Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Goals and Productivity’


The look at what worked for Christmas and what didn’t was very helpful for me so I thought I would try the same approach for looking over this past year. The year 2010 was a pretty tough one for me!

What didn’t go so well this year-

My year started out with me working in corporate America. I had come through a very stressful Christmas season dealing with some family drama (a mentally handicapped brother, and another brother and his family, long story). I had spent Thanksgiving week in the hospital as I thought I was having a heart attack.

In my job, as a sales manager, I was responsible for the “sales quota” for my district. Being in recession, and a very slow 1st quarter, it was difficult to accomplish what was being asked from me. I increased the number of hours I was working, upwards of 80 hours a week. I could not turn off my work, it was always there with me. My boss even realized how tough it was on us and scheduled a retreat at the end of May. It was nice to get away, but we STILL had to get the work done.

I started writing my personal blog in May, Ramblings of a Woman. It was a way for me to vent, but it was also a way for me to learn about the blogging world and how it all works. It was a huge learning curve at first, so much to know! I realized, though, that I love to write and connect with my readers!

In June, I served on jury duty for the first time. It was a very interesting experience. I can’t say I would want to do it again, but it truly opened my eyes to my community.

Winding up tighter and tighter

All the while, my stress level was compounding. I always felt like I was climbing out of my skin and got to the point where I had to have a glass of wine every night just to be able to sit still. I talked to my doctor about how I was feeling (I was already on some meds for depression and anxiety). He suggested I wait until after my upcoming vacation and see how I felt.

Vacation was good, although it took me too long to unwind. When I returned home, my stress was all still right there. One of my last straws was my boss’s boss stating in a broadcast message that to be able to accomplish the company’s objectives, we were to put forth effort 24/7. It was the next week that I had to prepare and present a mid-year review to my boss.

The meltdown

I could not concentrate on the reports. I could not wrap my brain around what I was supposed to be presenting. I could not find info I needed. My mental capacity was decreasing daily. I could hardly talk to my staff, and only left the house for absolutely mandatory meetings. Everything else I did by email.

When I met with my boss for my review, I fell apart. Into tears. Could not make it through, could not intelligently present my data. I left and immediately called my doctor. I believe I would have checked myself into a hospital if I had known where to go at that point.

My doctor immediately pulled me from work and put me on medical leave. He added and changed some medications. And I had to try to explain to everyone what happened to Superwoman. The one who had it all together.

Wearing the mask

You see, nobody knew I was suffering. Nobody at work, nobody at church, not my friends, and not even my family knew just how bad it was. I think my husband was getting a clue, but I did so well at pushing on, pressing forward, that people were shocked when I dropped off the face of the earth.

***And I want to reach out here to you, my reader. I know that there are some of you out there who feel this same way right now. You are overwhelmed and drowning and yet you won’t cry out for help. Since I didn’t ask for help sooner, I had to completely step away from my life. You may or may not need to do that, but the sooner you ask for help, the better.

Find someone you can talk to ~~ Be very blunt with them ~~ Tell them what you need help with~~ Make some changes for your sake and the sake of those around you!

While this post ends on a heavy note, be sure to read the next one! I will be talking about what went right this year, and what I learned from what went wrong.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Advertisements

Read Full Post »


Why do we not do the things we want to,

and do the things we don’t?

The apostle Paul even wrote about it in Romans 7:15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do.

Many times there are habits we want to stop, or habits we want to implement in our lives, yet we are consistently unsuccessful.  We tend to beat ourselves up that we are lazy, or maybe even sinful. Unfortunately, this is just part of human nature. The good news is, you can train yourself to implement change in your life.

I am going to use an example that I got from Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits. He is talking mainly about exercise, but the steps are good and can work for ANY habit.

eat_the_elephant

The Main Problems

 

In a nutshell, “It’s just too much to do, it’s overwhelming!”

So why do most people have trouble making exercise a regular habit? Well, there are probably a number of factors, but here are the main ones as I see it:

  1. Too difficult. People set out with a lot of ambition and enthusiasm, and start out with a big goal. “I’m going to go to the gym for an hour a day!” or “I’m going to run 30 minutes every day!” The problem is that the goal is too difficult to sustain for very long. You can do it for a few days, but you soon run out of energy, and it becomes a drag to do it.
  2. Too many goals. Often we set out to do too much. We want to run, and lift weights, and eat healthy, and quit sweets, and stop drinking soda. Well, those are multiple goals, and you cannot focus on the exercise habit if you’re trying to do all the others at the same time. Or we might start with one goal, but then get caught up in another goal (to stop procrastinating, for example), and lose our focus on the first one.
  3. Not enough motivation. It’s not a lack of discipline, it’s a lack of motivation. The most powerful motivators, in my experience, are logging your habit and public pressure. There are many others that help as well.

The 4 Simple Steps


So how do we solve those problems? Keep it simple. Here are the 4 simple steps to start the exercise habit (and keep it going). I should note that you can use these 4 steps to start any habit.

  1. Set one easy, specific, measurable goal. There are several keys to setting this crucial goal:
    • Written: Write this down. Post it up. If you don’t write it down, it’s not important.
    • Easy: Don’t — DO NOT — set a difficult goal. Set one that is super, super easy. Five minutes of exercise a day. You can do that. Work your way to 10 minutes after a month. Then go to 15 after 2 months. You can see what I mean: make it easy to start with, so you can build your habit, then gradually increase.
    • Specific: By specific, I mean what activity are you going to do, at what time of day, and where? Don’t just say “exercise” or “I’m going to walk”. You have to set a time and place. Make it an appointment you can’t miss.
    • Trigger: I recommend that you have a “trigger” right before you do your habit. For example, you might always brush your teeth right after you shower. The shower is the trigger for brushing your teeth, and because of that, you never forget to brush your teeth. Well, what will you do right before you exercise? Is it right after you wake up? Right after your coffee? Right when you get home? As soon as you take off for lunch? A trigger that you do every single day is important.
    • Measurable: By measurable, I mean that you should be able to say, definitely, whether you hit or miss your goal today. Examples: run for 10 minutes. Walk 1/2 a mile. Do 3 sets of 5 pushups. Each of those has a number that you can shoot for.
    • One goal: Stick to this one goal for at least a month. Two months if you can bear it. Don’t start up a second goal during that 30-day period. If you do, you are scrapping this goal.
  2. Log it daily. This is the key habit. If you can log your workout, you will start to see your progress, and it will motivate you to keep going. And you have to make it a habit to log it right away. Don’t put it off, and say you’ll do it before you go to bed. As soon as you’re done working out, log it. No exceptions. And don’t make the log complicated — that will only make you resist doing the log. Just the date, time, and what you did.
  3. Report to others. I think this is key. You can do it on your blog, on an online forum, with your spouse, or friends or family, or a workout partner, or a coach, or a group, or a class. However you set it up, make it part of the process that you have to report your daily workout to other people. It could be using an online log, or on a forum, or through email, or the phone, or just by telling your co-workers what you did this morning. But be sure that they know your goal, and that you are going to report to them, and be sure that they are expecting it every day.
  4. Add motivation as needed. The first three steps might be enough for you to get the habit going. But if not, don’t just give up. If you miss two consecutive workouts, you need to look at why, and add a new motivation. Rewards, more public pressure, inspiration, whatever it takes. Read this article for more on this. You can add one additional motivator, and then see if it works. If you miss two more consecutive workouts at any time, add another motivator. And so on, until the exercise habit sticks.

Again, while Leo is basically talking about exercise in general here, these steps will work for ANY HABIT. I encourage you, if there is something you are trying to stop doing or something you want to implement in your life, work through each of these steps to see how it would play out.

One of My Elephants

My regular readers know that I have been dealing with depression and anxiety since this summer. I actually have a difficult time leaving the house. I need to go to the Y to exercise, but have not been making it there. I tend to make it  a lot harder on myself than I should. I realized that I don’t want to go through the trouble of getting dressed and getting my shoes on, etc. So, my very first goal for me to work on really isn’t about exercise, but about me getting myself presentable and dressed AS IF I WERE gonna go to the gym. In my mind I feel that is half the battle. And I will probably use my Google calendar to track it. And my trigger? Have my workout clothes easily accessible, and instead of throwing on my old house grubbiesfirst thing in the morning, dress in gym clothes and put my shoes on.

To many of you, that may seem so simplistic, and say “I need to change something bigger than that, this won’t work for me! That is the issue with me and with many people. We take the whole leg of the elephant and try to carm it in our mouth and don’t see that it is possible. We just have to take that one little bite, and once we do that, it tastes SO GOOD, we take one more bite. It will take time, but eventually you can eat the elephant, one little bite at a time!

Eating The Elephant

What about you? What is your elephant in YOUR life that you would like to be eating right now?

My goal is to help as many people as possible with these issues we all deal with! Be sure to subscribe via email or RSS so you don’t miss any posts! If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog and you would like to share with them, please click on the appropriate link below!

Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Twitter

Read Full Post »


I have been struggling with writing the past few days. Definitely not feeling it. This morning I was reading through some older stuff on my computer and came across this essay that was written by my now 17 year old daughter. She wrote this a little over 2 years ago. Be sure to read thru to the end as there is amazing insight there.

 

Where I’m From….

By L Wood

 I’m from the same place still that I came from,lyz and snow

Lived in the same house my whole life,

I’m from memories that always flow through me,

Every time I’m home I remember happiness and strife,

I’m from dancing in the mirror and singing in the hairbrush

To playing with momma’s hair and daddy’s big bear hugs

 

Lyz and butterflyI was the little girl next door that couldn’t come out and play

And the girl who thought she was a boy until about 13,

I’m from the bridge over our favorite creek

That’s surrounded by pretty flowers in the spring

I’m from the top of my horse, lyz and geronimo

Who is my best friend and keeps all my secrets,

I can trust him

 If you fast forward a little you’ll see,

I’m still from the same cute, little house,

But no longer a little girl walks out the front door,

But a young lady trying so hard to make her parents proud

 

elevate I’m from The Church at Covington and Elevate Youth Group,

I’m from frustration coming out of my Algebra 2 classroom,

I’m from a place that gets confusing,

But in this place God is able to use me

 

I’m from a small town,lyz dance (2)

Where it’s impossible not to see to see someone you know when you go out,

I’m from a dance studio were I’ve thought through so many problems,

As I let my feelings through in the way my body moves

 

lyz I’m from a place were most people don’t go,

That’s deep in my mind,

A place that I don’t ever really show,

I’m from trying so hard to be myself,

To learning it’s always possible… If you’re brave enough*.

*This is such a sweet line for me to remember. She loved the Chronicles of Narnia and Aslan says this to Lucy in the movie, which had come out some time before she wrote this

Such insight from a 15 year old!

There is a place in all of us, a place that we never really show, the place that we keep hidden because we are sure that people could not possibly like us if they knew ‘that’ person.

I know that she is still working on this herself, but I hope she is able to find some success while she is young. It sucks to be 45 and not be comfortable in being who I am, of not even being 100% sure of who that is yet. I know that I am getting closer to discovering me, that I am becoming more and more brave and digging deeper and deeper within to those areas within that I have locked away for so long.

So, even now, at 45, I am trying so hard to be myself,

as

     I

        discover,

                          one

                                 step

                                         at

                                              a

                                                 time,

                                                          who

                                                                  I

                                                                     really

                                                                                am. 

What about you? Are you comfortable with who you are? Do you know who that person is? Did you always know or did it take some time to figure it out?

My goal is to help as many people as possible with these issues we all deal with! Be sure to subscribe via email or RSS so you don’t miss any posts! If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog and you would like to share with them, please click on the appropriate link below!
Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Twitter

Read Full Post »


I have recently gone through quite a bit of change and turmoil in my life. I basically had a mental meltdown back in July. (I don’t like saying ‘nervous breakdown’ and it is not a true medical term anyway!)  I had gotten to a point where nothing in my life was working. I had pushed myself to the MAX in so many different areas, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, in my relationships and in my career. My body finally had enough and said NO MORE!

My Life at a Standstill

depressed in a boxI had to take a medical leave from my job. I could barely leave the house, much less go to work. I couldn’t even go to Walmart by myself!  I reduced other responsibilities I had. Luckily my kids are mostly grown, so they can take care of themselves most of the time!  I stopped just about anything and everything I was doing. Pruned it away.

Rotten thinking

I had to start working on my mind as well. I had some pretty messed up ways of looking at things.

Things like…

  • I have to do all that is expected of me
  • I have to do it if I want it done right
  • My way is the best way and therefore the only way
  • I have to keep up a front that I am ok
  • I had to look the part of the professional role model all the time

Notice that these thoughts are all based on the big “I”. As I started pruning these things away with the help of my psychologist, my hubby and much prayer, I realized that alot of these thoughts were based in…

PRIDE

And, although I like to joke about this, I have had to REALLY learn that there is a God, and it isn’t ME.

I am NOT all powerful.

I CANNOT do everything.

I AM NOT Superwoman.

So, I am pruning out these thoughts… although I do find it is an everyday struggle!

STUFF!

Now that I am beginning to feel better, (more on that in a minute) I am also starting to prune away in my physical surroundings. I had surrounded myself with a lot of STUFF. I think that lots of stuff is another way of hiding. I am tired of hiding behind ANYTHING, so I am pruning away my belongings. Getting rid of the extra, the stuff that doesn’t add joy or value. 

Want growth? Gotta prune!

Now, I am no gardener, but I can tell you this, pruning is necessary for growth. If vines and trees and bushes are not pruned properly, they can never grow to their full potential.

In the Bible, in John 15, Jesus is portrayed as the gardener. As the Gardener, he examines each and every branch and twig in our vines to see if they are healthy or not. We also need to take this role in our lives.

Examine your life. Ask these questions

  • Am I fruitful in this area?
  • Or am I just spinning my wheels?
  • If I rid myself of “this”, could I better use my time over “here” instead?

Prune, or be pruned!

And, personally, as a Christian, I believe that if we do not make these adjustments to our vines on our own, the Gardener will bring or allow things into our lives to do the pruning for us. That, is what I feel happened in my life. I had let many things get out of control, I had weeds and vines all intertwined and had allowed quite a mess!

But I think that the Gardener was sitting back and saying, “I have SO much more for you. There is such great potential for you, but you cannot see it with all this overgrowth.” And so PRUNING was required. I had no choice at this point. I was at the end  of myself, and so the pruning began.overgrown vines

Cutting away those things that were unhealthy for my mind, soul and spirit. Clearing away the brush so I could see the open sky waiting for me. Chopping out completely the limbs that were diseased.

Was it painful? Absolutely.

Was it humbling? You better believe it. You see, before, I had quite a plant growing. I mean, I had vines going every direction, and it looked liked there was growth and life there, and then it was all cut away.

Now, however, I have hope. I know that the Gardener only wants the best for me. And instead of that mess I had, with his pruning, and my new growth with his guidance, I can grow into something more like this, with beauty, and the opportunity to see and do so much more than I could have before.

flowering vines

Am I there yet? Nope. I’ve got a lot of growing to do. I’ve gotta make sure I am doing the right things for the right reasons. I have make sure my thoughts don’t get skewed again. I need to add the right things to my life for the right reasons. For now, this is how I see myself.

sproutSee that little shoot growing from the cut stump? That is me. Rising up from my pruned state, green leaves reaching toward the sky in anticipation of what is to come!

Have you ever been through the “pruning process”? What are some things that were pruned away?

 

My goal is to help as many people as possible with these issues we all deal with! Be sure to subscribe via email or RSS so you don’t miss any posts! If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog and you would like to share with them, please click on the appropriate link below!
Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Twitter

Read Full Post »


And where are you going?

road travelledAs we look back behind us, at our life, we can see the path that we have been down.

We see where we’ve been… what we’ve done.

We see the good times… and the not-so-good.

We are proud of the good choices we made… and would like to forget some of the poor ones.

We see where others we met and interacted with along the way have given us much joy… or brought us much grief.

Many times we would like to go back and change where our path took us

To avoid some of the negatives and the pain.

To end up in a different place than where we are.

These things are not possible.

All we can do with the past, positive or negative, is to embrace it, learn from it, and (this part many people don’t realize!)…

decide which way we want to go from here

Are we content with where our current path is leading? Or do we want to end up somewhere totally different?

The choice is yours. You get to decide what direction your life takes. You can make course adjustments. Did you know that pilots (and the autopilot) are constantly having to make minor course corrections? Being off by 1 degree can make a huge difference in where you end up. By the same token, making adjustments of 1 degree can totally alter your journey.
road less travelled

It doesn’t necessarily take a MAJOR life decision or change to get different results!

I met a wonderful lady this weekend, Laurie Smithwick, co-founder of Kirtsy.com who made a statement that inspired this post. She said…

“We are creating our future by deciding where to step.”

Awesome! You get to decide which direction you take your next step. A little to the right? A little to the left?

But, what about…

I know that we all have been dealt some tough stuff. There are some things out of your control. However, there are a lot of things YOU do have the ability to control, and you need to learn what those things are.

  1. Your thoughts
  2. Your Attitude
  3. How you take care of yourself (eat right, drink water, exercise)
  4. How you manage your time (saying No, turning off TV or PC, choosing family time over outside obligations)
  5. Learn to live in the moment

Even if you are at a place in your life where a lot of your time is committed to things that ARE important to you (children, family, career) determine even those small things that can make a shift toward the direction you want to head.

this way that way signFor example-

  1. Drink water instead of soda
  2. Go to bed instead of watching ‘just one more show’
  3. Take a 10 minute walk rather than vegging out. If you still want to veg when you return, go for it!
  4. Read a book on a subject you want to know more about, even if it is just 15 minutes on your lunch break
  5. Research that business idea floating in your head and start creating a plan, even if it is a 5 or 10 year plan
  6. Get a new haircut/style that better reflects you
  7. Go through your wardrobe and do your best to wear only the clothes that you feel good in, that make you feel confident
  8. Spend some time in reflection determining who “you” really are, and where you want your path to eventually lead.

What are some of the little (or BIG) changes you have made to point yourself in the direction you want to be going?

I will be expanding on some of these ideas over the next couple of weeks. Be sure to subscribe HERE so you don’t miss out on any of my posts!

If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog and you would like to share with them, please click on the appropriate link below!
Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Twitter

Read Full Post »


Being Busy Steals Your Life Away

busy womanMost of America and many other developed nations feel that being busy is a badge of honor

We think gives us our worth.

 

I think the opposite.

I think that being busy can keep us from being who we TRULY are.

I think it gets in the way of doing the things that are the MOST important to us.

I think that WE use being busy as a way to protect ourselves from stepping out of our comfort zone into what we feel deep inside we ought to be doing — and I am not talking about all the nagging ‘shoulds’ that come from outside, but those things which we know we are ‘called’ to do.

Doing Good, or Doing the Best?

We’ve all heard the quote, “The good is the enemy of the best”. I am not saying that many of the things you are doing aren’t good things. They may even be GREAT things, but, they may not be the BEST THING for YOU at this point in your life. When busyness gets a hold of us, we become bound by our ‘shoulds’ and we cannot be at peace in our lives.
work life balance sign

So how can you be sure you are doing the right things?

Christ wants us to have life and have it abundantly. He wants us to have what is best for US. We must be in tune with Him and with our hearts to avoid this empty busyness.

Below is a list adapted from Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits. Included are links to many of his helpful tips to accomplish these things.

10 Ways to Stop being So Busy

  1. Make a list of your top 4-5 important things. What’s most important to you? What do you value most? What 4-5 things do you most want to do in your life? Simplifying starts with these priorities, as you are trying to make room in your life so you have more time for these things.  
  2. Evaluate your commitments. Look at everything you’ve got going on in your life. Everything, from work to home to civic to kids’ activities to hobbies to side businesses to other projects. Think about which of these really gives you value, which ones you love doing. Which of these are in line with the 4-5 most important things you listed above? Drop those that aren’t in line with those things. Article here.  
  3. family organizer cozi

  4. Evaluate your time. How do you spend your day? What things do you do, from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep? Make a list, and evaluate whether they’re in line with your priorities. If not, eliminate the things that aren’t, and focus on what’s important. Redesign your day.  
  5. Simplify work tasks. Our work day is made up of an endless list of work tasks. If you simply try to knock off all the tasks on your to-do list, you’ll never get everything done, and worse yet, you’ll never get the important stuff done. Focus on the essential tasks and eliminate the rest. Read more.  
  6. Simplify home tasks. In that vein, think about all the stuff you do at home. Sometimes our home task list is just as long as our work list. And we’ll never get that done either. So focus on the most important, and try to find ways to eliminate the other tasks (automate, eliminate, delegate, or hire help).not to do
  7. Learn to say no. This is actually one of the key habits for those trying to simplify their lives. If you can’t say no, you will take on too much. Article here on how to say NO.  
  8. Limit your communications. Our lives these days are filled with a vast flow of communications: email, IM, cell phones, paper mail, Skype, Twitter, forums, and more. It can take up your whole day if you let it. Instead, put a limit on your communications: only do email at certain times of the day, for a certain number of minutes (I recommend twice a day, but do what works for you). Only do IM once a day, for a limited amount of time. Limit phone calls to certain times too. Same with any other communications. Set a schedule and stick to it.  
  9. Limit your media consumption. This tip won’t be for everyone, so if media consumption is important to you, please skip it (as with any of the other tips). However, I believe that the media in our lives — TV, radio, Internet, magazines, etc. — can come to dominate our lives. Don’t let it. Simplify your life and your information consumption by limiting it. Try a media fast.  
  10. Purge your stuff. If you can devote a weekend to purging the stuff you don’t want, it feels seriously terrific. Get boxes and trash bags for the stuff you want to donate or toss. Here’s my guide on decluttering. Here’s a post on starting small.
  11. Do what you love. Once you’ve freed up some time, be sure to spend that extra time doing things you love. Go back to your list of 4-5 important things. Do those, and nothing else. Read more.

Woman WritingIt will take time to implement these steps. They cannot be accomplished in a week, or even a month. I encourage you, however, if you find that you are not at peace with your level of busyness, that you go through this list, examine your heart, spend some time in meditation, and create an action plan for creating change in your life.

What are some things that you would like to change or possibly do away with in your life? Are there some things you would actually like to add?

 My goal is to help as many people as possible with these issues we all deal with! Be sure to subscribe via email or RSS so you don’t miss any posts! If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog and you would like to share with them, please click on the appropriate link below!
Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Twitter

Read Full Post »


…are you who you want to be?

This song by Switchfoot really shook me at the core when I was examining my life. Yes, we do have to deal with life circumstances, but there is a lot we CAN DO to change our situation!

Be sure to scroll past the video.

Please ignore the timing being off in this video.  They otherwise did an awesome job of editing and putting together the content.

 

This is your life

My goal is to help as many people as possible with these issues we all deal with! Be sure to subscribe via email or RSS so you don’t miss any posts! If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog and you would like to share with them, please click on the appropriate link below!
Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to Google BookmarkAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Twitter
badge

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »