may be times when you come to a complete halt. This can be due to many factors. Time, money, health, family, motivation and direction confusion are just some of the challenges.

Once we get off track, it becomes far easier to stay off track and allow every little distraction to validate our reasons for not getting back to what needs to be done. The evidence can be seen in the many unfinished projects, regrets, unfinished plans and great ideas that were never pursued. All of those could'ves and should'ves that fill our homes, hearts and minds. The key is to pick a project, a should've, an idea or a direction and do one thing to begin it's completion/realization.

Newton’s First Law of Motion: "An object at rest, stays at rest and an object in motion, stays in motion, with the same speed and in the same direction, unless acted upon by an unbalanced force."

Where have you lost your momentum? What one thing can you do today to get your momentum back?

Here are some ways to get traction and start the momentum:  
  • Make a list of the steps that need to be taken for goal accomplishment. Place the steps in proper order. Take the first step.
  • If your goal feels too big to manage, break it into smaller segments (e.g. instead of focusing on a weekly goal, beak it into daily amounts) 
  • Set a specific time each day for working on your goal. This should be precious time that you give up only for extreme emergencies. Use a timer to manage the time. Don't do anything else until the timer says the set amount of time is up. 
  • For momentum to build and carry you forward, frequency and consistency are extremely important. Do something everyday that is directly related to achievement of your goal. 
  • Share your goal with someone who will hold you accountable, be supportive and help to keep you focused. Knowing someone is watching can be a great motivator and can help to keep us moving forward. 
  • Eliminate goal sabotaging elements and people. Anything or anyone who works against your goal accomplishment is causing momentum resistance. Keeping goal sabotaging elements out of reach will work in your best interest. Overcoming the saboteurs will make your success even sweeter. 
  • Don't ask yourself if you should. Just get moving on the next step. Asking yourself only leads to internal chatter. Without question, whatever the next step is, it needs to be done. Just do it.
Whatever you've been planning to begin, start anew or venture into, the time to start is now. Take the first step and begin or continue the journey you were meant to take. Think of all you'll learn and experience along the way. It's all part of the joy of living, learning and growing.

 Let me know how you’re doing. Post your next steps on this blog. Also, on the right side of this post is this month's poll.  I'd appreciate it if you'd post your answer.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

One Success At a Time

Success is a fairly short word that packs a lot of power. It is the driving force behind every accomplishment. Goal attainment consists of many smaller successes along the way.

If your goal is to purchase a new vehicle at a reasonable interest rate, you must first be successful in managing your expenses, paying them in a timely manner and saving for a down payment. The accomplishment of each component denotes a personal success and will eventually lead to the ultimate success, the vehicle you desire.

Too often we associate success with a major win and forget that it took many smaller successes to reach the ultimate goal. We also often tend to wait until the major goal is accomplished before we celebrate.

Those who have received my newsletters over the last ten years are well aware of my belief that celebration should be a key component of our daily life. Every accomplishment should be cause for a thank you and a self-congratulatory pat on the back, thumbs up or fist pump.

Celebrating the little wins provides motivation to keep moving forward toward the bigger win. Also, knowing there is a reward at various milestones/mini-goals along the way gives us a short-term incentive, as we work towards the long-term endpoint.

Let’s also not forget the most important success of all. Upon awaking each day, I say, “Thank you” for another opportunity to learn, grow, share and love. Don’t take this success lightly or for granted. As I’ve recently experienced (with the unexpected death of a family member), you never know when a day might be your last. Cherish, be thankful and celebrate every day as a success bonus.

Try this for the next 30 days. Each evening, write in your journal, Blackberry, Ipad or any other place, one success of the day. You might even want to make it a family affair and use this exercise as a dinner table activity or topic of conversation. However, recording successes provides a record of accomplishments over time.

At the end of 30 days, review your recorded successes. You’ll be surprised at how many wins you’ve had (at least 30) and how much you’ve accomplished. Also, remember to set your milestone rewards in advance. Doing so will provide additional motivation to stay the course, drive for tackling future challenges and desire to set additional goals.

Let me know how you’re doing.  Post your successes in the comments section.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

To Thyself Give Love

It's that time again. Hearts, candies and flowers abound. In another lifetime, I owned multiple retail floral locations and this was our busiest time of the year.

This is also the time of year when expectations are high. We sometimes anxiously await a gift, a card or a romantic evening with someone special. On February 15th, there will be thoughts of dreams fulfilled, underwhelmed gift recipients and lonely hearts.

Why wait for someone to demonstrate their love or affection for you? Resolve to show yourself love. and continue to do so throughout the year. Whatever you decide you'd like to experience, do it for yourself. Begin to give yourself the love you want from others.

Too often, I see people searching for "the one" who will "complete" them. Pssst. That person doesn't exist. News flash. You're already complete. Now take the complete package that you are and start enjoying yourself. How do you love thee? In countless ways.

If you're already in a relationship, this applies to you as well. Whatever you want for you, don't wait for your partner to give it to you. If you need more from your relationships, don't hope other's will guess what you need, be clear about what you require and how you want it.

Take care of yourself. Work to make yourself feel complete, and you will be okay, regardless. People will enter and exit your life, but wherever you go, there you'll be. Since you'll be with you for a long time, might as well learn to love yourself.

Oh, and on the subject of finding someone to love...the more fun you learn to have with you, the more attractive you'll be to others. Though looking good will definitely help your ego, the package wrapping is always far less valuable than its contents.

I believe a man/woman should not be a necessity, in your life, but an accessory. Their presence should only complement what is already beautiful.

Appreciate the beauty in and of you, and the world will reflect the same.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Making the Best of Any Situation & Change

Our Shih Tzu has lost most of his sight due to detached retinas. However, he hasn't missed a beat. Though he never was a very active dog, he has maintained his personality and managed to adapt to his near blindness.

His nose has become his bumper guard. As it bumps against walls or other objects, he realizes the need to go in a different direction. I've also taught him to follow the sound of my clapping hands. I clap to let him hear sound from the direction he should walk toward. Whenever his sense of direction is off, I say, "No" and he course corrects toward the direction of the clapping sound.

When I think of him and how well he has adapted, I think of how we humans so often put a great deal of energy into fighting change. Rather than "going with the flow", we can dig our heals in and go absolutely nowhere. In so doing, we halt our growth and progress.

What if our dog, "Deak", had decided to dig his heels (paws) in and refuse to walk anywhere, because he wasn't certain of where he was going? He'd never be able to walk outside, smell fresh air, relieve himself outside (very important) or sniff another dog (he probably thinks this one is also important). His life would be less fulfilling, less normal and less interesting.

Change was forced upon him. Yet, he adapted and made the best of his situation. Seemingly, with little or no fear. What situation are you afraid to deal with? What change are you refusing to make? What uncertainty are you afraid to face? You too have a bumper guard. You can use your instincts to course correct.

Don't hold back your opportunities for learning and growth. Though you may move forward with uncertainty, you take your instincts along. You have the ability to couse correct at any time. Don't hold back. Discover all the wonders of life that await. You'll be better for it.

Kennette Reed