Condition Yourself For Success

Condition Yourself For Success

Just like we condition our bodies when we physically work out, we can condition other parts of us.  We can condition our brains, our hearts and our attitude. We can even condition our success.

So conditioning our body is easy right? We eat healthy foods in moderation, cut out sugar, and exercise….well I know none of that is easy but it is a choice and it is doable. And we know that the more we do those things the better condition our body will be in–inside and out.

We can also condition our minds. We can read and write, work on puzzles and do many creative things that stimulate our brains. In fact the more we do anything–it stimulates our brain–and the task or fact or idea–takes better root.  

Sometimes the best way to condition the brain is to turn off all the noise of your world–ie. Facebook, Twitter, Google, Email–and just observe the world around us. It trains our brains to notice the details that we have been overlooking and it stretches our brains.

Our hearts can be conditioned better as well. We can practice having more compassion for people–not to mention more compassion for ourselves. We can practice being empathetic instead of critical and seeing things from other people’s point of view.

Our hearts can be conditioned to feel better by being genuine in who we are and treating others with respect.

Attitudes can also be conditioned. Lord knows many attitudes walking around in the world could use some conditioning!  

We can practice positive intentions–if not to improve your attitude towards other people–but just to improve! It takes practice! And it takes consistency to create the kind of positive attitude that impacts the attitudes of others.

And just like we can condition our hearts, our minds and our attitudes we can definitely condition ourselves to be successful in everything we want to be successful in.

Like everything else, it takes practice and stick-with-it-ness!  We have to really know what we value being successful in and then work at that everyday.

We can condition ourselves not to accept failure–not because failure is not an option–but because a failure just means we need to find another way of doing something. No excuses–look for another option.

If we condition ourselves to think in this way and act in this way there is nothing that can stand in our way.

Too many times we say we want to be successful–at whatever it is in the moment–a diet, our careers, a relationship–and then at the first sign that things are getting hard, we give up!

In order to make your success muscles strong–you have to push through the self doubt and the setbacks.  You have to lift and bend and keep trying.

Success is not an easy thing in our lives–especially if you do not condition yourself to reach those goals–but if you are not reaching for your goals, then what is your life about?

Practice, move forward, accept defeat when it comes. And keep moving forward. Condition yourself for success, we only have one life folks–let’s do this!

Comment below if you have some tips on how to condition yourself to be successful in everything you do!  I look forward to your ideas!

And as always–have fun!

Into Each Life a Little Rain Must Fall

Into Each Life a Little Rain Must Fall

I mean this in a good way–everything cannot be roses all the time. Into each life a little rain must fall.  And the rain has a purpose:

The rain washes us.  Sometimes we make really bad decisions and it causes a storm in our life.  

Sometimes it seems like the storm will never end–but when it does we realize that the storm and the rain that was falling was washing us.  It was taking away the dirt we had on us. It was making us shiny and new and getting us ready for the sunshine.

The rain feeds us. Many times we are running through life so fast and so hard trying to do and be everything for everyone that we forget about ourselves.

The rain is there to feed us–to give us that moment to stop, breathe and take in the nourishment that only the rain can give. The rain feeds us with hope and energy so we can keep going in this fast paced world and be able to keep doing and keep being–for ourselves.

The rain helps us break ground.  There are times in our lives when we are dormant. No matter how hard we try we just are not moving forward or getting ahead. We are stuck.

Just like with the seeds down in the ground during winter–we are sleeping.  The rain comes and softens the ground for us so that we can stretch and grow. Soon we’ll be breaking through the surface and reaching for the sky just like the plants do.

I am learning a great deal about myself this year and how I have arrived at this place. There have been rain showers in my life–sometimes drizzle, sometimes howling, blowing, tear down thunderstorms. All have been necessary, although at the time I thought I could have done without the rain.

Each storm has taught me a lesson and it has made me the perfect imperfect person that I am–searching to do things better.

Most of all I have learned that I would not be who I am without the rain.

So into each life a little rain must fall and fall it will. Let it.

 

Comment below and have a great Monday!

 

Priorities, Priorities, Priorities

Priorities, Priorities, Priorities

In my last post, I shared with you how much I am enjoying using my calendar to schedule the events and tasks that are important to my life, my goals and my priorities.

I’ve received a few questions since then about how to set your priorities and how I know if they are the right ones!  Wow! Huge questions and tough ones, but I decided to tackle them.

Setting priorities can be a very difficult task–depending on what your priorities are and if they match your values and your goals.

So first you really need to decide what you really want in your life.  Do you want a job, career or calling that you are excited to get up for each morning? Or just a means to make some money to obtain the OTHER things you really want in your life?

Do you want the romantic relationship of your dreams? Do you want to travel more or have more interesting experiences? Or do you want just more TIME to do all of these things?

You see, as we get older–the things we want change and that will change our goals and the methods we use to reach them.  This happens–not because we are getting older–but because we continue to grow as long as we are still breathing!

As we grow, we have to keep examining what it is we want so we can shift–you got it–our PRIORITIES!

How do you set your priorities? The right priorities for each person will be different depending on what they value.  

If you value family, like I do, then your tasks and the events you choose to attend will revolve around family–because that is what makes you happy and so you have internalized this as a priority for you.

How do you know if your priorities are the right ones? Well…this is easier to answer and harder to answer.

I am not going to say: “if it feels good make this a priority in your life”  because sometimes we pursue or do things that feel good in the moment–but that are really bad for us.

What I will say is if something is important to you, like traveling and seeing new places, and you have to work all year to save and earn your two weeks off in order to be able to enjoy it–but you do it because you really get joy from the traveling then this is a priority for you!

So the right priorities are the ones that feel right to you and that match up with the things you values.

As I continue growing and enjoying this journey, I have done a lot of self inspection.  I have found that my life’s passions include my personal growth, my family, traveling and writing or being creative in some form of expression. I also realized that I am a fixer–or as I prefer to think of it–a helper.

I was happy to realize that most of my life I have been reaching and obtaining these experiences, even through the years that had brought hardship, confusion and disasters into my life.

Getting older and continuing to grow just means for me that I will be putting more focus on my passions–my priorities–because it is what makes me happy and what is leading me to my purpose.

So knowing your priorities is very important! Examining what your heart is telling you makes you happy is very important! And then prioritizing your life so that you are going towards those goals is what makes this life so worth living!

Never stop growing! And do not be afraid to treat yourself well by honoring the things that are important to you!  We only live one life, folks, have fun!

Comment below and share some of the things that you have made priorities in your life!

Join FB and check out my pinterest boards!

The Joy of Living by My Calendar

The Joy of Living by My Calendar

One thing I have implemented for myself this year that has helped me grow–is my calendar.

 

I’ve gotten a new calendar every year and usually by February I have stopped putting “important” dates and “to dos by” dates on it.  But this year, I’ve taken a new approach and it has been working extremely well.

As I have been making plans for building the life I really want I realized that I cannot live the life I would like to live if I do not honor my time.

Time after all is that one commodity that no one seems to have enough of yet some people seem to get a great deal of important things done and these are things they truly love to do. And we have to realize that all of us have the same 24 hours each day.

Please understand that I am not suggesting that you fill your calendar with more events and tasks so that you are busy all the time. What I am suggesting is that you only put things in your calendar that have true meaning to you.

What distinguishes the importance of our time is defining what those things are that are important to you. Those are the things that go in your calendar.

One of my favorite quotes by Franklin Covey is:

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

What are your priorities?  This can be a very difficult question to answer. Depending on where you are in your life, your priorities may be very different.  There really is no right or wrong answer for this.

Priorities, also, are hard to define because we feel “selfish” when expressing what we really want for ourselves–often it is not what other people want for us.  If we only do things that is expected of us by others it will not necessarily make us happy or move us closer to our own goals.

Making the other people in our lives happy is important–especially if it brings you joy. But your calendar should not be filled with tasks and events of or for other people.

So, I sat down and made a list of my priorities.  This was not an easy task. But I was able to narrow it down to 6 things. Then I noted them on the first page of my calendar.  It serves as a reminder of what I want more of in my life.

And since then, before I add things to my calendar–I think about whether the task, event, invitation or effort is going to serve me and my priorities, my goals, and my happiness.

I know–it sounds totally selfish! But guess what?  I have not attended events I did not want to attend, I have not spent time with people I did not want to spend time with and I did not waste time completing tasks that have no real importance in my life.

The results is that I have had more time to spend with the people I really want to be with and I have been more relaxed and happy when with them. (I think they are enjoying the happier me! Or they might think I’m on medication!) I have not had to pretend to enjoy being somewhere I did not want to be and those useless tasks did not have to get done anyway!

Another plus is that I am learning to say no. No to things that waste time, no to experiences I do not want to have and no to people that are not part of my priorities.

Now when I look at my calendar–which I do each morning–I find the things that I really enjoy staring back at me. It helps me clearly plan what is needed to complete necessary tasks and it allows me to look forward to the events coming up because I am so excited about them.

And although it is only February, I have already planned many things well into the summer. Things that match my priorities and that bring me joy. Things I am looking forward to.

What kind of tasks or events that align with your priorities are you most excited about? Do you take the time to schedule these things in your calendar for yourself?  Comment below! And as always have fun!

 

My President on President’s Day

My President on President’s Day

Today is President’s Day and the History Teacher in me has a few things to say.

Back in the 70s when in elementary school we the students would commemorate Presidents day by making paper plate President’s faces. We would attach a popsicle stick and hold them up in front of our faces.

We students had no idea what a President was back then–but we knew he must be important because the only other faces we put on paper plates were Jesus and Santa Claus. Very important folks to the little ones.

In the late 70s and early 80s we students in middle school, recited parts of important speeches–primarily by George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

We students knew that the President was the leader of our country, that he had tremendous responsibilities and pressures and that some were better than others.  We understood that the Office of the President was an important and sacred one.

By the mid to late 80s we students in high school celebrating President’s Day in school was a little more exciting. We were allowed to pick the President of our choice, research his background, policies, positives and negatives. Most of us wrote research papers about our choice–some had classroom debates about the merits of our chosen Presidential Administration.

We students felt empowered to be allowed to have an opinion. I do not recall a teacher ever telling us our opinion was incorrect. We respected the Office of the President and knew the job was a hard one and that most people did not agree with everything each President did but we would defend our President because he was ours and Ours was the Best Country in the World. We students were optimistic.

And we all, students and teachers alike, got President’s Day off. It was a national holiday, schools closed, the Post Office closed and the banks closed.

Fast forward 30 years and a great deal has changed. Now it seems we teach less and less about our Presidents, our Founding Fathers, our Government structure and our Constitution.

Most of my former and present students don’t know who the Presidents are and don’t feel that the job is that difficult, prestigious or important. They don’t understand how to love their country and they don’t recognize “Hail to the Chief” when it is played.

As a History Teacher of course, this makes me sad.

On most school calendars, many schools around the nation still have the day off in observance of President’s Day, but more and more I notice district calendars observing it one year and maybe not the next–I guess it has become an optional thing.

It is not that important to me whether I get the day off or not, but it is important to me when I realize there is no “observance” of the Office of the President as it used to be.

Many students today have no idea who George Washington was, what Abraham Lincoln did for slavery, how John F. Kennedy challenged the nation to “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Not to mention so many other Presidents–who may not all have been very effective–but at least left us with beautiful traditions for our nation.

I think we have lost something very important along the way.

Nonetheless I am very proud to be an American. I still believe we live in the Best Country in the World and I honor the Office of the President–no matter who is occupying it.

Have a happy Monday!  Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think of President’s Day.  Have fun!

 

On Turning 50

On Turning 50

Yesterday was my 50th birthday. So today I am officially 50 years and 1 day old!

I really don’t feel any different that a few days ago…but I do feel a lot different from a few years ago…or was it 20 years ago?

Some people may say that I am over the hill.  Lucky for me I’m not a fast climber–so I don’t feel I have actually reached the top yet!

For the next 50 years I think I am going to continue enjoying the climb and not worry too much about getting there or what the hill will look like on the other side.

I think another 50 years should be enough to decide whether I go down the hill slowly or continue to enjoy it a while longer.

There are some good things about the climb–at least that I have learned over the first 50 years–that I can pack into my backpack for the next 50 years:

  1. Things that were important to me when I was 20–well I can’t even remember what those things were so…NOT IMPORTANT now!
  2. Money comes and goes…work hard, pay your bills and enjoy your life.
  3. Once you have kids your life will be different forever! And it is a wonderful forever to be a part of their lives.
  4. You may not always be with God, but God will always be with you. Once you figure this out stick with Him–it makes life much easier.
  5. The real necessities of life are few–food, shelter, love and strawberries!
  6. Education is essential! Never stop learning and understand that the most important learning does not come from a book.
  7. Learn to be yourself and don’t worry about what other people think about WHO you are!
  8. Young people are stupid.  We were stupid once too.  Enjoy the show, help them if they ask, stand back and let them figure it out. We did!
  9. Leave the toxic people at the bottom of the hill–you do not need them on your climb.
  10. Drink a lot of water!
  11. Appreciate nature more! Sunshine, Wind, Snow, Trees, Rain, Blue Skies, plants and animals. Their energy gives you energy.
  12. There is no need to take yourself so seriously–no one else does!
  13. Wear comfortable shoes.
  14. Pay attention to all that is around you–you never know if you are being too busy to notice the important stuff.
  15. Take the time to thank the people that are helping you climb this hill–you didn’t get here all by yourself.
  16. A few wrinkles really don’t matter.
  17. Ignore the people who say change is hard–it really isn’t once you’ve made up your mind.
  18. Accept that you cannot change the world but you can be kind to all you meet.

That’s it. Sage wisdom if you ask me…or not, see #12.

My big take away this birthday is that we should all enjoy our lives and where it leads us, there is a purpose and a reason. We may not always know what those are but it’s there.  And even through the bad times–find a way to have fun, we only climb this hill once!

Comment below to share your thoughts on getting older, enjoying your life or if you have a tip on enjoying life to the fullest!

Don’t forget to join Facebook and check out my pinterest boards!

 

Spread a Little Love

Spread a Little Love

Happy Valentine’s Day!  

Today on February 14 the United States celebrates Valentine’s day to honor the ONE we love!  Very romantic!

And many other nations do this as well! In Australia–more and more roses are brought in for this day each year!

In Mexico they commemorate not only love but friendship as well on February 14th.  

Canada is a close 2nd to the U.S. to the amount of gifts purchased in the pursuit of romantic love on this day.  

In India–they have a whole week of Valentine’s days with a different theme for each day–and this country also has remarkable protests against the holiday!

What this tells me is that Love is a very big deal! Not just commercially but really truly serious to those of us expecting some sign from the ones we love on this day. And no matter the country or the language–it seems that something should signify this day.

Cards, flowers, balloons, candy, stuffed animals, chocolates, romantic dinners, jewelry and sometimes even proposals–the stress is on!

And although it sounds cliche–and we do enjoy Valentine’s day in a low key type of way–I have found that I am loved each and every day!  I’ve decided that this year I am going to enumerate all the ways I have been loved by others throughout the year and to say Thank you!

And so…Love is….

…The little boy next door that asks to walk my dog.

…The cashier at the grocery store that always remembers my name.

…My husband that makes coffee in the morning, every morning.

…The co-workers that always say good morning.

…The utility workers that worked non-stop to restore power after

   the Hurricane.

…My daughters when I witness them be kind to others.

…The lady on the treadmill next to me that gave me a thumbs up.

…The students that have taught me what a patient person I can be.

…The parent that bakes cookies for the teachers to appreciate us.

…A cohort of strangers that encourage me to work towards my

   dreams.

…My mom and dad that call me just to say hello during the week.

…The neighbors that share their leftover spaghetti and Sunday paper.

…The old gentleman who let me have his parking spot.

…The friend who invites me to dinner at the moment I need her

   company.

…The waitress who waited on our party of 10, 8 months pregnant, with

   a smile.

Love is a very big deal in our world. And we share it, many times without knowing it.

To all these people, and so many others, on this Valentine’s day I want to give you my thanks for your love and to tell you I love you back!

Find love in every day!  Spread a little love and have some fun!

Comment below if you’d like to share a Valentine story! And have a Happy Valentine’s Day!