Oh Look – Another Shiny Object

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

The first month of 2017 is behind us, and if I could share one thing that has made my last 31 days successful, it would be this:

I’ve stopped looking for the next shiny object.

Sometimes it seems like I’m always looking for what’s next:

                                                The next workshop that I just can’t miss

                                                The next webinar that will have all the answers

                                                The next article that will solve all my problems

So now instead of looking for what’s next, I’m focusing on what I already have right in front of me.  And the first place I looked was at all those piles sitting on my desk.  Those same piles that contain all the information I collected at the last workshop I attended or the last webinar I watched or the last article I read.  There on my desk sits notes I took, phrases I highlighted and pages I dog-eared – all waiting for me to finish what I started.

I’m taking time to look at all those unfinished projects and making decisions rather than excuses.  Decisions to concentrate and apply what I’ve already learned.

Someone once told me that if you don’t use something within the first six months, you might as well throw it out because you’ll never look at it again.  I strongly disagree.  As I’m going through those mounds of paper and notebooks, I’m finding some really good stuff.  And now I’m ready to use it.  So in my next blog, or my next speech, you just may hear something that I resurrected .  Something that really resonated with me and hopefully will do the same for you.   

So the next time a bright shiny object is calling to you, stop and take a look at what you already have right in front of you.  After all, it was important enough at one time for you to keep. Dust it off and take another look before you bury it beneath that new handout you just brought home.

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A Peaceful Roar

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This is NOT a political statement, nor am I taking anyone’s side.  I’m simply sharing my thoughts on something that touched me deeply.

A few days ago, we all witnessed the 2017 Women’s March.  It’s estimated that approximately four million Americans gathered to support one another, to speak out for a cause, and to say “I’ve got your back.”  The people who gathered on this day, all over the world, were of different ages with different backgrounds – all with their own story.  They got on buses, hopped on  trains, crowded into airports so they could walk for something they believed in. 

And it was all done peacefully.

That’s the part that really got to me emotionally.  Instead of fighting and yelling and screaming obscenities, you saw people holding hands, hugging each other and smiling.  Lots and lots of smiles.

They promoted awareness in a peaceful manner.

It made me realize that if you really believe in something, and you want to get it done, it’s up to you to lace up those shoes, stand up straight, and take that first step.  Sometimes it’s hard to brush off all those “no’s” that people throw at you, but who would have guessed that a movement like the 2017 Women’s March would resonate around the world with millions participating.  You never know where that first step will take you.

Watching the massive crowds gather in the different towns and cities really sent a chill up my spine. Just think of all we can accomplish – all YOU can accomplish – when we don’t give up on our beliefs.

Those words of Katy Perry keep rolling around in my head: “You’re going to hear me roar.”

 

 

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I Just Need Possible

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

I just heard some fascinating news on the radio – YES, I still listen to the radio!

The announcer said that today, half way through January, 75% of New Year’s resolutions will be abandoned.  What?  75%?  It’s only two weeks into the New Year and the New You.  What would make someone give up so quickly?

Then, as I was pointing my finger towards others, I noticed that four of my fingers were pointing back at me.  How many times have I made the same resolutions year after year after year?  I began to wonder why they seemed so hard to keep, and I came up with these five ideas:

1.        Sometimes we get so excited and so ambitious and we make a LIST of resolutions.  No wonder we become overwhelmed and discouraged.  Try focusing on just ONE change.  I know a year seems like a long time to work on only one thing, but just think how amazing it would be if you actually got that one thing accomplished, finished, done with, and never again to be seen on another New Year’s resolution list – ever again.

2.       Be kind to yourself.  If you falter today, start again tomorrow.  Don’t beat yourself up or throw in the towel.  This change will take time, and as my mother always said: “You have more time than money.”

3.       Celebrate your success along the way.  That doesn’t mean a hot fudge sundae if your goal is to lose weight, but maybe it could be something like taking time for a bubble bath or sharing a glass of wine with a friend.

4.        Remember that you have a choice.  My weakness is chocolate so I’m always struggling with losing those extra pounds.  When I reach for that chocolate, I tell myself that I have a choice – I can eat that chocolate now or I can have a healthier body.  Which is more important?  If I’m honest, the chocolate does win out more often than I’d like to admit, but I’m working on that.  Knowing that I have a choice helps me to put things in perspective.

5.       Make your resolution a year long process, not just a one night statement.  Work at it every day until it becomes a habit.  I once heard someone say (and I paraphrase): I don’t need easy, I just need possible.  Make your resolution a promise to yourself that is possible.

Well, let me know how it goes.  Right now I’m going to make myself part of the 25% that have not given up on their resolutions.  I’m working on making mine possible.

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Your Choice – No Explanation Needed

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

I just saw the movie Collateral Beauty.  Although the reviews were not that great, I really loved it.  The story had twists and turns that I didn’t see coming and, when it was over, it left me with a warm feeling inside.

Especially the part, near the end of the movie, when Howard asked Madeleine if she is alone on Christmas Eve.  Her response is simply:  “My choice.”  Two words – that’s all she said.  No explanation, no excuses , no justification – just “My choice.”

Right then and there I learned such a valuable lesson.  There have been so many times in my life when I felt like I had to explain my decision.  So many times when I felt like someone was judging me and I had to justify my choice.   I can’t begin to tell you how often people question the fact that I don’t cook, like it’s a crack in my personality.  So I feel like I have to make myself look better in their eyes and I try to explain WHY.  Even worse, there are people who give me that wrinkled up look on their face when they find out that I don’t have children.  You know what I mean – that pity look.  It never dawns on them that this is a decision that I thought through very carefully and I am happy with it.  This decision did not come easy, but one that has worked out well for me.

So now, the next time someone tries to convince me that I need to take cooking classes to be happy, or starts to get that scrunched up pity look on their face because I haven’t experienced what it’s like to be a parent, I’ll simply say: “My choice.”  No other words are needed.  No other justification.  I’m happy with the decisions I’ve made and I don’t need anyone else’s approval.

I’m hoping that these two words will help you the next time someone challenges your decision.

In the words of the great Steve Jobs: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

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Do – Undo – Redo in the New Year

Professional Speaker-Personal Development-Positive Attitude

So, the other day my husband asked me to meet him for dinner.  My answer was quick and direct:

“Sorry – I have to work tonight.”

His response was equally as quick: “I thought your resolution for 2017 was to add more fun to your life.”

He was right!

Last week I posted a blog about New Year’s resolutions and how to view them differently so they actually work.  My intention for 2017 was IS to have more fun, but I realized that I never really thought about the HOW.  HOW was I going to add more fun to my life?

So here it is – some detailed thoughts on how I’m going to reach my goal for the New Year.  This is how I plan on making 2017 more festive:

1.        Take dance lessons with my husband.  This was actually his idea so – NO – I don’t have to drag him to any classes.  We actually took a Flash Mob dance class a couple of years ago and it was a hoot!

2.       Find a Pickleball class.  This is harder than it sounds because most of the classes I’ve found are during the day when I work.  I just have to dig a little deeper.  BTW – if you’ve never heard of Pickleball, neither had I until I moved to Madison just a few years ago.  It’s a cross between tennis and ping-pong – and LOTS of fun.

3.       Go snowshoeing this winter.  I’ve tried this twice before and really enjoyed it.  Now I just have to figure out where to rent some snowshoes here in Madison – then actually bundle up and DO it.

4.       Take an unexpected trip.  It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, just something short, sweet and filled with laughter.  If I draw a 100 mile radius around my home, I’m sure I can come up with something.

5.       Surprise someone.  I want to do something for someone else that will make them laugh out loud.  I have such a great family and so many wonderful friends that it would bring me lots of pleasure to see them smile.

WHEW!  This fun stuff is hard work, but I’m committed to it.  I’ll keep you posted on my progress.  In the meantime, let me know your thoughts.  What do you want to do, undo, or redo in the New Year?

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