Friday, June 29, 2012

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?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

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:

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?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

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 smarter. So the question for you this Wonderful Wednesday is what one thing can you to to work smarter?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

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?

Monday, June 25, 2012

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.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

6/21/12 Thrilling Thursday-Thinking Things into Existence

Thrilling Thursday- it is thrilling to make plans with specificity and purpose.

Last week in this section we talked about how in order to bring our ideas from thought to completion, our plans must be SMART:

Time Bound

This week we are examining the idea of being specific. Our thoughts strong and with our thoughts we have the power to bring things into existence. One of the first things we must do in our trek toward accomplishment is to have specific goals and plans. Let's look at the following two illustrations:

1.     I want to get a job.

2.     I want to get a job as an attorney with a major law firm, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, specializing in bankruptcy and consumer law paying a salary of $125,000 per year.

It is clear to see that example number on is quite generic and could lead to all kinds of employment offers that may or may not be what one desires.  Similarly example two is quite specific. It is clear and evident by looking at illustration two the type of job wanted, the industry, the specialty and the salary required. Based on illustration two one can take action and get moving toward the goal with comfort and good guidance.

So, when making plans, setting goals and dreaming the dream, be specific. State exactly and with clear details what you want to accomplish. As stated previously, our minds have power and we are able to think things into existence. So in order to harness that power and to get the most from the power of the mind, think in details. State exactly what you want so that you will know, those around you will know, and God above will know. When you are planning and setting goals, this is not the time to be vague. This is the time to be clear, detailed and full of information. 

From now on when you make plans, start by being specific, generous with the details, heavy handed with the information so that there is no room for confusion, misinterpretation or lack of understanding. Make your desires and dreams clear. You have to follow your plan, so get all the details out today so you can spend tomorrow working the plan instead of redoing the details. Absolutely sweat the small stuff now, so that tomorrow you can work on the big stuff!
Next week in this space we will look at making our plans measurable.

So the question for you this thrilling Thursday is what specific plans do you have to put into action?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

6/20/12 Wonderful Wednesday - Work Habits and How to Improve Them

Wonderful Wednesday-an important step in improving your work habits is working with a good attitude.

I am a social media user. I enjoy posting my thoughts and opinions on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. I have had a habit over the past few years of giving each day a name and then describing come behavior or idea that matches that name as part of my status update or tweet.  The names have been the same for the past five years:

Magnificent Monday
Terrific Tuesday
Wonderful Wednesday
Thrilling Thursday
Fantastic Friday
Sensational Saturday
Serene Sunday

These adjectives for the days help me start each day with a positive thought and a positive attitude. Throughout the day, I remind myself of the day of the week and the appropriate adjective. In the act of remembering, I trick myself into having a better attitude and I get back to work with a smile. 

A good attitude is a special secret to improving work habits. To paraphrase the famous saying, "As a woman thinketh, so she is."  If you think your day will be bad it will. If on the other hand you think your day will be magnificent, terrific, wonderful, thrilling, fantastic, sensational or serene, it will be. Another popular cliche is that a woman's attitude determines her altitude. This means the attitude you have does a great deal to determine what you will do in life. 

So when you get up in the morning, imagine a good and proper thing, a positive attitude  to be your guide throughout the day. When you do your work, whether at home or in the work place, do your work with a good attitude, thinking of the special, good and proper thing you picked out in the morning and attack your tasks with a smile and a head held high. Imagination is a powerful thing. If you imagine a good day, a productive day, a happy day, you shall make it come to pass. So use the good and proper thing you thought of to propel you through the day.

So the question for you this wonderful Wednesday is what special idea will you use to guide you through your day?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

6/19/12 Terrific Tuesday - Taming the to do List

Terrific Tuesday- it is terrific to learn the first step in taming the to do list: Not everything makes the list everyday.

Everyone has a to do list. Everyone has a list of things they have to get done for a variety of audiences. The following is a quick list of a few of my to do lists:

consulting firm
law firm

Under each of these categories I have more than two dozen things that must be done. That is not impressive. Every woman alive has a similar set of to do lists. What makes my to do lists special is my special technique for making sure I only have enough on my list each day that can actually get done. My special technique is a two parter. 

Each list is divided into two sections. One is called to do today. The other is called to do after today. This means that every time there are tasks that need to be done, I add them to the master list. Each night, I review my master list and select a few things to do the next day. My days only last 24 hours, so only so many things can get done each day. So I decide, of all the things I have to do, what absolutely must get done, will get done the next day. Those things get added to the today list. The other items stay on the after today list. 

This method works because each day you are only committing to do things that must be done, that you actually have time to do. At the same time, you are still able to keep track of all the things that have to be done eventually. Some days the home list gets more attention. On other days, the consulting list or the law firm list may monopolize most of the day. The secret to making this type of system work is keeping careful track of what needs to be done and being sure to prioritize each day. 

Next week we will look at the kryptonite to every to do list; the word, "No."

So the question for you this terrific Tuesday is , what are you going to use your power to keep off the list.

Monday, June 18, 2012

6/18/12 Magnificent Monday- Motivation and Where to Find It

Magnificent Monday - it is magnificent to use motivation to get through the to do list in a timely manner.

Last week we talked about how to find ways to motivate yourself in order to get through the to do list. This week we are going to talk about how to use that motivation to get through your to do list. So, you have a to do list. It doesn't matter if it is for home or work. There is a list of things that must be done. You must do them. So the trick you must find is how to get through the to do list. 

What is your motivation. What is the thing that is going to get you through the to do list. Let's use me running the Philly Marathon this November as an example. The following items are on my to do list to accomplish that goal:

1.     buy sneakers
2.     start working out
3.     work out three day per week
4.     do the couch to 5k running program
5.     start running 10 miles per week
6.     sign up for the marathon
7.     start running 15 miles per week
. . .
. . .
. . . 
25.     run the Philly Marathon
26.     rest

I promised myself a Garmin runner's watch as my prize for running the marathon. I have bookmarked the web page with the particular watch I want  and look at the page several times per week. My husband knows I expect the watch when I cross the finish line. Every day I look at my to do list and do one item on the list. The thought of putting on that watch of feeling the band around my wrist, of looking down at the time or using one of the many fancy  features motivates me. It makes me work out and work the plan even when I don't feel like it. I want that watch. I want to own that thing that the runners I admire and respect have. The watch motivates me, it makes me work my list.

The watch is a good motivator, a big picture item. I also have little motivators to help me along the way. I want new sneakers. So after I have run on the ones I have for a few months, they will be worn out and I will reward myself with a new and better pair. I am losing weight so for each size I go down, I am rewarding myself with a new outfit. Something slinky and sexy. By the time we get to November and I am marathon ready, I am going to be looking fierce, I am buying a short skirt, high heels, getting my hair done and taking my husband out on the town for a very interesting evening. 

All of these little motivators along the way are helping me to get through the to do list and to reach my goal. These things motivate me and push me through my to do list. Similarly, you must find your own set of big and small motivators that  will make you push your way through your own to to do list. The secret to pushing through the to do list is finding little motivators, little bribes to push your way through each item on the to do list and then a bigger motivator to push yourself to complete the list

So the question for this magnificent Monday is, what is going to motivate you through your to do list?

Friday, June 15, 2012

6/15/12 Fantastic Friday - Finding a Way Out of No Way

Fantastic Friday - when you live your life looking for miracles and expecting the impossible, it is terrific when they show up!

People who read this blog on a regular basis know that I spend my life looking for miracles, expecting the impossible and believing the sky is the limit. My faith in God has never been unrewarded or proven to be a mistake. My faith sustains me in hard, impossibly hard times. My faith strengthens me and delights me in good times. As an intelligent woman, I acknowledge the fact that not everyone shares my beliefs.

However, that does not change the fact that we are often required to do the impossible, to make something from nothing or to find a way out of no way. It is a simple fact that sometimes life is hard. When life is hard, when we have been beaten down we must still find a way to go on. As my twins say, we still need to "Chick up." So the idea for this fantastic Friday series is how do you find your way to suck it up and move on? You must find a method, you must find a way.

That is what this new fantastic Friday- Finding a Way Out of No Way will be about. I find my way by calling out to God and He send methods. Sometimes the way out is by using your  self determination. On other occasions, the way out is by joining forces with another person. At other times, the way out is being rescued by someone you don't know at all. In the end, when you are trapped in a bad situation and need to be free, the how of salvation is not as important as the fact of salvation itself.

So the question for you this fantastic Friday is what are you doing to make a way out of no way?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

6/14/12 Thrilling Thursday - Thinking Things into Existence

Thrilling Thursday - it is thrilling to think an idea through to completion and enjoying the finished product in your mind. 

Last week this post talked about how we should use our mental power to think something into existence. The first step is to come up with the thought, the idea, the notion. I will use a joke I heard to illustrate the next step.

Five birds were sitting on a telephone wire and three decided to fly to Florida for the winter.
Q.      How many birds are left on the wire?
A.     Five, deciding to do something is only the first step, you have to take action to make it happen.

Coming up with the thought is a hard thing. It is not easy to think of good things to do. It is hard to think! But, as hard as it is to come up with an idea, to think of something to do, it is just the beginning. Once we get an idea we have to figure out how to go from thought to completed deed. So, the next step is to plan. Everyone has heard of the old cliche, "those who fail to plan, plan to fail." In order to think the thing into existence, you must figure out how to get from the thought to the completed action. 

So, we need to be SMART in our thinking. I will use my plan to run the Philly Marathon this year as an example.

S     specific, your plan needs to be specific. This means you must specifically state what it is you want to do. It must be a clear and unambiguous idea that you can clearly state to anyone. So I specifically state, I want to run the Philly Marathon in November 2012.

M   measurable, you must be able to measure success or failure of the idea. This means there must be a way to measure if you have completed the idea.  In my case, either I am at the starting line in November with my sneakers and a paper number pinned to my shirt or I am sitting at home making excuses.

A     attainable, this means you must be able achieve the idea, this is not the time to dream the impossible dream. In my case, it means I have to be able to run for 26 miles in less than 7 hours.

R     realistic, this means you must think of something that has a basis in reality, either presently, or by way of the action you are undertaking in order to carry out the thought. In my case, when I started the plan, I could run one block. However, part of my thinking involved the work of me getting up and running more and more each day.

T     timely, this means that you must think of a way to get the thought to completion before it is to late to be worth doing.  In my case, that means that I must plan to run the 26 miles by the middle of November. If the plan I come up with  means I will not be able to run 26 miles until December 2012, the plan is not a good one. 

To sum up, firsts we must think of something. We must conceive a plan. Next we need to be smart with our thinking in order to achieve the plan.  Next week we will talk about how to be specific in our thinking.

So the question for this thrilling Thursday is, what are you going to use SMART thinking to achieve?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

6/13/12 Wonderful Wednesday - Work Habits and How to Improve Them

Wonderful Wednesday- because it is wonderful to set out to work as if what you are doing will survive beyond your years.

In last week's Wonderful Wednesday - work habits post I talked about working smarter instead of working harder. Today I will discuss one way we can work smarter. We need to treat each job, each task we do as if it is important and the results will stand the test of time. When we think that we are working with something unimportant, petty and small, we give it little attention and don't care how things turn out. For example, when we blow our noses into a piece of facial tissue, we don't pay a lot of attention to the process. We don't care about the results.

When we know something is temporary we don't care what happens to it. We don't see a reason to put forth our best efforts with it. We don't take care to protect what we are working with. On the other hand, when we know something is permanent, that it will last or  must last for a long period of time, we are careful. A person working at her dream job will go to work each day and do the best possible job because she want to keep the job. A president who is concerned about her legacy, will take special precautions to make sure the work she does, the memory she creates is favorable.

This is not a new idea. When we were children, many of us had teachers who told us we had better have good behavior because our misdeeds would be placed on our permanent records. This made many of us put on good behavior because we know we should want our permanent record to be good and mistake free. So today, we must work as of the behavior we have will be made part of our permanent record.

This means when we work, we must treat each task as important. We must work as if the result of the task will form the opinion people of import and power till have of us, because it does. If we act as if each job is a place where we will work for the next 20 years, we will try to get along with our co-workers because since we will be there for a long time, we want that time to be pleasant. If what we do was going to be written in history books and studied by school children for the next hundred years. we would do a good job so that our reputation in perpetuity would be strong and positive.

So the point to be thought about today is, work like the job and the tasks are part of our permanent record. So the question for you this Wonderful Wednesday is what have you been treating as temporary that you will now treat as permanent?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

6/12/12 Terrific Tuesday - Taming the To Do List

Terrific Tuesday - it is terrific to know  part of having a to do list is knowing sometimes what we have to do doesn't work the way we want.

We spend a lot of time talking about our to do lists. What should and should not be on the list. How we are going to get through the to do list. How to prioritize the to do list. What to do with the items we can't get to on the to do list. Today let's talk about what happens when we do something on the to do list and it does not turn out the way we want.

For example, I spent all yesterday afternoon and evening putting together the Ikea bunk beds my twins asked for as a birthday present. After I was finally done, the girls were excited, jumping up and down screaming how happy they were. At bed time the girls climbed into bed, fluffed their pillows and spend 5 minutes in their individual beds before Z climbed into C's upper bunk. Guess what climbed into my bed at 3:00 am, Z. At 6 am guess what I found in my face, Z feet.

In a prior life, at a prior time. I would have been upset about this turn of events. I mean I put 9 hours of my life into those bunk beds. The point of putting that item on my to do list and checking it off was so that the girls could have their own bed. The point of spending 9 hours fighting with the Allen wrench and Ikea instructions was that I did not want to make up to stinky baby feet in my face. There was a mission, a plan, I put in the work and what did I get? I got baby toes in my face. And you know what, it is terrific.

It is as President Obama stated, a teachable moment. Sometimes when we do the things on the to do list, the results we get from others are not what we would have desired. That does not change the value of what we did. It is a good thing to go down the to do list and check off the things on it as we planned. It is good to accomplish what we set out to do. But, part of having a to do list is the reality that sometimes the results are not what we intended. When that happens, do not get upset. Realize that is part of having a to do list and keep moving.

So the question for you this to terrific Tuesday is how are you going to deal with unexpected results from the to do list?

Monday, June 11, 2012

6/11/12 Magnificent Monday- Motivation and Where to Find It

Magnificent Monday-sometimes it is magnificent to motivate yourself in order to accomplish your goals.

I am a mother, so I have watched more Nickolodeon and Disney Channel that I would like to admit. The one thing I was glad I heard was a song by the Cheetah Girls with the following lyrics:

I don't want to be like Cindarella
Sitting in a dark, cold dusty cellar
Waiting for somebody to come and set me free
I'd rather rescue myself . . .
Don't wanna depend on no one else.
I'd rather rescue myself.

That is my message for today, sometimes you have to motivate yourself. 

The to do list is always long, it grows every day.  On occasion we do not want to do all the things we need to do. At those times we need motivation. Sometimes motivating factors are all around us. For example, the mortgage is due, the electric bill is due, groceries need to be purchased and things of that nature. Those things are motivating factors, they give us a reason to march up and down the two do list. Another motivator is a deadline at work or desire for a promotion. At home we are often motivated by screaming children grabbing at our legs. All of these are external motivators that force us to get up and moving.

However, on occasion, there is nothing in the world forcing us to do what we need to do. Some times, there are no external reminders or pressures, but we still have to get through the to do list. On those occasions, at those times, we need to get up and motivate ourselves. In other words, as my twins say, "You need to chick up!" We have to find the will and the way to get through the to do list.

The following are a few motivational tools for getting through a to do list:
1.     competition-how fast can you get the work done
2.     reward- pick a small treat for yourself as a reward for getting through the list
3.     pride- concentrate on the good feeling that comes from getting a job done
4.     peer pressure- tell a friend or two that you have to get through the list and need them to push you along to get it done
5.     collective effort - gather a friend or two and help each other get through your respective to do lists

A first step toward finding the motivation to get the two do list done is to find out what motivates you. You need to take the time to figure out what you want as a reward. What does it take for you to do something? What is it that makes you smile? Whatever it is that makes you smile can be used to motivate you to get through the to do list. Now that we have a notion of how to motivate ourselves, next Monday we will look at how motivation actually gets us through the to do list.

So the question for today is what are things you can do to motivate yourself to get through the to do list?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

6/9/12 Sensational Saturday - Sensible Ways to Make It

Sensational Saturday - life is more sensational when we find sensible ways to get done what needs doing.

Those of you who read this blog on a regular basis know that I have a husband, four kids, a dog, a cat, and I am running a fledgling consulting and business development firm. I have a lot of stuff on my plate. Some days that plate is overflowing and there are leftovers at the end of the day. So in order to survive with some sense of sanity it is necessary for me to find ways to work sensibly. I noticed over the course of my life that when I work sensibly, I get more accomplished and feel better at the end of the day.

One thing I have learned to do is combine things that can be combined. For example, in the morning, early in the morning I need to wake up and get the teenie bopper off to school. Everyday I need to walk 10,000 steps as part of my exercise program and I am an avid reader who has more than 3,000 books on my Kindle I need to read. So, I combine these things. I call the teenie bopper on her cell phone to wake her up. This allows me to keep the rest of the children quiet and asleep until it is time to push them into the day. After I hang up the phone with the teenie bopper, I put on my Fitbit and start walking in place for 2,000 steps while I talk to the teenie bopper, encourage her to have the best day possible and start reading the news blogs on my Kindle. This way I get done several things at one time, things that can be done together efficiently and effectively.

I work at home for the most part which means I work with the accompaniment of my 5 year old twins who do not start school until September. So, I grab the laptop and do writing and research on the front steps while the twins play. Or while teaching the twins to read and write I walk in place to get more of those 10,000 steps out of the way. It is not good to work for hours on end without stepping away from the computer. So, in order to combat that, I stop once an hour on the hour and walk up and down the steps as fast as I can. I feel good about the fact that I am now doing 10 flights of steps in under two minutes and add a flight every week. 

I offer these examples not because they are the only way of doing things, but because they are an example of combining things that can be easily combined and completed. Working mothers, (yes I know that term is redundant) need to find ways to combine our many tasks in order to get more of them done. I have learned that my children and husband will call my name every three minutes. I know this because I charted it one afternoon. So, the first step in getting things done sensibly is to start with a plan. You need to make a list of all the things you need to get done each day. There are certain things that must be done everyday. So make plan, a schedule for when you will do those things each day. 

Some of that planning is easy, breakfast is made in the morning, dinner is made in the evening. Once you have a list of all the things that must be done, everyday, no matter what the day, you need to fill in the chores that changed based on the day. Next fill in the things that are special projects that come up. Once the list is complete, start looking at things that can be done together, tasks that can efficiently be combined. 

I have saved for last the most important part of sensibly getting things done. The most important step is to be selective, you cannot do everything on earth, so pick and chose what makes your to do list. Next Saturday we will talk about how to pick and chose what goes on the to do list.

So the question for you this sensational Saturday is what are you going to put a sensible spin on?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

6/7/12 Thrilling Thursday - Thinking Things Into Existence

Thrilling Thursday - our minds have unlimited and unimaginable power that we can use to think into existence the worlds we want.

I have heard it said that human beings only use ten percent of our brain's power. Some people wonder what would happen if we used more. I think it is wonderful what we can accomplish using only ten percent of the brain's resources. I have always believed anything my mind can conceive, I can achieve. So I set my mind to dreaming big dreams. As a child, I dreamed of being a lawyer, getting married and having children. I achieved all those things. When I did, I began new dreams. 

No matter what one wants to accomplish  in this life, it starts with a thought, with an idea. Our minds have the ability to imagine the incredible, the unbelievable. So the first step to take in any task is to think, to plan to plot. In thinking of a course of action to take, one must start with an idea, a destination, a place to go. Personally, I am trying to increase my business, develop my client base. That is my starting point, that is my idea, my initial thought. Now, I am not naive, I know that thinking something into existence is a long and drawn out process. Imagining the idea in the first place is only the first part of the journey.

In using the notion of thinking something into existence, we start with the thought, then we have to refine the thought. We need to fully develop all parts of the idea. It is our thoughts that will guide our actions, so our thoughts must be straight and true. We must plan out our entire course so that when we put action to our thoughts our action will be guided by sure and true planning.  Next Thursday we will explore what to do after we come up with an idea.

So the question for you this thrilling Thursday is what are you going to think into existence?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

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

Wonderful Wednesday- we all have to work and it is wonderful to find ways to work smarter instead of harder.

We all have to work. Some of us work at offices, factories, hospitals or other businesses. Some of us work at home in our own businesses or with our families. No matter what we do or don't do to earn a living, we work. All day long we are bombarded with messages to work harder. Often, we try. We work harder, spend longer hours, take on overtime assignments. But, at the end of the day, we have only moved forward incrementally. The big changes, life altering movement we thought we were working toward does not come. Then, we stop and do it again day after day after day. 

What if instead of working harder, we began to work smarter? What if we started each day with a plan of what we wanted to accomplish and had a plan for how to cross things of the to do list? What if we figured out the best way to do things? It reminds me of what I tell me teenie bopper, don't worry about working harder, work smarter. This is not to say much is not accomplished with hard work. Life is not for the lazy.  What I am trying to say is that we need to work smarter. We need to think, to plan, to figure. Instead of rushing head first into action, many times life it is better to stop, think and make a plan and then work the plan. This wonderful Wednesday, let's start working smarter, not merely harder.  

Next Wednesday we will start with weekly tips and treasures for working smarter instead of merely harder. So the question for you this wonderful Wednesday is what are you going to do to work smarter?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

6/5/12 Terrific Tuesday and Taming the To Do List

Terrific Tuesday and Taming the To Do List

Terrific Tuesday-because getting that to do list under control is a terrific thing!

People who read this blog on a regular basis know that I have some to do list issues. As a wife, mother, business owner and writer I have many to do lists that need to be managed, tamed and controlled. However, all these to do lists have one thing in common, they need to be tamed. So on terrific Tuesdays I will address ways to tame the to do list. The first taming technique is select what makes the to do list.

The first thing we do with to do lists is put things on the list. So, the first place to start our taming efforts is to be selective about what makes the to do list. So many times during the day people enter our offices, living rooms and email in boxes giving us things to do. We need to realize there are only 24 hours in the day and only not all of them should be devoted to crossing off to do list items. So, step one, say no, to some things. If you have a full plate today, and someone asks you to do something else, use the special words, "No, not today." 

So the question for today is what are you going to do to tame your to do list?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

6/4/12 Magnificent Monday-Motivation and Where to Find It

Magnificent Monday- Motivation and Where to Find It

Magnificent Monday- this is a great day to figure out where to get motivation to tackle the to do list. Like many women, my to do list is LONG and each day it gets longer. There are the things I need to do, the things I have to do and the things I want to do. Creating the to do list is easy, life does that. Prioritizing the to do list is easy, a little brain power makes that possible. For me the hard part about getting through the to do list is finding the motivation to get through the list.

I am blessed because I have four children who remember everything I say and then use it against me. I taught my four year old twin daughters to be strong, proud of themselves and to keep going no matter how hard things get because they will succeed if they try. One of my favorite things to say to them is, "Chick up, you can do anything."  Now, when I claim I am tired, or don't feel like doing things I am supposed to do, my girls will say, "Chick up mom, you are a Davis woman, chick up." 

My search for motivation to do the right thing often starts and stops with my children. I want them to think I am a good mother, that I care for them, that they are important to me. I want my children to see me as a role model, as someone to emulate. So, I have to get things done. I have to pick up the to do list and work my way through it item by item. I have to suck it up and chick up and do my job. I love having live in motivation and inspiration. Many of us have inspiration and motivation right under our noses. The trick seems to be to see it and use it.

So the question is on this Magnificent Monday, where will you find motivation?