Let Your Someday be Today.

I once heard a message by my pastor and good friend, Pete Wilson, on the danger of using the word “someday” too much. It really struck a chord with me. If you use the word “someday” often when you’re talking about your future plans, those plans probably will stay just dreams; they’ll never happen. How often have you said these things?

“Someday I’ll take more time off.”

“Someday I’ll start jogging.”

“Someday I’ll pray more.”

“Someday I’ll say I’m sorry.”

“Someday I’ll give more.”

“Someday I’ll save more money.”

“Someday I’ll follow my dreams.”

“Someday I’ll stop drinking.”

“Someday I’ll eat better.”

“Someday I’ll be a better parent.”

“Someday I’ll be a better spouse.”

“Someday I’ll be the person I know I can be.”

Most of the time, “somedays” never come. They stay out just ahead of us in the future. We become comfortable with saying, “someday.” It’s easier to say it than it is to do what you know you should.

Don’t let “someday” rule your life. Don’t let it become the norm. Fight the urge to say it over and over. Figure out how to turn “someday I’ll…” into “Today I’m…” Stop thinking that a better life is always in the future. You can take your first steps to your changing your life today. All it takes is movement forward. You don’t have to do it all in one fail swoop – just take one step. Once you do, you’ll begin to feel the momentum. The more steps you take, the clearer your path will become. The difference between “someday” being a dream and a reality is action.

You have the choice. Make today the day your “somedays” start to happen.

What’s your biggest “someday” and what’s the one step you can take today to move toward making it reality?

Get Away from Negative and Draining People

The Bible says, “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.” It’s hard to have happiness in your heart when you’re surrounded by negative and draining people. Surround yourself with a community of people who are positive, energized and balanced. If you do, you will be amazed at the difference in your state of mind. These are tough times for many, no doubt. But you can choose to wallow or climb. It’s easier to climb with people who are moving with you and not against you.

Do not underestimate the influence of those around you. Make sure those people are part of your solution, not the problem.

What You Think (to Yourself) Matters

The human mind is an amazingly complex and powerful thing.  It not only controls your body function, it can literally change the world.  What you think and the actions you decide to take affect you and your surroundings as you act.   One miracle of the mind with which I have always been fascinated is the ability to turn a thought into something tangible.  If you act upon your thoughts, you can take an idea and transform it into something you hold in your hand.  Amazing.   Our world was built upon this ability.  The car you drive, the house in which you live, the clothes you’re wearing, the computer on which you’re reading this post, all started as just an idea in someone’s mind.   If you’re able to grasp this, you begin to realize you hold an amazing amount of power within your mind.

We all have lots of ideas of how our lives should be.   Sadly, rather than acting upon those thoughts, we oftentimes let them just stay dormant in our minds.  That’s a waste.

I point this out because too many of us are thinking of creative ways to make our lives better yet we’re not acting on those thoughts.  Maybe it’s fear, apathy or even fatigue.   But, perhaps, there’s never been a more appropriate time to begin acting on those thoughts.  Take what your passionate about – what you enjoy most in life and begin thinking about how to increase it’s existence in your world.  Expand your thinking and stop telling yourself it can never happen.  Stretch your mind to consider the “impossible” as possible for you.  This is where you start.  The next phase includes writing it down, making a plan and then taking massive action on that plan every day.  Sure, you’re likely to hit some hurdles.  But when they appear, creatively work on getting over them.  This time, don’t let those hurdles stop you.  For most of us, we’re capable of so much more than we’ve done.  Don’t let that depress you – let it inspire you!   Don’t let your thoughts of how to be happy and how to make your world better sit dormant any longer.  Let them transform your world.

So, what thoughs will you begin acting on today?

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…

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?