I resolve to…

Close up , colorful pushpins on calendar

Close up , colorful pushpins on calendar

Several years ago I was looking back, and I had an overall tinge of regret, sensing that I spent too much time reclining in the sidelines and not enough time balls-to-the wall embracing my life.

Sidelined by kids’ schedules, work schedules, the limits of one car for a household of three drivers and the limits of my own mind.

This made me uncomfortable. I resolved to do something else. Or eat something else. Or shop for something else.

It seems I was always waiting for the perfect timing…for school to start so I could regain my infamous fall focus; for summer to arrive to spend time with family; for the Christmas holiday so I could regroup and refocus.

So when do I actually jump up, jump in and take action? The time is now. Everything I will do in my life I do now. I have no more excuses. Now is the time to read more exceptional books. To spend time with people who kick my ass and make me better. To watch less mind-numbing TV. To move more. To love more. To be more.

Now is the time to step off the sidelines and into the action.

 

To throw myself into relationships, projects and work with reckless abandon.

To embrace my choices because, let’s face it, how I live my life is my choice. I choose each moment of every day what my life will look like. I acknowledge it and either embrace it or change course. No excuses.

What’s the most important thing I need to do today?

When is the best time to take a break?

ChineseWhen should you take a break from work? Most people assume weekends and evenings are the best time to take time off, but I’m not convinced. I’d like to suggest that everyone is different, and that’s O.K. Actually, it’s more than O.K.

My son’s schedule is such that he has Sundays and Thursdays off which means that if I want to spend time with him, I take half a day on Thursday, and we hang out. A couple of weeks ago we spent several hours exploring the tranquility of the Chinese Garden, eating ramen and visiting kitties at LexiDog before stopping for ice cream. During our leisurely wanderings we happened upon a tribute to Robin Williams which inspired us both.

My point is you have to take the time when it presents itself. The “off” times are also often the least busy. It’s like grocery shopping on a Wednesday morning instead of a Saturday. Right?

There’s also something to be said for a person’s own preferences. Some of us are night owls; others thrive when we accomplish the bulk of our work before 10:00 a.m. Don’t fight it. Work with your natural proclivities instead of against them. It’s called flow.

I’m much more productive when I’m working in a state of flow. Ideas come easily. I process and make connections quickly. I get much more accomplished when I work steadily on a project every day, a bit at a time, than if I slam it out when faced with a short deadline. Bonus: the outcome is a superior project.

What works best for you?

4 Tips for Getting Difficult Tasks Done

Here are my four favorite tips that I use to motivate myself to do something I don’t want to do:

  1. Double check to make sure that you really need to do the item on your to-do list. On a good day, I cross of about a quarter of the things that I’ve added to my list. They’re just not that important and they get in the way of getting real work done. It’s easy to be busy doing things that don’t matter. Continue reading

Dragon Dictation: Cure for writers’ block

Do you have a boatload of blog ideas floating around in your head?  And yet you find yourself loathe to get them down on paper? The hardest part for me is just getting started. It’s not that I lack for ideas. But putting them on paper? How difficult is that? Ummm…very.

If, like me, getting thoughts onto paper is one of the many things tripping you up, I’ve got the perfect tool for you. Dragon Dictation is as simple as press, speak and send. I am not even kidding you. Continue reading

Are you willing to do what it takes to get what you want?

My husband just made the comment, “I don’t know how you get a Dana Torres body.” My response? You think to yourself, “I want bacon.” But then, unlike me, you don’t eat the bacon.

Yes, we all know she trains like a mad woman. She’s an Olympian. But according to personal trainers I know, it’s less about the workout and more about what she chooses to put inside her body. And my guess is she doesn’t eat much bacon.

This leads me to my point: what do you really want? What steps will it take to get there? Are you willing to do each of those steps to achieve your goal?

I will never look like Dana Torres. I like bacon more than I want her body.

Breathing

By Mary Rarick

It’s a good thing that I’d already lit a candle and settled down to work with a hot mug of Awake tea before I realized that my computer was going to be having hiccups today. And by hiccups I mean it urped when I suggested we take a look at Excel, Word, Outlook, or the Internet. You know…pretty much anything I might ask of it. Continue reading

How do you align your time with your goals?

It seems like every couple of weeks I need to stop, take a deep breath and regroup. I find that it’s easy to get wrapped up in the everyday work-a-day world and to forget what’s important to me. Work will always be there. And what do they say? No one every says from their deathbed, “I wish I would have spent more time at the office.”

And so here I am again, pausing to reflect and consider. What do I value? How am I spending my time? Does my use of time reflect my values and priorities?

What about you? How do you align your time with your goals?

It’s the Little Things

After taking a couple of days off to regroup and recuperate from a particularly challenging work deadline, I knew today would be hectic. And I’ve not been disappointed. In addition to a huge to do list, it’s my son’s last day of school, so there’s a hiccup in the day’s schedule as well.

As I was dropping him off at the park for the we’re-done-with-school band party and heading over to Fred Meyer to get a key cut, it occurred to me that the small things on my list weigh almost as heavily as do the larger tasks.

I’ll give you an example. Continue reading