Posted in General, lists

Time flies when you are having fun; right?!

Good morning fellow readers and bloggers.  It is a rainy, chilly day here in the Northwest.  Still dark as I headed out this morning.  Here in Oregon we change our clocks back and forth in the Spring and Fall so we have more dark hours each day during this season.

I hope your morning is starting out well.  I am sitting at my desk thinking about how fast time goes.  Perhaps this is because I have just had another birthday, the kids keep having them too or could be the end of another decade is near.  Remember how as a kid, getting through the school days, weeks and year seemed to take Forever!  Time moved at such a slower pace it seemed. Now in the adult years time seems to be speeding up and it feels like there are not enough hours to accomplish everything each day or even each week.  We hit another new year and we make the same resolutions as the year before because we didn’t come close to where we wanted to be.

In thinking about time moving quickly, I keep coming back to how I choose to live my life.  Am I having the most fun I can?  Am I enjoying more of this life than not?  Do I find myself living in peace, harmony and joy?  Am I accomplishing the goals or moving in the direction of my dreams?

I read every morning.  I love to read.  To write.  To expand my mind with new ideas I may not have heard before or to get lost in a creative story.  During the quiet morning reading, I often choose books or articles that will stretch my mind.  That will help me focus and motivate me to live my best life.  I enjoy reading stories about over-comers, the underdog who has risked everything or helped others and created the life of their dreams.  These are inspiring to me.

As I was reading this morning, this idea about time moving fast and where am I at; hit me anew.  I love my life in so many ways.  In the past 2 years life has changed immensely with adding a partner and two kids to my life.  A new dog! Sending my oldest to college.  And I would not change any of it.   There are things though I personally want to work on.  I want to be more fit.  To write more.  To build a business and create time freedom.  I have been so busy loving and building one area of my life that I have become complacent in other areas.

When we are busy enjoying one area of life, we can often drop the ball in other parts of life that still need our attention.  This has definitely been my experience.  So how do we stay focused on building our best self, in the midst of time flying right by?  How do we stay focused on fun and joy and creating the life of our dreams while juggling all the commitments that come with adulthood?

This is just a small list of a few items we can do to keep on track and continue to create the life you love no matter what age or stage of life you are at.

  1. Decide!  Make a decision about what you want your life to look like.  Be ok that this will change.  What you want in your 20’s may not be the same as what you want in your 40’s or beyond.  But indecision is the killer of dreams, so choose to be a decision maker for your own self!  Maybe create a plan for the month or a year or 5 years.  Just choosing a direction can be difficult so try to find an area that you can more easily make decisions in and decide.
  2. Write!  Set time, even just 10 minutes to write goals and dreams.  To write lists.  I have committed to the practice of writing three things I am thankful for each day.  Along with writing my intentions for myself.  Once I write it down, I have a reference I can look back to track progress as well as clarity.  And writing items that I am grateful for keeps me grounded and in a state of awareness beyond just myself.
  3. Read! I believe reading others thoughts, stories, ideas all help us.  Read anything.  I read a stat somewhere once that something like 80% of the world never reads again after going through school!  It may have been 65%!  But still, either number is staggering to me.  I can not imagine not reading.  There is so much to learn and this is one of the best ways to do so. I suggest finding books that help you with the path you are on.  If you are trying to get healthy, read cookbooks and stories of weight loss or physical breakthroughs.  If you are building a business, read books from other entrepreneurs for ideas and inspiration.  Struggling with any mental health issues, self esteem issues, family issues, you can find stories you will relate to as well as assistance in how to get through those.  Or read for the pure enjoyment of the story.  I try to split it up, about 60% is for my betterment, stories of triumph, biographies, business books, etc.  The other 40% is what I call mind candy; these are just for fun.  Could be historical fiction, romance, mystery, fantasy.  Anything that gets me engaged and lost in the story.  Reading is a sure fire way to enjoy time while it flies by.

I encourage you to try these.  To make even just one small decision toward your dream life.  Each time I write a blog post, I am doing one thing that keeps me moving toward living my best life.  I have wanted to be “published” for so many years and this avenue allows me to feel like I am.  Whether or not you see the results, each step you take will bring you closer to the life you desire.  Each time you Decide to take action, you are one step closer to your dreams and accomplishing those goals.  Each time you Write them down, you have the opportunity to re-read them, carry them with you and track progress.  Each time you Read something outside of your own thoughts and ideas you have the opportunity to learn; which always makes us better.

I hope you are living your best life.  If not in all ways, then do something about it.  Start where you are and get moving.  This life is going to keep on moving forward; how do you choose to enjoy the journey? Are you having fun? If not, you have the power to choose differently.

Posted in lists

Monday Musings—5 ways to start your day

This past weekend I was reading through old posts, thinking about what I have written, where I am now and how I want this blog to grow and evolve.  In looking back through some of my old posts, I found the one about how to get out of the morning funk and thought it was a pretty good list. I like lists.  I like seeing progress.  And I think I often do these items, with some modifications, and each day I am able to stay centered and fairly up beat and in a good mood (most of the time).

I have updated this and hope this list will inspire you to start your day in a positive mindset.  To build your best life, you must clean house in your mind.  You must clean out the cobwebs, get rid of the junk and generally keep it neat and tidy in there.  These are some tips on how to do that.

5 things you can do to start your day from a great place! 

  1. Start with some stretches!  Perhaps a bit of yoga.  By this, I truly mean about 5 min of stretching.  Cat, Camel, Child’s Pose.  I try some deep breathing as I sat in these poses. Trying not to think about anything for just a few minutes. Clear out my head.
  2. Journal.  Write down what you are thinking, what your dreams were about perhaps. Again taking just a few minutes and write random thoughts.  Sometimes your best ideas come right after sleep.  I try to keep my journals next to my bed for those thoughts that hit before I fall asleep but also for the start of my day.  Free flow or be deliberate, but just write.
  3. Drink a large glass of water! Before coffee! Not sure I need more info on that.  Just do it. It’s good for your body.
  4. Read. Again, just 5-10 minutes. Sometimes all I have time for in the morning is to read for this brief time.  But it helps me to start actively using my mind.  I like the “one day at time” style for this time of day.  Something inspiring, heartfelt, quick.
  5.  Make your “to do” list for the day.  Knowing what tasks you need to tackle for the day, keeping it to just a few items, will keep you focused. Being able to cross them off will help you feel accomplished.  

As you can see, I like to make lists.  I like to use a pen and paper for some of these things.  Some may prefer digital.  I like being able to cross items off my lists and see some completion.  Not all are required to start my day off on the right foot, but each day that I do these 5 things, I am better prepared and calmly equipped to tackle a new day.  

Do you have things you do to start your day in the best way possible?  Please share. 

Oh–one last tip; don’t hit the snooze!  Wake up!  Put your feet on the floor!  Embrace that you are alive another day!   Happy Monday! 

 

Posted in General, lists

5 reasons to write a blog

It came to my attention today that there may be a private blog, with the same name as mine and it made me think why anyone would want to write a blog in the first place. Why do I write a blog? I have been told that I should just keep a journal, keep my thoughts or feelings for my eyes only. That I have no voice and no need to shout my voice if I did have one. That blogging is a waste of my time and others.

What I find amusing about these statements is that when one writes, there is no obligation that anyone will read the written words. I have no way of knowing who (unless someone likes, comments or follows) actually reads what I have chosen to share with the world. There is no calculating the return on the investment of my time as I am not writing with a specific intent. And those that do read or follow, have no obligation to do so. Blogging is a shared experience, where we come together because we want to.

I started this blog as I love to write. I have always wanted to write and found excuses not to. And I can’t seem to keep a journal at all! But this forum, this avenue of creating, of connecting with other readers throughout the world is amazingly satisfying. It has light a fire in me to keep writing. To finally stop saying “I want to be a writer” and actually becoming one.

If you are thinking about creating a blog; here are 5 reasons why it’s a good idea:

  1. Blogging allows you to be creative. Not just with your words, themes or stories, but also with the look and layout of your blog. There are so many ways you can design your blog, limitless really.
  2. If you decide to let it, blogging can harness your creativity into an area that you are passionate about. I enjoy sharing, talking, spending time with my girlfriends, we all share the struggles and triumphs of motherhood, relationships, work, etc. This constant conversation shows me how valuable our time and energy is and how often we do not treat ourselves as valuable. I find this interesting and it is something I am passionate about changing. I want each woman I know; my daughter to know, how important she is in this world. And how we need to live this truth. By blogging out my thoughts, I have been able to find what I am passionate about and start to pursue that more.
  3. If you are serious about building a blog, it can help you create structure and direction for your writing. Knowing that I have followers, that my blog is read regularly, pushes me to have a somewhat of a writing schedule. To create more content, more often. In a way, this blog forces me to continue pursuing my passion to write. To have no excuses. Write consistently.
  4. Blogging connects you to a community of writers and other creative people. This is one of the things I enjoy the most; the global synergy that blogging has created. Reading other blogs, chatting with people from all over the world; getting to understand other cultures from areas that I may never travel to. The blogging community is an amazing melting pot of so many creative people that it blows my mind. It makes me want to learn more, create more and connect more.
  5. If you want to build an income, if you want a hobby, if you want to share your thoughts and ideas; blogging allows all these opportunities. There are really no limits it seems with what you can blog about. If you have something to share, share it. If you have an idea, let others know about it. If you create beautiful pictures or have fabulous tips, or have traveled somewhere new, etc, and you like to share with others, not just the folks at home; blog.

Go ahead, start now! And don’t hide it. Don’t steal another person’s name. Don’t create under a false pretense. Just create. Create because you have to. Because something inside of you says this will fulfill you. This will open a door for you. Just let the words flow. Follow your bliss as they say.

I am still loving this blogging adventure. Through the good and the bad. Let the words keep coming. Enjoy.

Posted in lists

Beat the Manic Monday Blues! 10 ways to start the day, without getting out of bed!

It’s another Manic Monday! For so many of us, this is how we feel the first morning of a work or school week.  We start with stress, often tired and rushed as we start the week early, by an alarm clock after a weekend of possibly more freedom in the schedule.

But maybe if we change our morning habits, we can approach Monday’s or any day with renewal, rather than stress.  Here is a list of 10 things that we can do to start our mornings calmer, more relaxed and ready to tackle whatever Monday or the week brings.

10 things you can do this morning to start your day:

  1.  Set the alarm for 10 minutes earlier and do not hit snooze.  When we hit snooze we are just stalling and setting up ourselves to dread the day rather than embrace the day.  Setting the alarm for 10 minutes earlier is to give us the “extra” time to practice the rest of the list.
  2. Breathe.  Take 5-10 deep, cleansing breaths.  According to many different sites; Deep breathing can help you relax, decrease anxiety, improve coping skills and even help to lower your blood pressure.
  3.  Stretch.  As a suffer from back pain for many many years, the only way I could get out of bed was to stretch in bed first.  Sometimes that included yoga moves such as cat and cow, but for this purpose, just do a few full body stretches.  Hands above the head, reach legs out, anything that feels comfortable.  Maybe bring legs up to the chest and stretch back out.  Do not do if this hurts, but focus on feeling body elongate and the muscles stretch out across the body.
  4. Meditate for 2-3 minutes.  Find a meditation that you enjoy.  One that perhaps is specific to waking up.  Instead of the moment we awake, we hit the ground with constant thought and movement, try to calmly start the day with quiet, soft music that allows you to center thoughts.
  5. Drink a glass of water.   Before going to bed the night before set a glass of water next to the bed.  After all the breathing, stretching and meditating, drink the water slowly.  Supposedly this can help increase energy, the flow of oxygen through your body and help in digestion.
  6. Snuggle your partner if you have one.  There is no specific order for this one. When you turn the alarm off, this may be the first thing you want to do, perhaps practicing the list together.  But instead of being in a hurry to leave your bed and tackle the day, take a moment to hug your partner.  Physical touch can be healing, a source of comfort and a reminder you are a team, tackling the world together.
  7. Look at the calendar.  Now is when you can pull the phone out, as we all seem to sleep with our smartphones these days. Look at what you have scheduled for the day.  Don’t look beyond the day, just start with this morning.  Get an idea of what is on the agenda,
  8. While on the phone, either look at Pinterest for a quote or set up a daily quote to be delivered to your email.  Something inspirational, motivating.  If you are starting a workout regime, read a fitness post. If you are about to be home with kids all day, read a mommy blog.  If you are heading into a long day of work meetings, find a quote about teamwork or fulfillment in a job well done.  Reading a positive affirmation or quote sets your mind on positive ideas.  Rather than dreading the day or worrying, find ideas that bring a smile.
    In our house, we ascribe to the mindset that what you focus on will be how you behave, so set your mind on positive things.   This does not mean those bad moments won’t occur, but this is a much better way to start the day on an upbeat, positive note.
  9. Make a list.  I keep a pad of paper next to my bed because I am a writer and often wake up in the middle of the night with some thoughts I want to write down. Utilize that pad of paper to make a list for the day.  For the chores or errands or notes for a meeting.  It could be a list for the kiddos or partner.  Writing down a list can help organize your thoughts and help you feel more prepared to tackle the day.
  10. Make the bed as you get out of it.  I am a bed maker.  Something about having the main piece of furniture in the room looking nice and all put together makes me happy.  If you make the bed first thing, then as you are getting ready or come back and forth through out the morning, you will already feel that one thing was accomplished.  It’s not a BIG thing, but it’s one less task you have to come back to.

Monday is still going to be there 10 minutes later.  The kids will still be getting up and needing breakfast and all things else.  But when you start the day calmer, refreshed, less hurried and frazzled, you are more approachable for those family and work mates that you will be interacting with.  Taking 10 extra minutes to take care of you in the morning could be vital to creating peace and tranquility in your self, home, relationships, etc.

What are your thoughts?  Do you have any ideas to add to the list?  Do you do something every morning or weekly that helps create calm in your life as you tackle each day? Share with me, I would like to hear your ideas as well.

We do not have to dread Mondays!  When we start the day calmly, we have more patience and energy to tackle whatever we might face.

Embrace the day! Go out with a smile and a sense of renewal.