What are You Going to Eat This Week?

Here are just three things that INCREASE growth of brain cells according to Dr. Dean Ornish, founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute:

1. Tea
2. Blueberries
3. Stress Management

Here are three things that DECREASE brain cells:

1. Sugar
2. Saturated Fat
3. Chronic Stress

Does this list affect your thoughts on what you’re going to eat this week? It probably should, shouldn’t it?  Also, how can you decrease the stress you’re experiencing now?  Having a plan will help…

Let Today be THE Day!

Does it seem like you’re always waiting?  Maybe you’re waiting for:

-Things to get better with the economy.

-Your spouse to apologize.

-To win the lottery.

-For your boss to notice you.

-For it to stop being so cold.

You can continue to sit and wait if you want.  But, wouldn’t it be better to affect your world rather than waiting for it to affect you?  Wouldn’t it be better to be proactive rather than reactive?  Why wait when you can DO?

Try these steps to overcome the reasons for waiting listed above:

-Creatively look for NEW ways to increase your business in a bad economy.  Most of your competetors are sitting on the sidelines waiting.  This is your opportunity to jump ahead.

-Look your spouse in the eye and say, “I love and cherish you.”   I feel pretty certain your spouse wants to hear those words from you.

-Chances are, as you know, you’re not going to win the lottery.  What can you do with the money you’ve been spending on cards and tickets that will actually create income?

-The one thing that will make your boss notice you more than any other is to go beyond what is expected of you.  Most of your co-workers will do less.  Do more and you will be noticed.

-I used to hate cold weather.  It’s still not my favorite kind of weather, but I don’t let it stop me from enjoying the outdoors anymore.   Amazingly, layers of clothes actually will keep you warm.  I’ve enjoyed more beautiful frosty early morning  jogs this winter than ever before.  I realized I was missing out on some of nature’s greatest moments while on the treadmill.

Let today be THE day that you’re going to stop waiting for the world around you to change and begin changing your world instead.

Get started!

What’s first on your list?

How to Have a Great Week.

If 85% of our happiness is based on relationships, shouldn’t we care for them more than we do? Shouldn’t we WORK on having great relationships instead of just hoping they’ll happen?

With that in mind, here’s how to have a great week (and make someone else’s week in the process).

Step 1 – Make a list of the five most important people to you.

Step 2 – Beside their names, write one thing you can do to let them know how much you care. Maybe it’s just a phone call, a letter or an invitation to lunch. It could be an extra hug or a surprise gourmet breakfast – it’s up to you.

Step 3 – Do what’s on the list this week.

Step 4 – Enjoy the extra connection with someone you love.

I just had someone I know take this to heart. He decided to send flowers to his mother on HIS birthday. She did all the work that day (and for the nine months prior), after all! He told me his mom was so happy she cried. One little gesture made a big impact. Good stuff, huh?

So, who’s going to be on your list?

The Key to Work/Life Balance…

One thing that many people with families struggle with is work/life balance. When work pulls you away from your family, you can feel guilty. You may fear being seen as disloyal by your superiors if you spend too much time away from the office. Trying to balance both unsuccessfully can lead to a tremendous amount frustration. So, how do you do it?

It certainly does not come naturally for most people. Society doesn’t make it easy because most people around you are likely imbalanced. Sitcoms certainly don’t promote it. Music videos don’t focus on it. Reality shows don’t talk about it. It has to come from you.

So, what’s the best way to start the process of really balancing your life? Here’s what you must do in a nutshell: compartmentalize.

When you’re at work, work. When you’re at home, focus on you and your family. Too many times, we try to blend the two and it goes awry. Compartmentalizing is a learned skill but it can be mastered with practice. You can learn that at 5 o’clock, work stops and family time starts. You can learn to limit after-hours meetings. You can even learn to leave your computer and cell phone in the car when you get home. If you can’t conceive of doing this, it will take some strategy. You’ll likely need some help getting started. You’ll need to learn the art of delegation and you’ll have to begin letting some things go. Time management is a big part of it. Planning your day before it starts is also important. The only thing that all of us have in common is 24 hours. Those who do well balancing their lives manage their 24 hours well. You can, too.

This week, think about how you can better plan your day to accomplish your tasks in less time.   Here are a few points to consider:

1.  Make note of how many times a day you are distracted from your work and for how long (this can   be  eye-opening because most of us waste a lot of time each day talking, snacking, procrastinating).
2.  What tasks can you delegate to someone else?
3.  What things need to be done now and what can wait?
4.  What needs to be changed in your schedule so that you actually CAN leave at 5 p.m.?

These are just a few questions to answer to begin your journey toward success with work/life balance. The more answers you have, the closer you’ll be.

So, how can you start leaving at 5?

Another Great Reminder of the Need for Balance

 
Courtesy Rick Shanklin, NWS, Paducah, KY
Courtesy Rick Shanklin, NWS, Paducah, KY

A huge winter storm is ravaging parts of the Plains, Mississippi Valley and Ohio Valley. Inches of ice have left thousands without power and many towns paralyzed. You’ll continue to see stories in the national news about this storm for the next few days.

The reason for this massive storm is that the atmosphere is highly imbalanced. For instance, in Middle Tennessee on Tuesday of this week, one town had a mid-afternoon temperature of 71 while 35 miles away it was 37 degrees. That’s imbalance! In nature, the bigger the imbalance, the more chaotic the weather.  Hence, a winter storm that will go down in the record books.

The same is true for our lives. When we’re imbalanced, chaos naturally results. It’s just the way the world works. The easiest way to slip into this pattern is to not think about what you’re doing or why you’re doing it on a day-to-day basis. Instead, we just become zombies, doing the same thing as the day before. If you’re tired of living this way, you can change it.

1. If there was one thing you could cut out of your daily routine tomorrow, what would it be?
2. Write down what it is.
3. Underneath it, write down three steps you could take this week to begin elimating (or at least reducing) this from your daily schedule.
4. Do these three things.
5. Keep track of your progress and use it as motivation to keep moving forward.

 
This works amazingly well with lots of little items that take a lot of your time but don’t add much value to your life. The goal is to reduce the number of things that cause you stress which leaves you more time for the things that actually mean something to you. The more you do this, the more time you’ll find in your daily schedule.

So, what are you going to eliminate?

The Power of Your Thoughts…

A funny thing happened to me on my run yesterday.  I began thinking about some projects that lie ahead of me this year and I started to get excited.  I was planning strategies in my head to write down when I got back home when I noticed how fast I was running.  I normally keep a steady pace that isn’t too fast or too slow but yesterday was different. I had sped up without even realizing it.  I remember thinking to myself, “Why am I running so fast?” I thought about it for a moment and realized what had happened.  I’ve read about this process before but had never experienced it in such a tangible way.  Here are the three principles behind what happened in a nutshell:

1. What you think about affects you physically.
2. When you devise a plan for a goal and picture it happening, the more positive you feel about achieving that goal.
3. The more positive thoughts you have, the more energy it gives you.

Never underestimate the power of the mind’s affect on you physically.  Guard your mind and the thoughts in it.  Notice how much better you feel when you think positive thoughts rather than negative ones.  This goes hand-in-hand with my last post in which I pointed out what you think about most expands.  If you are always fearing something bad is going to happen, not only are you more likely to have a bad experience, you will react to those thoughts physically with more tention and fatigue.  Don’t fall into that trap.  Only 8% of our fears are real and legitimate.  That means we waste an incredible amount of time worrying and feeling bad physically because of it.  You can turn this around though.  Here’s how:  You can only think one thought at a time.  So, when you beging thinking fearful or negative thoughts, replace them with positive ones.  Plan for how you’re going to get over an obstacle that stands in your way and picture yourself overcoming it. You’ll feel better knowing that you’re going to get your problem solved and your body will respond by giving you more energy to get through it.  

With this in mind, how are you going to change your thinking to give you more energy?

Don’t Stop Now…

Now that we’re past the first week of the New Year, you’re going to begin facing challenges with your New Year’s resolutions. Why? Statistically, this is the time when people begin to quit. 98% end up failing to make their resolution goals reality. I want you to be in the two percent that do…

So, think about this…

1. 90% of failure is because of QUITTING – don’t quit! Remember all of the reasons you made your resolutions. Etch them in your mind. Write them down. Read them aloud. Use them as motivation to help you remember WHY you’re doing them. If you have a good enough reason, you can do almost anything…

2. If you haven’t started on your resolution yet because you’re procrastinating, start now! Don’t become a vicitim of the Law of Dimishing Intent. This law states that the longer you wait to do something, the less likely you are to do it at all. GO. START. TODAY!

While the rest of the world seemingly toils in misery these days, you can make 2009 the best you’ve ever had. Set your goals, write them down, get started now, follow your plan and remember why you’re doing them. You CAN do it…