Your Limits

Can you remember the last time you flipped out on a friend, coworker or family member?  How about the last time you felt helpless?  Do you ever feel overwhelmed or incapable of doing what was asked of you?  Chances are good that you could remember an experience that answers each of these questions.  Why do we all have these feelings?  One reason we all have these feelings is because we all have limits.  We’re all made with limits on what we can do.  This revelation creates a choice for each of us to either accept our limitations and work with them or ignore them and continue experiencing frustration, helplessness, overwhelm and more.  In hopes that you will choose to work with your limitations, I wish to share with you three ways you can be stronger and better than your limitations.

First, know your strengths and weaknesses.  Don’t lie, just be honest with yourself about what you do well and don’t do well.  Maybe you’re a great writer but not a great speaker.  Maybe you’re a great parent but not a great employee.  Maybe you’re great at laundry but not cleaning the house.  Maybe you’re great with people but not finances.  I strongly encourage you to make partnerships, friendships and business connections with those whose strengths are your weaknesses.  Don’t choose to struggle with something you don’t do well, let someone else who enjoys it do it for you.

Second, take time to rest.  You can’t do anything about your limitations if you’re overworked and over-committed.  Not only will you not be able to work with your limitations, your strengths won’t have their usual power and competence.   Making sure you get proper sleep (and naps if you wish), time alone and time doing things that rejuvenate you will help to ensure that you will stay at the top of your game.

Finally, inspiration, education, and encouragement should be a daily part of your life.  Read books that help you stretch your brain, such as those by John Maxwell, Wayne Dyer, Danny Meyer, James Twyman and Deepak Chopra, as well as sports figures and coaches, executives, leaders and others whose journey has been inspiring.  Listen to and attend seminars with leaders, inspiring speakers and even conventions to learn more about how other people work through and with their limitations.  Also, watch less news and negative/violent TV programming.

You are limited only by that which you choose to ignore.  Facing your challenges and limitations head on and getting help dealing with them will not only give you an advantage in life, it will make your strengths that much stronger.  Share your thoughts and comments below!

Advertisements

Fixing up for fall

You can really feel the change of seasons upon us in the USA now.  The trees are changing colors and temperatures are beginning to drop.  Fall is the perfect time to do some extra organization and cleaning!

No matter where you live, there are things you can do inside to prepare for the change of seasons.  Not only does this prepare you in the physical world for the change, it also helps you mentally make the transition. First, start with your clothes and shoes.  If you have a lot of clothes or a small closet, make sure you’re investing in some under bed storage or boxes elsewhere in your residence to store off-season clothes and shoes.  This will not only free up your closet space, it will also help you go through all your clothes (and shoes) and decide if you can donate some of them that you don’t fit or wear anymore.  This is the perfect opportunity to do some really thorough cleaning too.  Take the time to dust, wipe down, remove dust bunnies and clear cobwebs that you may have let slide over the summer months.  Don’t forget to let in the fresh fall air while you’re going through your clothes and dusting.  The air will not only help to clear out the stagnant air that has gathered from using the air conditioner over the summer, but will also help to manage the dust that will be stirred up.

If you have your own home or an outside area, you have some extra work to do.  Check your gutters and around the foundation of your home for leaves, sticks and other things.  If you’ve been providing water for the birds over the summer, take the time to clean up the bird bath(s) with a brush from Walmart or a dollar store (it doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy).  This is also a great opportunity to get the water out of your garden hose(s) so they can be stored until next year. Take time to organize the summer things such as chairs, umbrellas, tools, fertilizer and anything else that you won’t be using over the winter.  While you’re organizing these, take stock of products that you need to replace or replenish in the spring too.  One final thing you can do to prepare for the season change is to get your plants ready for winter.  Some prefer to be trimmed before the winter, some like very little done to them, and others won’t last through the winter and can be removed.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, get the help of an organizer in your area.  Share the treasures you discover in your fall cleanup below!

Fall Planning

Fall is a great time for fun family activities and having kids involved in sports.  However, all these activities, meetings, school projects and other normal activities (laundry, cleaning, sleeping, cooking etc) all take time and there are only 24 hours in each day.  By now you should have figured out what your child’s fall/school commitments are and you should have a good idea of what will be going on in the next few months.  So this is the perfect time to think about doing some planning!

Planning priority 1: write it down.  Don’t expect that you’ll just remember it all.  Don’t forget too that others need to know what’s going on, not just you.  Whether you make a computer document and email it to the whole family or you use paper and pencil, writing it down is essential.

Planning priority 2: do it together.  You may be tempted to go ahead and do it all by yourself, but if you take the time to sit down with the rest of the family, they will think of things you’ve missed and add their valuable input into what they do or don’t want to do.  You could start with the basics yourself, or doing it just you and your partner, but I do suggest, especially if you have kids that are in 5/6th grade and above, talking with them about the schedule too.

Planning priority 3: plan for flexibility.  Don’t book yourself solid.  If you don’t leave room for mistakes, sick kids/parents, mental health days, traffic, doctors visits, or surprise meetings, you will be more frustrated than before you started planning.

Planning priority 4: review it weekly.  At the beginning of each week sit down with the family and review what will go on that week.  This will insure you don’t get surprised mid week with something you should have known about on Sunday.  It also gives your family the chance to mention things that have come up since the initial planning time to add to the schedule, such as play dates, projects, meetings, dinners with clients or family coming into town to visit.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, schedule a visit with someone who can help you organize your life.  Share how planning has improved your life below!

The Secret to Motivation

“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.”  Mark Victor Hansen

Life is full of challenges, opportunities and changes.  One topic that encompasses all 3 of these is motivation.  It’s also one of the most elusive things to find or gain.  People spend their whole lives unhappy that they don’t have the motivation to change things or the motivation to be a better person.  But if you’re waiting for motivation to come and strike you over the head, it is likely you will never find it.  I love this quote by Mark Victor Hansen for several reasons, most of all because it captures several essential truths within it.

First and foremost, there is no perfect.  You can always find someone to rain on your parade or point out the flaws.  So waiting for perfect to happen is like waiting for humans to grow wings and fly. You can use all the excuses in the world, but perfect won’t happen and things won’t change unless you do.

So what to do?! Well, you can wait in your unmotivated state, or you can get going!  You can’t climb Mt. Everest by looking at it.  You can’t win the Ironman without training.  You can’t build a multi-billion dollar business by thinking great ideas.  You won’t have friends if you just look at people.  You need the secret to motivation: ACTION!  Everything starts, and changes, with one step.

First steps: Your first step towards motivation is in finding a goal.  Determine a dollar amount you wish to earn, the fun you wish to have with friends, and/or the sports goals you have.  Then establish what the first step towards meeting that goal is.  Maybe it means talking with someone who owns their own business, or hiring a business coach. Maybe it means going to the track and walking a mile (typically 4 laps).  Or maybe it means calling up a friend, someone from church, work, or some other group you belong to to go have coffee with.  Once you’ve established what the first step is for you, DO IT!

Share your first steps and goals below!

Planning for Success

Fall is almost upon us here in the USA!  Fall is a great time for planning the upcoming year in your business, as well as cleaning out the cobwebs and making sure your business is going in the direction you want it to.  Today as we talk about planning we’ll also mention getting your business ship-shape!  Since so many people often feel lost as to where to start planning, let’s start with the basics.

Planning basics: get a fresh sheet of white paper, calendar/planner, large whiteboard or if you prefer computers, new computer document, spreadsheet or calendar.  My personal preferences for planning are either the plain white paper or computer spreadsheets.  Try each option out and see what works best for you.  Also, using different colors can help you to keep things straight and well planned.

Getting started: know what you want/need to plan.  Are you planning marketing, business meetings, hiring, speaking engagements, networking, or seminars you’re going to attend?  Make a list first so you know what you’re planning.  Also know how far into the future you are planning.  Have a list of the existing things you have scheduled or planned so you can include them in your planning now.  Don’t forget to give each activity ample time for distractions and unexpected, but important, interruptions or changes.

Planning: do it.  Roll up your sleeves and just get started.  It may take a little while at first to get used to, but you will quickly fall into the excitement of planning for your business.  Schedule in days/time for cleaning your office/office space, as well as more planning.  Also schedule in time at the beginning of each week to review what you planned for that week so you’re aware of what you have coming up.  Also plan for time off and time away from your business.  If you’re working on or in your business 24/7, you will never thing as clearly about your business as you could if you intentionally take time to rest and rejuvenate.   If you have employees, also plan for fun activities/things you can all do together to give everyone a break.

If you take the time to plan, you will be more organized, and more prepared to succeed in your business.  Ask your planning questions below!

Up the mountain we go!

Fall is a great time to get outdoors as a family. One of those great activities is hiking.  Although there are significantly difficult trails you could take in your area, hiking is a great form of recreation for all ages.

If you’re just starting out, grab that pair of sneakers in your closet and head to the closest national park or park that has a big hill or mountain in it.  Be prepared to take water, and be on the lookout for animals like bears, and rocks that could trip you up. Most areas that are designated for hiking have several different trails you can choose from, from easy to hard, and long to short.  Depending on your location, who you have hiking with you and your time constraints, you could end up with a pretty fantastic view in as little as 30 minutes.  For the more industrious, there are hiking areas that allow you to camp overnight and require some more serious hiking time and experience.  Don’t worry, you can work your way up to an overnight hiking trip.

Taking advantage of the fall, especially in the northeast, and going hiking is a great way to see lots of wildlife, as well as brightly colored trees.  This will help keep your kids attention while you hike, but be prepared with a bag or something for them to carry the leaves and other treasures they find and want to bring home.  You can use those leaves for decoration, or attach them to a card or picture for the kid’s grandparents.

Hiking is a great way to get out in the fresh air, get some exercise and spend some uninterrupted time with great friends or family.  Share where you have hiked before and what you love about hiking below!

Books, Books and More Books

September is National Read-A-Book month.  For today’s blog post I’ve listed great reads for people in all walks of life.

Parents:

ScreamFree Parenting by Hal Runkel

The 7 Pitfalls of Single Parenting: What to Avoid to Help Your Children Thrive After Divorce by Carolyn B. Ellis

Kids:

Pancakes, Pancakes by Eric Carle

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Spiritual:

The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson

Facing Your Giants by Max Lucado

Health:

Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future by David Wolfe

ACSM Fitness Book, 3rd Edition (American College of Sports Medicine)

Business:

21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader by John Maxwell

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh

Life:

Being in Balance by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
The Courage to Be Free: Discover Your Original Fearless Self by Guy Finley
A New Earth: Awakening your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

Mystery:

Cold in the Earth by Ann Granger

Romance:

Lost and Found by Jayne Ann Krentz

The Summer I Dared by Barbara Delinsky

Fantasy/SciFi:

The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks

Homeland by R.A. Salvatore

Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card

Historical Fiction:

A Close Run Thing by Allan Mallinson

**Add your favorite books to the list below!

Clean Car, Happy Home

With back to school time upon us, and fall events starting up, one of the most crucial places to keep organized and clean is your car!

Trash: It’s inevitable: because you’re so busy and on the go, you’re going to eat in your car, need tissues in your car, or have receipts and other bits of paper that accumulate in your car.   Take time either daily or weekly to bring the trash can/bag to your car and get rid of the garbage.  You’ll feel better, and certainly won’t run out of room or feel dirty if you’re cleaning it out on a frequent basis.

Storage: For years I have used one item to store things in my car: a milk crate.  These sturdy, durable crates hold stuff very well and last forever.  Having a box or container you can put your things in so they don’t move everywhere is a big time saver and key to having an organized, efficient and happy car.

Kids: Yes, they do bring their things into the car, and you will have their sports/activity stuff in the car.  So, rather than give kids the free pass, give them responsibilities!  Assign garbage clean out to one, neatness to another, maybe even vacuuming and washing to another!  Or rotate tasks between kids so they all have a turn at each activity.

Clothes: Don’t “live in” your car, but do keep a spare outfit in your car.  Whether you’re running late and didn’t grab that sweatshirt for the soccer game where it will be cold tonight, or the delicious coffee spills on your shirt, it’s never bad to be prepared.  But, don’t go overboard, only keep one of each item in the car, two max. You could keep them in a milk crate, or in a reusable cloth shopping bag in the back of your car.

Your car doesn’t have to look like a roving treasure trove or garbage dump.  A little work each week will keep your car clean and you happy and productive!  Share your car organizations and transformations below!

Dealing with Offenses

In life it’s easy to make mistakes, we’re imperfect humans.  Many people are also easily offended by what others say or do, and they tell as many people as they can about the pain their feeling and the hurt that was caused.   Is this really the best way to deal with things that offend us or we are hurt by? No.  It’s not a good idea to go around sharing the faults of others with everyone you come into contact with.  We’re talking about a couple different issues here so let’s take them one by one.

First, we’ve got the individual who is offended and goes and tells everyone.  Is it really necessary to spread someone’s mistake everywhere?  Instead of telling everyone else about how bad you feel and the offense that occurred, go to the person who offended you, when you aren’t raging mad, and talk with them.  Sit down with them and privately talk with them about how what they said or did made you feel.  They very well may not know that they offended you or that what they said was hurtful.

Second, if someone you know is going out of their way to offend people or comes off as really offensive, take them aside and speak with them privately.  It’s so easy for words to be misconstrued and others to be offended in this day and age.  Encourage them to be helpful, not hurtful.  Not only will they feel good, but those they talk to and interact with will enjoy being with them more too.  Encourage them to apologize if necessary too.

Finally, recognize that both of you have some responsibility in this.   If you were offended, it’s your responsibility to talk with them, not about them, and resolve the situation.  I encourage you to look into your own life if necessary to understand why you were offended by their statement or actions.  The offender should take responsibility for their actions or words that were offensive and hurtful.  And even if they aren’t willing to apologize to you for their actions or words, you should forgive them.  You will feel better and it will release you and help you move on with your life past the offense.

Take some time today to think about those you need to apologize to and/or forgive.  Take action in the next few days and apologize to them or forgive as necessary.

Fall Fun

I am not a fan of the fall, because usually the fall means that chilly winter is coming.  But there is one thing that fall is perfect for, and that’s exercising.  Exercise is essential for our healthy minds and bodies.  Take yourself outside and try one of these activities to get your blood moving and chase away the chill of fall.

1- Run/Walk.  As you run or walk you can listen to the crunch of leaves under your feet, maintain that beach body you worked hard to get for the summer and get some fresh fall air.

2-Yoga. I’ll bet you never thought to take your yoga mat outside and breathe in the fall air while you did downward dog!  However, it’s a great way to connect with nature while you’re stretching and relaxing.

3-Bike riding.  Fall is a great time to take long rides. You don’t have to worry as much about the hot sun, and can take in the great fall colors on the trees.

4-Fall sports.  Gather up a few friends and have a game of baseball or football.  Not only do you get the exercise, you get to socialize and have fun with your friends too!

What are your favorite physical activities to do in the fall?