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Archive for the ‘Self Improvement’ Category

Last time I wrote down 11 things that I was grateful for in my quest to reach 100! I took a couple of days to think about what I wrote and realized…this list could technically go on forever. So for today’s installment, I will continue with my gratitude list #12-25.

Gratitude List #12-25:

12. Having money to buy food to put on the table during these hard economic times

13. Have a library that I can borrow books from for no cost…unless they are returned late (i.e. fines)

14. Having my favorite grocery store (Trader Joe’s) be not more than 15 minutes from my home

15. Being able to watch TV and record shows to watch at a later time (i.e. DVR baby!)

16. Having great friends who are willing to help others out during a time of need

17. Being on bedrest (Wow, I am shocked I said that!) because it is providing me some time to think about life changes that I would not have spent the time thinking about otherwise

18. Being able to read about topics of interest to me – theology, homeschooling, education, current events, cooking, parenting

19. Having dishes that get dirty and need to be cleaned because that reminds me that I have food to eat and mouths to feed

20. Having utility bills to pay because it reminds me that I have a place to live

21. Having a Bible to read because I can use it to help me focus on God’s Word instead of having to do it all from memory or oral traditions as disciples did in the 1st Century church.

22. Being able to be limber, despite how ill I feel on some days (Rheumatoid Arthritis has not taken control of my life!)

23. Having a bed to make because it reminds me that I have a place to sleep

24. Having to discipline my son when he needs it – although it is difficult to do, I know that it is best because long term it will help him to stay on the right track

25. Having periods during the day of peace and quiet – the soul needs moments of rest

What are you grateful for?

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Last night, I had an epiphany! There are so many things to be grateful for regardless of how crazy things are going in your life and if you are anything like me…it seems like things have been doing some back flips! So, I decided that I would start a list of 100 things that I am grateful for, write them down over the next couple of days, and then see where it goes from there. I have to say that I was a bit nervous because I wasn’t sure I would be able to come up with 100 things, but I figure that by at least writing them down, I would be able to reflect on the good in my life when things don’t remind me of a bed of roses! Here it goes:

Gratitude List #1-10 (I thought I would start with something manageable…at least for me):

1. Having a wonderful, loving husband who strives to do his best to meet the needs of our family

2. Having an energetic and curious little boy who loves anything related to sports

3. Having another child on the way who is showing signs of being healthy so far…(I will continue to pray about that one!)

3. Having a place to live that I can take care of and call “home”

4. Having a way to bring in income

5. Having both of my parents

6. Having God’s Word to guide my life

7. Having a shower that has hot running water (there have been a few times where we have had to deal with cold water for a few days…not fun:()

8. Having the internet so that I can search out resources and information

9. Having a car that is driveable

10. Having a backyard where my child can play

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11. Living in the United States (I have to say I am not that grateful when I focus on all of the bureaucracy that is apparent in this country, however I am thankful for the opportunities and resources that are available to us.)

Oops…I did say that I would start of with 10, didn’t I? It started to get a bit easier after I got through the things that were apparent and had to think a bit deeper. This is going to be an ongoing project!

What are you grateful for? I would love to hear about them!

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Arthur Cundy, a friend of our family, has a website called www.arthurcundy.com. He has several videos on Web Design and being more productive in your work. After watching the video mentioned below, I felt that he had some great ideas about goal setting that I can apply to my own life. I hope them can be beneficial to yours too!

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In my quest to learn more about being disciplined as I had stated in Organizing Methods Are Not One Size Fits All, I happened to stumble upon an article called How to Be Consistent & Get Stuff Done on www.workawesome.com. This article really made me think about why I am not as consistent as I need to be in various areas of my life, therefore affecting my level of discipline. I will share what I feel my issues are and how I plan to change them so that I can improve in this area.

1. Not Understanding the Power of Consistency: My mentality about consistency has always been just that it is important and that I need to do it. However, I have taken the time to understand the power that it can have in my life. This power is the ability to complete things that are started. I usually have great plans, but things get difficult to stick to without being able to see what the finished product will look like. Having a true understanding of consistency helps you to know that long term work will pay off.

2. Being Speedy Instead of Persistent: I’d like to believe that I have a A-type personality, because when I set my mind to do something, I am driven. I enjoy setting deadlines in order to meet goals. I also will do my best to work very hard at what I set out to do. While these are wonderful traits to have, I tend to work too hard, attempting to meet deadlines and with that, have a tendency to feel burnout. I have decided that this can no longer happen, so I am learning about the importance of being persistent. Persistence is when you continue working at a task even when the initial reason you started it has passed. For example, when someone is persistent about exercise, they may have initially started because they wanted to lose weight, but after a period of time has passed and the weight is lost, they still continue because the ultimate purpose has surpassed the original (i.e., exercising for health reasons). In my case, I need to set a shorter time frame on a daily or weekly basis for working on my goals. Then if I do this small bit each time that I plan it, I will be more likely to keep doing it and not burnout.

3. Making Excuses for Why Today Doesn’t Work: Have you ever heard your alarm in the morning go off…and just wanted to shut it off completely, getting back to what was important… sleep? This was me this morning! The alarm sounded like the most annoying invention ever created and if there was a hammer on my nightstand, I would have smashed it. Instead, I turned it off, telling myself that I was going to get up in 5 minutes…which turned into 25 minutes. Then I dragged myself to the bathroom to wash up for the day and stared in the mirror, reassuring convincing myself that the plans that I set out to do were going to happen! Today was different though. I wasn’t about to let my mind and body control what I had set out to do. Excuses were not going to work today! This is the internal battle that we sometimes must have…not  allowing ourselves to come up with excuses as to why today doesn’t work! As I stated before, persistence is key, and it won’t happen if we don’t take to time to make our plans a routine and natural part of day-to-day life.

4. Being Influenced By Inconsistent People: When I was in high school, I remember having 2 really great friends who truly helped me to be consistent with studying. They were a really great influence. They (in addition to my parents) helped me to see that studying and reviewing material every night really pays off, especially when you need to prepare for an exam. In college, I also had some great friends who were consistent about working out (dancing), studying, planning get-togethers, and meeting at the library for focus groups.  This was a great benefit to me since there was plenty of accountability. Now, I am at the point in my life where a lot of the accountability is left up to me. Indeed, I have friends that I talk to about different areas of my life and in those discussions, natural accountability occurs. However, it is not the same. For example, if  I come up with an excuse for doing the laundry when I had planned, it does inconvenience the family a bit, but we come up with other outfits to wear for the day. No big deal!  If I had planned to go to the gym with a friend, but she couldn’t make it that day because something came up, I had to make a decision as to whether I was still going to go or not. Then you have those conversations with acquaintances about gym visits and it “seems” like a lot of people…the common statement is, “I had planned to go, but this week has been so hectic”. In these cases, it is not intentional that I end up being surrounded by those who are inconsistent, however, it does mean that I need to make more of an effort to associate with those that are less likely to make excuses! In addition, I need to be open in talking about my own inconsistent areas so that I can get the help and advice that I need.

5. Not Being Consistent With the Happy Face Method: In the article How to Be Consistent & Get Stuff Done, Scott H. Young explains how a man used a calendar to help him keep track of every time he exercised. When he exercised, he would color a red triangle in the box for the date. The times that he missed would be obvious because the boxes would be missing the shape. He called this the Red Triangle Method. I have a method to that is quite similar, but involves using colorful Happy Face stickers in place of the triangles. I especially remember using this method when I was in my senior year of college at Cornell University. Each time I studied as I had planned, I added a sparkly sticker to my calendar. I have to say that academically, it was one of my best years. I also used this method last summer when I was working out consistently. I put a sticker each time I completed my cardio as planned and one X across the box for the days that I did strength training. I was able to meet my weight loss goals that summer. Now, it is just a matter of applying this method to other areas of my life  and being persistent/consistent with it. I truly believe that it will work for the short-term and the long-term. There is nothing like having a visual of your accomplishments!

Quotes to Think About:

“I pray to be like the ocean, with soft currents, maybe waves at times. More and more, I want the consistency rather than the highs and the lows.” -Drew Barrymore

“Let your character be kept up the very end, just as it began, and so be consistent.” -Horace

“The secret to success is constancy to purpose.” -Benjamin Disraeli

What areas do you need to be more consistent in?

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