- Clarify your goal or goals! If you aren’t clear on what you want, you’ll never obtain it. Think about the last time you went on vacation. Did you have an idea of where you wanted to go, or did you just get in the car and start driving, and then stop when you ran out of gas? Wanting more money is not a goal! You need to determine how much you want, after all earning an extra dollar is more money! Take the time to clearly define what you want!
- Have a plan! For instance, you’ve decided to go to Disney World. Will you drive or fly? What route will you take? How will you get to and from the airport? Where will you stay? You need to know these things in order for your vacation to become a reality. Well, the same is true of your goals! You need a plan! You need to know what steps you need to take to achieve them. If you want to lose weight, you need to exercise and make healthier food choices. What foods will you eat? How often will you exercise? What kind of exercise will you do?
- Prepare for obstacles! Let’s face it, you will run into obstacles and setbacks while working on your goals or changing your habits. I know this sounds similar to planning, and it is, but its crucial to have strategies in place before you run into trouble, so I'm listing it separately. You’d be surprised how many people don’t prepare for obstacles and setbacks and when they do encounter them, they give up on their dreams and consider themselves a failure. I don't want that to happen to you! If you plan in advance, you’ll be in control and make better choices. For instance, you want to make healthier food choices, you'll need to think about what you will eat before you're hungry. And if you decide you want a treat, that's okay, but plan for it and don't feel guilty afterward. The objective is to make conscious decisions, and not operate from old habits without thinking.
- Monitor your progress! Keep a journal. Continuously review and adjust your plan to see what’s working and what isn’t! Review your day and analyze, without judgement, how your day went. What went right? What didn’t go so well? What can you do different? After you're done, let it go. You can't change the past, so being upset isn't useful, but you can learn from it to ensure that your future is more successful!
- Stay motivated! When the going gets tough, and it will, how will you stay motivated? Surround yourself with people who can help you, encourage you and support you. Also, constantly remind yourself of your goals and why they’re so important! Put your goals and your “why” in writing, it makes them tangible and more achievable! Read it at least twice a day. Do it first thing in the morning to set the tone for the day, and again in the evening before going to bed. Constantly re-reading your goals helps to ingrain them into your subconscious.
Do you have goals, dreams and aspirations? Why haven’t you achieved them yet? Many people believe that change is impossible, after all old dogs can’t learn new tricks, right? Wrong! Change is possible with planning, and being aware of what you’re doing, and not doing!
Why do we correct or argue with people? Is it that we are trying to educate them, keep them from embarrassing themselves, stand up for what we believe to be right, or is it because of our own need for significance, or our need to feel superior?
I remember reading a story about how a host at a dinner party attributed a quote to the wrong person. A guest spoke up and said, "I believe that so and so, said that." The host replied, “I’m sure it was this other person.” What would you do? Would you continue to argue because you know you're right and he’s wrong, or would you drop it?
What is the cost of always proving you're right? In the scheme of things does it really make a difference? And what does it say about you when you keep arguing? Here are six points to consider before arguing or correcting someone.
What did the guest in our story do? He decided to be kind and not say anything further. He could have argued the point, but at what cost, and for what purpose? The only thing arguing would have accomplished is to humiliate his host, create a scene and most likely have cost him a friendship. Is that worth it? He knew he was right, and just because he didn’t argue further or try to prove it, doesn’t change what's true!
Let's face it, it all comes down to choosing our battles wisely, and treating people with respect. We've all picked an argument, been hurtful or said things that we regret. If we take the time to examine our motives before we criticize, correct, or try to prove we're right, maybe we can minimize those occasions. So, review your answers, and then decide if it might not be a better decision to be kind, rather than right!
As I shoveled the driveway I marveled at the daffodil leaves peeking out from under the snow and the buds on the trees. Although our driveway turned into a sheet of ice that night, warmer temperatures will soon be here and winter will be nothing more than a memory. It is after all the middle of March, and spring officially arrives next week, as does my daughter’s fortieth birthday! Yikes! It seems like only yesterday she was six, the same age as my granddaughter.
Every so often I forget, and wonder who the stranger in the mirror is. That old lady couldn’t possibly be me! And then there are times, like Tuesday, where I’m reminded that we’re like the snow, only here for a short time, soon to become a memory. Have you ever thought about when your gone, and how you’ll be remembered?
You may think that talking about leaving a legacy is morbid, but it really isn’t. It’s about hope, love and joy. If you take a few minutes to evaluate your life and think about how you want to be remembered and work on becoming "that person", you’re more likely to have a happy and fulfilled life. One without regrets!
I have a friend who has been unsettled about the current state of politics. She has decided to do something about it, and run for local office. I have another friend who has decided to use her years and expertise in building a business, to helping others get their business off the ground. I’m so proud of these women for not accepting that being in your sixties is over the hill, or a time to go “quietly into the night”. These women are starting new careers and making a difference in the world! They are an inspiration to anyone aspiring to do something with their life, regardless of their age!
Some things to consider when evaluating your legacy:
If you don’t like your legacy so far, and you’re able to read this, you still have time to change it! Regardless of how old or how young you are, now is the time to start working on how you want to be remembered!
How do you talk to yourself? Do you ever pay attention to the words you use when talking to yourself?
You just spilled your morning coffee. What do you say to yourself? Does it sound something like this? “I can’t believe I just did that, I’m such an idiot!” Or, “I’m such a klutz! I’m always spilling things!” And to make matters worse it sets the tone for the rest of the day. By the time you get home you say, “You can’t believe the day I had! It all started this morning when I spilled my coffee and it went downhill from there!”
Sound familiar? We often have trouble letting go! Take a minute and think about what you would say to a friend who spilled his or her coffee? Would you say the same thing to them, that you just said to yourself? What if you had said something like this instead? “I spilled my coffee because I was rushing. I’m doing too many things at one time. I need to slow down and take a few breaths.” And then, what if you slowed down, forgave yourself and let it go? What would have happened then? Your day probably would have turned out perfectly fine!
Instead we tend to dwell on the negative and keep reliving it over, and over again. As we repeat the experience we get even more annoyed and angry with ourselves. The more negative we feel, the more negativity we seem to attract! And that’s not the only problem. Our brain believes everything we tell it, good, bad, real or imaged! They’ve done experiments and have proved that the brain can’t differentiate between what’s real and what’s imagined!
There was a study done where they took three groups of people. The first set lifted weights three times a week. The second set went about their regular routine and the third set only imagined that they were lifting the weights. After several weeks, as expected, the first group gained muscle mass. The second group saw no change. And the third group, the one that only imagined lifting the weights? Guess what they found? The third group had an increase in muscle mass almost as much as the group that actually did lift the weights!
Do you realize the implications? Hmmm, maybe we can skip going to the gym! But on a serious note, this proves, beyond a doubt, that whatever you tell yourself over and over, whether it’s true or not, the brain believes it. If you think you’re not good enough, not smart enough, not confident enough, you’ll prove yourself right!
Affirmations are great way to stop the cycle, but if you actively don’t believe them, scoff at them, or ridicule yourself for doing them, they won’t help! You’re sending mixed signals and when in doubt your subconscious will believe the old and familiar negative thoughts. To make affirmations work you must “feel” what you’re saying and believe that new emotion. For instance if you’re affirmation is, “I love myself, just the way I am.” Then you have to imagine how loving yourself feels and then feel the emotion as you say your affirmation.
You can also try recording your affirmations and play them when you’re in a meditative state or before going to bed at night. If you don’t want to record them, get in a meditative and say them to yourself, but you must feel the emotions that match what you’re saying. Be appreciative, loving and grateful for who you are! Being in a meditative state, is very similar to being in a hypnotic state, you’ll be more open to receiving your affirmations, without all the internal chatter!
It’s also a good idea to keep a gratitude journal to help alleviate stress and elevate positive emotions. There are so many things you can be grateful for and it doesn’t have to be big. Be sure to appreciate yourself and the things you do! Maybe you did something to help a friend. Acknowledge that, and be grateful that you had the ability to help. Be grateful when you do things well, for instance finishing a project at work ahead of schedule, or maybe completing a task you dreaded doing. It can also be something as simple as opening a door for someone, making a nice dinner, eating a salad, not eating junk or just making your bed.
Pay attention to what you say to yourself, since what you say to yourself will have a huge impact on your life! Choose positive thoughts, words and actions when talking or referring to yourself. When you catch yourself saying something negative, apologize and tell yourself that whatever you just said isn’t true and say something positive about yourself. When you stop to think about what you’re saying, you’re stopping the program from running on automatic pilot and that’s the beginning of conquering your inner critic!
When we’re young we can’t wait to be older so we can achieve some milestone; drive, drink, vote, live on our own, get married, have kids, get a promotion, make “x” amount of money, etc.
However, as we get older we realize that we only have a finite amount of time to do all the things we want to do, and start worrying about how we’re going to get it all done! The problem isn’t that we don’t have enough time, everyone is allotted the same 168 hours in a week. The problem is, most us waste a good deal of time doing things that aren’t all that important.
How many of you go from project to project without finishing one first? You’re working on one project, think of something and start working on something else. Or maybe you’re working on a project, take a break and decide to check Facebook or emails for a few minutes, only to find that two hours have gone by and you’re still checking emails or on Facebook. Or maybe you’re avoiding doing a project and do something not as important instead?
Do you spend most of your time reacting to your environment? Do you answer the phone, or send e-mails and texts while working on a project? Are you always putting out fires? We are often our own worst enemy! It’s not because we’re lazy, it’s because we put everything that we can think of on our to-do list. Then we feel overwhelmed, can’t figure out what’s important and can’t understand why we can’t get it all done. How do we get a handle on achieving what we want?
You might want to get rid of your to-do list! Instead, only list the top five things that need to be done each day, if there’s time left over you can do the “not so important stuff.” Number the items 1 through 5, with one being the most important.
Start working on number one, and when its’ completed start number two. Do Not start the second project until the first is completed! Even if the day gets derailed, you’ll have accomplished something significant, and best of all its finished! You can check it off the list! You’ll feel great, regardless of whatever else happens that day!
How do you figure out what should be done first?
When to Hire Someone:
You should hire someone to do things that are a complete waste of your time or outside of your area of expertise! For instance, creating or updating your website, marketing, bookkeeping, cleaning or painting a room in your house. If you struggle doing these things or absolutely hate doing them, or they just take too much of your time, hire someone!
Doing these things, yourself, may take you two to three times longer than someone who’s an expert, or maybe you’ll procrastinate and feel terrible that you’re putting it off. That’s time and energy you could be spending on something more important and more productive, that only you can do! If you have the free time and feel like doing it, that’s fine, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed, then outsource it! Or if it’s something that can wait, then let it go, at least for now!
Outsourcing doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. Depending on the job you have in mind, you might be able to hire a high school student, a relative or a virtual assistant for a couple hours a week or a month. Freeing yourself up for even a couple of hours can make a huge difference.
The bottom line is to work smarter not harder! Life is too short to be wasting your time and energy on things that don’t matter! Take time every evening to go over your list and choose the top five most important things you need to do the next day. Go over your list again in the morning to adjust for any emergencies. We all want to eliminate as much stress from our lives as possible and when we take the time to analyze our “to-do” list, and keep it simple, we can at least eliminate some self-imposed stress.
Napoleon Hill said that, “Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination.” Nothing gets accomplished without them!
You must be patient! Today we’re used to and expect things to happen immediately. We have remotes to operate our televisions, without getting up. We have cell phones so we can communicate anytime and anywhere. We can “instant message.” We can “tweet.” We can keep tabs on people all over the world and wherever we are, in pretty much real time. We aren’t used to waiting, but there are things that can’t be rushed.
You can’t accomplish your dreams overnight, it takes time. You want to lose weight. You want to make money. You’re building a business. You want to be healthy. Whatever your goals are, it will take time to achieve. If you give up too early, you will never accomplish your goals! Be patient, good things are worth the wait!
You must be persistent! When the going gets tough, persistence will keep you going, even when you feel like quitting. Think about the rewards of achieving your goals. Have a strong “why,” to keep you motivated.
I love the story Napoleon Hill tells us in “Think and Grow Rich,” about R. U. Darby. Darby had “gold fever” and struck out to make his fortune. He staked a claim and found gold. He didn’t have enough money to buy the equipment he needed, so he went back home and convinced his friends and family to help him buy the equipment. He went back to the mine and at first found a lot of gold, but after a time the gold dried up. He was completely discouraged and sold his equipment and his claim to a junk man. The junk man hired a mining engineer, who explained how gold veins run and told him to start digging only three feet from where Darby stopped. The junk man made millions! The morale of the story? Don’t give up too soon and when you hit a road block seek expert advice!
Nothing can be accomplished without work! A goal is just wishful thinking, if you don’t work towards it. I know what you’re thinking. You watched the movie “The Secret” and they told you that if you want something, just think about it and you’ll get it. Unfortunately, that’s not the whole story. You must put in some elbow grease! There are infinite possibilities in the universe, but you must be open to them and you must do the work!
To start with, you must change how you think! If you want to be thin, think like a thin person. Follow someone who is thin and watch how they eat and what they do. If you start thinking, eating and exercising like they do you will lose weight. But if you just wish to become thin and don’t change any of your behaviors, nothing will change! I know there are a lot of thin people who seem to eat a lot, but what do they eat? Do they exercise? Are they always on the go? Look at the whole picture. You’re not with them 24/7 so you don’t know what else they do.
If you have your own business, but aren’t where you want to be, start looking at more successful people in your field and see what they’re doing differently! Find a mentor or a coach and change what you're doing!
If you’re having trouble changing your behaviors, meditate! Meditation has been shown to help people change behaviors and create a new reality. Pick one new habit and work on only that habit and when you have that beat, start working on something else. We often try to change too many things at one time and get overwhelmed and give up. Don’t give up, you’re worth it! Have someone hold you accountable. It’s much easier to stick to your plan when you have people in your life that encourage you and don’t accept your excuses!
If you haven’t read Napoleon Hill’s book, “Think and Grow Rich,” I highly recommend it! It’s the bible to creating change in both your personal and professional life. I also highly recommend you meditate!
If you’d like to study “Think and Grow Rich” in a group setting, check out the upcoming mastermind, Monday, February 6th, 2017, 7pm, on my events page.
Don’t forget to post comments. I would love to hear your stories!
Being a caregiver isn’t for the faint of heart! They have more emotional ups and down “then Carter has liver pills.” …I know I’m dating myself!
Emotions are information. They’re telling you something and you need to examine them to figure out what it is they’re telling you. Are you feeling sad or unhappy? Why? Do you feel out of control? Are you feeling sorry for yourself? What’s the cause? Are you overwhelmed? Do you feel guilty?
Don’t ignore your emotions! When you do, you’re creating the equivalent of a volcano, and at an inappropriate time or situation you will explode! So, deal with your feelings before that happens!
For example, the condition of the person you’re taking care of changes. Maybe you need to spend more time taking care of them. You can’t control the fact that they need more help, but you can control who takes care of them. Can you hire someone? If you can’t afford to hire someone, can another family member or even a friend, stop by to relieve you, or just to help? And for heaven’s sake, ask them! People typically won’t offer help. I know, it would be nice if they did, but they won’t! They assume that if you need help you’ll ask them, so go ahead and ask! Start thinking outside the box. Accept the situation, but think about things you can do to take some of the burden off yourself.
I don’t know about you, but I was raised to feel guilty about “everything!” As an adult, I’ve learned that guilt is very destructive. It’s self-imposed and typically not appropriate. You may feel guilty that you’re healthy and the other person isn’t. You may feel guilty because you still want to do things and have a life. You may feel guilty because you’re not able to be there 24/7 or maybe you feel guilty because you resent being there 24/7. It’s perfectly normal to have these feelings! It does NOT make you a bad person! It makes you human! Work on letting go of guilt. Examine the reasons for it. See if you can find solutions and give yourself permission to have those feeling! They’re just feeling and the only person they can harm, if you feel guilty about them, …is you!
Caregivers often suffer from depression. Their life seems to be on hold. They’re overwhelmed and overburdened with things that they think must get done. But you know what? Not all of it has to get done! Prioritize and only do the necessities. Don’t stretch yourself too thin! Don’t be shy, ask for help! Have positive people in your life that you can turn to. And for goodness sake take time for yourself, and try to have some fun on a regular basis!
Life can change at any given moment. You may think you have things under control, and suddenly, wham! There’s a new, unforeseen wrinkle thrown in the mix! When change occurs, you will most likely go through at least some of the five stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Maybe the patient suddenly requires more care than before. You feel bad for them, but you may also grieve for yourself and the impact that it has on your life. This is perfectly normal! You’re allowed to "deny, be angry and depressed," but only for a short time. Don’t live there!
There are things you can do that will help you cope:
You don’t have to go on the rollercoaster alone! These are great tools to use, but sometimes professional help is needed! Don’t hesitate to talk to a professional. Being a caregiver isn’t easy. You need to take care of yourself or you won’t be able to take care of anyone else! And remember, regardless of the condition of the person you're caring for, you still deserve to be happy!
You don't need to be a "caregiver" to relate, taking care of children can at times feel the same way. Please leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you and see how you're coping!
In 1983 Shirley MacLaine’s book “Out On A Limb” came out. By the way, she’s a very interesting lady! I thought her stories about meditation were fascinating. She wrote about out of body experiences, and even being up in the mountains freezing and using meditation to get warm, by visualizing the sun warming her, and it worked! I wanted some of this!
Over the years I’ve dabbled with meditation, but for one reason or another I just couldn’t seem to stick with it. The first time I tried to meditate I kept thinking about all the things that I had to do. In my head, I wrote out my shopping list and to do list, and then I got annoyed. Why on earth was I just sitting here when there were things to be done? I was antsy and bored. After five minutes, and yes it was only five minutes even though it seemed more like an hour, I was done.
But I knew meditation was going to be good for me, so I persevered. I finally discovered Deepak Chopra’s meditations and could sit through the entire meditation. Progress!
I meditate most every day now, but there are times I still struggle to stay in the present moment and not let my thoughts wander, but I found the more often you meditate, the easier it is. I’ve also discovered that Shirley MacLaine’s experiences aren’t unique. Using meditation people can heal themselves, create permanent behavioral changes, as well as raising their body temperature!
In December, I spent a weekend at one of Dr. Joe Dispenza’s workshops where we meditated throughout the day for three days. If you don’t know about him, you need to check him out. http://www.drjoedispenza.com
Dr. Dispenza is a chiropractor, researcher, scientist and author. He healed himself using mediation and has done extensive research that shows that meditation consistently works to heal the body and create change. It was an amazing experience and if you get a chance to go to one of his workshops I highly recommend it!
I enjoyed the experience so much that I’m starting a meditation and support group with Paula Sabharwal PWP, PAI and Dr. Susan Raslovick, D.C. You can’t beat the mediation experience when you doing it in a group setting, so you won’t want to miss out on this unique opportunity, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced meditator! You’ll learn more about how to meditate, why it can be difficult when first starting out and suggestions to make the experience better. We’ll also learn more about Dr. Joe and his techniques, and how to obtain the results you want!
We’ll be conducting weekly meditation sessions at Dr. Raslovick's office, 376 Summerfield Court, Horsham, PA. We will be using Dr. Dispenza’s philosophies and meditation tools, the six-week session, Tap Into Your Inner "Genius," begins Tuesday, January 31st, 7pm. For those that would like to try it out. Please join our weekly Awaken to Your Inner "Genius" Meditation group, beginning Thursday, January 26th, 7pm.
Register here: meetup.com
“If I am not for me, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And, if not now, when?” – Hillel The Elder
It’s a new year and a time for new beginnings. What are you planning on doing for yourself this year?
When you’re on an airplane they tell you that if the oxygen masks come down in an emergency to put it on yourself first, if you pass-out you can’t help anyone else. So, make this the year that you take care of yourself first and go after the life you want!
I know so many people, especially women, that put themselves on the bottom of the list. This year make a pledge to put yourself first. That doesn’t mean that you have to neglect your family and friends. It means that when you put your needs first, you’ll be in better shape to help them! Why? For starters, you’ll be happier and more energetic, and you may even have less stress and become more patient and tolerant.
I know it isn’t easy to find time for yourself, but think about how important it is. Are you happy? How’s your health? Are you stressed? Do you exercise? Do you eat right? Do you take time to meditate, read a book or take a bath? Schedule it! Put it on your calendar! You’re more likely to do something if you block out the time on your calendar.
Taking care of yourself isn’t just about exercising and eating right, it’s also living the life you want. Its working at the job or the career that fulfills you. Its pursuing your dream. Its having relationships with people that make you happy, not stress you out.
What are you waiting for? The years will pass anyway and then what? If you don’t do something about your life now, you’ll still be in the same place five, ten or fifteen years from now. Is that what you want?
In his book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hills said, “that the starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat. If you find yourself lacking in persistence, this weakness may be remedied by building a stronger fire under your desires.”
What is it that you desire? What do you want your life to look like? What improvements do you want to see this year? Whatever they are, you need to find a strong reason why you should do it. Is your reason strong enough to keep you motivated? If it isn’t, come up with a better reason!
For instance, you know that when you’re overweight it can affect your health. Maybe you’re not having any symptoms yet or maybe they’re minor so you’re not all that motivated. Why not tell yourself that if you don’t do something about your weight now, you’re going to have health problems down the road and maybe you’ll be a burden to your children or maybe you won’t be able to play with your grandchildren.
Make your motivation powerful and get an accountability partner. Studies have shown that even when you have a good reason it’s much easier to tough it out when the going gets hard, when you have someone to hold you accountable. Just make sure it’s someone who supports you and doesn’t have a hidden agenda.
If you think you already take care of yourself and your life is just the way you want it to be, that’s wonderful, but are you the best version of yourself that you can possibly be? I think that most of us are always looking for growth and improvement. So maybe consider taking a class, learn a new language and volunteer to help others. Helping others benefits both the giver and the receiver.
So, make 2017 your best year so far, you’re worth it! And remember, “If not now, when?”
The holidays are a beautiful time to spend with family and friends, but they can also be very stressful.
Family can often bring on the most stress. Every family has someone in it that can turn an intelligent, self-assured adult into an insecure, angry, frustrated, and hurt little kid. You remember the saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me?” We all know that isn’t true. Words do hurt and often take much longer to heal than broken bones, but only if we allow them to!
There are some people, I call these the “drama queens,” that just aren’t happy unless they make everyone else miserable. By the way drama queens can be male or female.
When you’re dealing with a drama queen, prepare for them ahead of time. Tell yourself that you are an intelligent, capable person and that whatever this person says stems from their own insecurities. Only you can allow someone to hurt your feelings and this time you’re not giving them permission to do that!
If someone in your family is bullying you, you can try to ignore what they’re saying and not react or respond to it. You can remove yourself to another room or go talk to another person. Usually they’re looking for a reaction and if they don’t get one they may give up.
If that doesn’t work let them know that you love them but don’t appreciate how they’re talking to you and that it isn’t appropriate behavior for a holiday get together and if they would like to discuss something with you, you would be happy to do so, in private at another time.
Also, have someone there with you that you know will support you. Someone you can go to when you feel like you’re losing control, and will help you regain your perspective and confidence.
You deserve to have a joyous and wonderful Holiday, so don’t allow others to ruin it for you. Words are just that, just because someone said them it doesn’t make them truths. Consider the source and realize that they come from a person who has their own problems and insecurities!
Wishing you and your family a joyous and wonderful Holiday Season and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!