6/29/12 Fantastic Friday-Finding a Way Out of No Way

 

Fantastic Friday- it is fantastic to find new and creative ways to solve what seems like an impossible situation.

 
On occasion, the things we have to deal with situations at home and at work that seem impossible to overcome. At those times we exhaust all our contacts, we spend many nights pacing the floor, crying or screaming at the walls trying to find answers that never seem to come. Those are the times when people may give up hope, turn to despair and give up entirely. I am not one of those people.
 
As a Christian wife and mother, I know that when things get truly bad, when it seems as if there is no reason to hope for anything, that is the time for faith. It may be strange to read about faith in a blog like this one that deals with improving work habits, but trust me, this discussion belongs here.  Faith has been defined as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. So it is just when things seem impossible, when there seems to be no reason to hope that faith is just the thing to use. By the way, if you have reached this point in reading, you had faith that I would have something interesting to say.
 
I have lived my life looking for miracles and expecting the impossible and my faith has never been in vain. Some of you may know the Clark Sisters’ song, “Looking for a Miracle.”
 
 
Check out this song and see if it gives you comfort.

 

“Looking for a Miracle” The Clark Sisters

 

 

 

 

So when I am faced with an impossible situation, I think of this song and it encourages me. My way out of no way is simple Christian faith and belief in miracles coming my way. A task for you today is to find a way to deal with impossible situations. So the question for you this Fantastic Friday is what new and creative thing will you do to solve one of your impossible situations.

 

6/28/12 Thrilling Thursday- Thinking Things Into Existence

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Thrilling Thursday – it is thrilling to be able to measure the distance from where you started to where you are going to end up.

 
The Thursday blog posts have been about having SMART goals, that means we have goals that are:
 
Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Realistic
Time Bound
 
Last week in this section dealt with how to make specific goals. This week we will be examining how to make measurable goals. Measurable is often defined as able to be measured, significant or perceptible. In other words in order for a goal to be measurable the must be some type of quantity, some amount, some way or determining if more or less needs to be done. Let’s look at the following goals:
 
1.     I want to exercise more.
 
2.     I want to exercise for 60 minutes a day five days per week for the next thirty days.
 
The first goal is a common one. Many of us want to exercise more, to get into shape and improve our health. However, this goal is not good in in terms of being measurable. If you do something more there is an increase. So, on the surface, one might believe that goal number one is measurable. While it is technically measurable, it is not significantly measurable nor will it allow for true accountability. If you have been exercising for 15 minutes a day one day per month and move to exercising 16 minutes a day one day per month you have met the requirements of the goal. There has been an increase in the amount of exercise done. However, this goal, will not give you a real improvement in health and wellness.
 
The second goal, deals with the same issue as the first one, but it is infinitely more measurable. The second goal lists out a definite amount: sixty minutes. It is easy to determine if the requirements of this goal have been met. Sixty minutes are sixty  minutes, all day every day. So each step of the way, you will be able to determine if you met this portion of the goal. The goal of doing the sixty minutes of exercise five days per week is easily determinable. You can tell at the end of the week if you did something five days that week. The final part of the goal: thirty days is measurable. A quick peak at a calendar or tally sheet makes measuring 30 days easy work.
 
So, by incorporating the idea from last week, Specific with this week’s idea, Measurable, goal number two is the clear winner. Goal number two is specific in that it tells a person exactly what it is one is attempting to accomplish. It is measurable because it is full of benchmarks to aim for, benchmarks that either will or will not be met. Next week we will talk about how to make sure our goals are attainable.
 
So, the question or you this Thrilling Thursday is what tools are you going to use to measure the progress you are making toward achieving your goals?

6/27/12 Wonderful Wednesday – Work Habits and How to Improve Them

Wonderful Wednesday – it is wonderful to discover the reward of working smarter instead of merely working harder.

Every one has heard the idea that they need to work harder. The idea that hard work is the key to success has been drummed into our ears on numerous occasions. What we should have been taught is how to work smarter. Sometimes working smarter means depending on the advice and assistance of others. I recently became a member of a few support groups on Facebook. One group to help me get in shape. Another group to help me be a better blogger. A third group I joined was created to empower, encourage and strengthen entrepreneurs. Each day I look at the posts from the other other members and try to contribute something worthwhile.

In another area of my life, I have a client who owns a business that should be profitable. It is based on an innovative concept and owned by super intelligent people. The company continues to flounder. The ownership of the company does not use its support systems. I think of the company this way, when it is time to get in the car and go, the owners cannot go because they feel obligated to re-create the wheel first. By this I mean, the owners do not try to build on what they have learned from others. They get advice from people they respect, but ignore the advice for months, or even years.

I think part of working smarter means that you surround yourself with people whose opinions you respect, people who have shown themselves to know what they are talking about. When you work smart and not merely hard you know that you can learn from others and that while you can go it alone, often you do not have to do it that way. There is something comforting about having a group of people who support your journey toward success on whatever road you are traveling. Alcoholics Anonymous is successful in its efforts to keep people sober because the group of individuals work together, encourage one another and support one another. The support groups I participate in on Facebook work in a similar manner.

My get fit group has helped me to increase the number of minutes I spend exercising each week. When I feel discouraged or don’t feel like working out, there is always a post from someone saying get up and move. Whenever I read about someone in the group having a hard time, I sit and think of ways to be encouraging and supportive. It seems to be working. Most people in the group have increased or maintained their level of cardio workouts each week and are continuing their missions to lead better, healthier lives.

The support group I belong to for bloggers has helped me to improve my blog. I have refined my focus, improved my design and made strides toward earning a living using my blog as a vehicle. During the past two weeks I have had two companies approach me about doing reviews of their products or having their advertisements placed on my blog. I appreciate the members of this group for their support, advice and company. They are incredible women with wonderful things to say and interesting ways of saying those things.

I have only been a member of the entrepreneurs group for about a week. I like what the members have to say. I like reading their encouragement and their list of resources. I recently shared a piece of encouraging information with them that was received well by at least one person.

In sum, what my life experience has shown me is that support can be found in many places. Sometimes support is found with person we see and touch every day. At other times, with modern technology, we can find support via the internet on social media networks with people we never see. The important thing is that we should seek out support. When we find a group that supports us, we need to contribute to the group. Never think that your contributions are too small or insignificant. Just as there is a lid for every pot, there is an ear for every piece of advice or encouragement.

I am using the power of internet social networks to work smarter and to help others to work

6/26/12 Terrific Tuesday – Taming the to Do List

Terrific Tuesday – it is terrific to know that you can tame your to do list by learning how to use the word “No.”

 

We all have at least one to do list. Some of us add to the list once per day, others add to the list all day long. The thing that all to do lists have in common is the fact that there is always something that we have to add to the list. I am a wife, a mother, a business owner and a friend. As a result, not only do I add things to my to do list, my husband, children and clients add things to my to do list. At one point a few years ago, the lists were overwhelming. The lists were too long, I never got to the middle, let alone the bottom of the lists. Then I learned the magic world that tamed my to do lists. The word was not abracadabra. The word was not supercalifragilisticexpealidocious. The magic word that takes the sting out of adding things to the to do list is, “No.”

 

Each of my days has only 24 hours. No matter how long my to do lists, each of my days has a constant 24 hours. This means I only have 24 hours max to get done every thing on the to do lists. My five year old twins start trying to add things to my to do list every morning at 6:00 am when they wake me up by putting their toes in my face. My nine year old son starts attempting to add to my to do lists at breakfast by putting in his order for lunch, dinner and dessert. The sixteen year old teenie bopper starts her attempts to add to the lists when she gets up and will text additions. My husband attempts to add to my to do lists as soon as the kids are set up for the day and attempts to add throughout the day. My clients try to add to the lists by calling me all day and will email or leave telephone messages after business hours. All of these people have heard my special word when they attempt to add things beyond my capacity.

 

 

This is a copy consulting business to do list for today.

 

 

 

This is a copy of my personal/home to do list for today.

 

 

If you learn how to say, “No” you will find a way to get control of your to do list and your life. For example, how do you handle it when you have three hours left in your day allotted for business and clients attempt to add things to your to do list? Do you add the item to the list and then cancel other things in order to get that client request completed? Do you add the client request to the to do list and then don’t get it done and feel bad about it? Or do you take my approach: “No, I can’t fit that in today, let’s look at the calendar and see when I can handle that for you.” When the kids start with the “Mom, mama, mommy, mother, maaaaaaaaaa.” Do you cave in and try to meet their demands and to heck with everything else. Or do you take my approach, ” No, mama cannot do that today, let’s put that on our plan for tomorrow.”

 

Saying “No” is not easy for some. It may take practice. But, I advise you to start today. Learn to say “No” to things that are beyond your capacity. If you cannot do a thing today, do not feel bad about the situation. Hold your head high and say, “No, that cannot fit on the to do list today, let’s put it on for Thursday after 4:00 pm”  Learning to say “No” will make you feel better about accomplishing the things you do accomplish. If you do not master the word “No” you will feel bad about not getting to the things you added to the list that should not have been there in the first place. Start today, practice saying “No”  and feel the power, the strength and  gain control of that to do list.

 

So the question for you this Terrific Tuesday is how are you going to use the power of No to take control of your to do list?

6/25/12 Magnificent Monday- Motivation and Where to Find It

Magnificent Monday- sometimes your struggle, hard work and victory are motivation for someone else, so keep going, moving, and succeeding and motivating.

Most human being have experienced struggle or the need to work hard. During those hard times, people look for ways to go on, seek motivation to continue through the hard times. When we are in the midst of struggle there are a lot of places we look for motivation. When things are hard, when the economy is struggling, the sales for motivational books sky rocket. One thing you must keep in mind while you are going through the struggle is that there are people all around who are looking at you. There are people watching you struggle and cheering at your victory and then using your story as motivation to get where they need to go.

There was a time when I did not have four children, when I was dealing with infertility and wanting to have a child. At the time I prayed and thanked God for not giving me children. I told Him I understood it was not His will for me to have a child at the time and I accepted it and  though I did not like His decision, I respected it. A week later, I went to the hospital because I had been sick for too long and found out I was pregnant with what was to become, Euphoria, my Teenie Bopper.

This is Euphoria, my Teenie Bopper today.

Years later, I told that story to a friend of mine who was struggled with infertility and miscarriages. She told me that the story of my struggle with infertility and subsequent birth of Euphoria encouraged her and motivated her to continue in faith and to believe in the possibility of bearing her own child. A few days ago, her son had his first piano recital.

While I was going through my struggle, I was concentrating only on finding a happy place, on learning to live with the disappointment and finding  way to thrive. I told people my struggle, not intending to do anything more than share the story of my life. But, while I was living life, trying to make my way through hard times, people were watching me. For all the things I did, there was an audience, there were people watching. Some of those people watching were sharing my struggle, I just did not know it. They shared my struggle and were trying to find  way though. When I succeeded and finally gave birth to a child. These witnesses were happy for me. They cheered my success to themselves and then used my struggle, my coping mechanisms and my path to success to motivate themselves. They used my example as a way to get ahead.

This type of thing is going on everyday in households, offices and workplaces throughout America and the world. Some people are working hard and overcoming all kinds of obstacles to obtain unimaginable success and achievement. Others are watching and being motivated. As you handle life, business and work the job, smile and be encouraged. Your  very act of survival, just the way you find the way to put one foot in front of the other is a motivation to someone else. So be encouraged in your struggle. The victory you win is not only for yourself. There are a lot of people around you who need your success to motivate them to success of their own.

So the question for you this Magnificent Monday is,  how are you handling your work load in a way that will motivate others?

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