Saturday, December 31, 2011

Day 18

I want you to remember the last time you felt really good about how your life was going. Try to remember the parts of your life that were making you feel like things were going well. Were you healthier? More productive? What made your life "Good"? How many of those things are possible for the coming year?

Monthly Idea #1

Instead of new years resolutions, i like monthly resolutions and monthiversaries to measure progress.

So this month's idea is from Colossians 3 if you are a Bible reader...

I want you to put off one thing and put on one thing.

Your choices are to work to put off one of these:

filthy language from your lips.

And to put on one of the following:


Day 17

Watch this video....

The lyrics to the song start with these:

You must
You must think I'm strong
To give me what I'm going through

Well, forgive me
Forgive me if I'm wrong
But this looks like more than I can do
On my own

I know I'm not strong enough to be
everything that I'm supposed to be
I give up
I'm not strong enough

Friday, December 30, 2011

Day 16

Today the challenge takes only a minute or two. Read through this quote a couple times and comment on it if you wish.

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

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Day 15

One of the best parts of life for me is anticipation. If I don't have something to look forward to, I have trouble getting excited about the future.

So today I want you to think of one thing that you are looking forward to in the coming year. It could be something small or something big, but something you are genuinely excited about.

If you can't think of anything, then it is time to think of something to plan so that you'll have something to look forward to!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Day 14

Today's challenge is fairly easy. If you've read my blog for a while or heard me speak, you have problem heard me mention the suffering cycle before, whether I've called it that or not.

So here's how it works.

Think of a time when you have suffered.

Think of the ways in which you persevered during that suffering.

Think of the ways that character was developed through your perseverance.

Think of the ways in which the character that was produced gave you a sense of hope.

nuf said.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day 13

Outside of people in your immediate family, who is someone who ALWAYS makes you feel good inside -- who values you and encourages you?

Today I want you to schedule a time to either call that person (if they live far away) or have coffee or lunch with them. Again, you don't have to do it yet, but you need to schedule a time to do it. I know I'm filling up your calendar, but remember, these are things that are going to gradually get you to a better place.

So who is it? Get ahold of them today and set something up!

Weekly Challenge Number Two

It's time for the second weekly challenge. Your first job is to report your progress for challenge number one and then talk about your 2nd weekly challenge.

So, my report for the week is that I had two drinks containing sugar in 7 days. That's really pretty good for me, considering how much I had been drinking. And I've kept up with that small square yard in our bedroom and making the bed everyday.

My goal for the next week is to exercise at least 40 minutes at least three times a week, but hoping for five. I've been able to do this in the past many many times, so it will just be a matter of getting back into it.

So, progress? Plans?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Day 12

OK, remember the list of the things you like to do from the Day 8?   Time to PLAN to do one. I think planning is the hardest step.

So, take out your calendar. Write down when you are going to do it. Make a date with yourself that is unbreakable. I'm not going to bug you to actually do it. I'm just going to ask you to schedule it. And if you don't do it, then I'll never know. But for today don't worry about doing it. Just schedule it.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Day 11

Today I want you to think of the person in your family that is the hardest for you to get along with or who causes you the most anxiety or stress. All I want you to do today is to say or write one kind thing to that person. If you are having a really hard time with them, it can be in a text or a FB message or a note. If you are feeling really brave, do it in person. It can be two or three words, but they need to be kind. I'm struggling with this one, but I'm going to do my best to do it.

Let me know how it goes.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Day 10

If you started this when I started writing it, today is Christmas Eve, but if you started late, it's OK, this post can be Christmas specific or not.

I want you to come up with three special holiday or birthday memories. It can be the expression on the face of someone in your past when they got a gift you gave that was special, or a funny thing that happened when you were a child. Or it can be a meltdown that didn't ruin Christmas but instead made it memorable.

Whatever it is -- three holiday memories that bring a smile. It won't be as hard as you think.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Day 9

Today I'm going to offer a resource to you and I just want you to spend a few minutes checking it out. Several years ago when I was responsible for some of of the housekeeping around here, this website changed the way I managed things and was very helpful to me.

The reason that I like it so much is that it taught me the principle of baby steps. It is very much a system that creates small victories and builds on them.

So, for today, just check it out.... The site has grown and developed a lot over the years since I first used it and I tell myself that I'm going to get back to some of it. So... check out the Fly Lady for a few minutes today. If you choose to do some of her stuff I think it will help you, but at least get the gist of what she is attempting to do. Her one step at a time concept is crucial to any plan to make progress.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Day 8

You may not be a "list person" but I am. I love lists. My husband, on the other hand hates them because he says they are too overwhelming.

But today I want you to make another list. Put on a separate page of your gratitude journal or in the same notebook if you wish.

Title it:

Things I Like To Do

Now come up with at least five things that YOU enjoy. It can be with someone else or alone, but it is something that is guaranteed to make you feel good inside. It can be a hot bath, or reading a good book. It can be a walk in the rain, digging in the dirt, watching a particular TV show. Maybe you enjoy a mindless computer game but you always feel guilty when you play it. A pedicure maybe (ick) or a massage. You choose. This is about YOU.

Come up with five and let me know when you're done.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day 7

I discovered this YouTube today and have loved Pachabel's Canon in D for years. In fact it was played at our wedding.

However, this arrangement at Christmas time was awesome. Even though Christmas is over, this is still beautiful.

But here is the task and if you know me I usually don't talk like this much... but I want you to listen to this song (eyes closed or with the video, up to you) and open up your soul. Let the notes reach deep inside you and stir you. Let the music carry you -- to heights and depths of emotion -- to fully experience BEING.

Too often our lives cause us to focus on what we do, but for three minutes and thirty seconds I want you to let the music put you in touch with the person you are -- apart from the things you do.

I think when you do, the beauty of the music will lead you to discovering the beauty with in you that you may just have forgotten is there.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Weekly Challenge Number One

As we go through this journey, every week I am going to offer you the opportunity to add one thing to your life or take one thing out of it. And the intention of these things are to build habits that can keep going. If you can do the challenge for a week, then you can add another challenge on TOP of it.... that means you keep doing the first while adding the second.

Remember, this is called baby steps, so the challenge doesn't have to be a huge one. Just something very small.

Let me share with you what my first weekly challenge was... and I've done it for a week! There is a small part of our bedroom that is always a huge mess historically. For some reason our bedroom is grand central station and people are in and out of our bedroom all the time. They always want to lie on our bed and often it doesn't get made in the morning before someone is lying on it and it stays that way all day long.

So my challenge has been to clean up that pathway right next to the door, keep the end table by my bed free of clutter, and make the bed each day. It takes me about five minutes, but it makes the bedroom a much more pleasant place to be. I've been doing it for a week and it empowers me because I can do that ONE thing to think that I can do something else.

So now that I've been doing it for a week I am going to add the "no sugar drinks" back into my routine. I drink too much stuff with sugar in it and my diabetes is really effected by it, so this is my next step.

What about you? What weekly challenge are you going to give yourself?

Day 6

Today's challenges is a simple one. I just want you to go outside. Not to get into a vehicle or to head somewhere but to simply stand there. If it is chilly, enjoy the shock to your system. If it is hot, enjoy the humidity and heat. Stand out there and look around. Look up at the sky. Look around at the change of season or the beauty around you. Stand there for 2 minutes or until you get freezing cold (if you don't have a jacket on).

When you walk back inside be grateful for the warmth or the air conditioning.

Reflect on how it felt to have your body interacting with nature. (For some of you, this is hilarious because you love being outside. But of all the challenges that I have asked you to do, this is the hardest for me).

Monday, December 19, 2011

Day 5

Today is the day to start a gratitude journal. Getting it started is your only job today. Whether or not you keep it up is up to you.

So, either on your computer or in a notebook I want you to write the title on the first page. Gratitude journal.

Now write the number 1.

Write down one thing you are grateful for. If you can't narrow it down to one, keep writing. Then let me know how many you came up with in five minutes.

I think you might be surprised.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Day 4

Today's assignment has two parts for those of you who believe in a higher power. If you don't, then just do part one.

Part one: think of a time when things were really really bad for you and how you made it through. If you are a person of faith, think about how God pulled you through.

Part two: Watch the video below.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Day 3

Today you have a very simple assignment. Think of one person who has made a difference in your life. It could be someone from 40 years ago or from yesterday. The only thing is you have to know how to contact them in writing electronically (Facebook, email, etc).

Now, copy and paste this into an email or Facebook message and send it to them. If you have some energy, you can add some more stuff, but if not, just copy and paste this...

Hi, ________ (You do have to type their name, but that is it)

I was thinking about you today and just wanted you to know that I really appreciate the impact you have had on my life. When I thought about the great times we have had together, it made me smile and I just wanted you to know how much you mean to me.

Your Name Here (ok, you have to type your name too)

Easy, huh?

Now if you want to increase the amount of joy this brings, you should send this to 2 or 3 or 5 or 10 people....

but if all you have energy and time to do is send one, that's enough. You'll be glad you did.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Day 2

The assignment today is to listen to this song, let it get stuck in your head, and then try to smile at least once today. It's pretty hard not to if the song is going through your head all day.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Day 1

Today's challenge is a very simple one. Simply read through this quote three times slowly. Unless you are a very slow reader, this should not take more than 5 minutes ;-)

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson wrote the above and it has been quoted in movies such as Coach Carter and Akeelah and the Bee.

Let this quote soak into your brain today. It's time for us to be who we were created to be!


Do you feel like you're in a hole -- way down deep? Or maybe you're back inside a cave where it's dark and scary. Do you feel like emotionally you are at an all time low, completely overwhelmed by life? Has illness, stress, or the behavior of those around you caused you to wonder if you're going to make it. If so, there is hope.

I've been there the past few weeks, and I know that there is hope -- there is a way out. For me it has been the combination of an impossible work schedule (because of my own errors in scheduling), health issues, and the disappointment and stress of having seven adult children and five teenagers, along with two grandchildren, and having several of them disappoint us in many ways. Sometimes it seems to much.

If you haven't already, you really should rent or buy "What About Bob" and watch the movie. It is hilarious and makes a great statement about dealing with those who have mental health challenges: Embrace them the way they are or YOU will go crazy.

Here is a scene from the movie that pertains to this blog (as a background, Bill Murray plays a man with OCD and many other issues, including severe phobias. Richard Dreyfuss is his psychiatrist. This is one of the beginning scenes of the movie.

This blog is going to help us take baby steps out of the hole or cave we find ourselves in. Each day there will be a minor challenge that will take less than five minutes. The challenges will grow in difficulty, but should never be lengthy. Each week there will be a weekly challenge that YOU choose.

Any day can be your day one -- so if you jump in late, it's fine. Would love it if everyone who is doing this with us comments and shares their progress as we will motivate one another.

For those of us starting day one on the same day that I'm writing it, the goal is to get some practice with success so that when the holidays are over we'll have a jump start to the days when everyone else is making resolutions.

SO... if you're joining us, leave a comment and let me know your start date. And please, as you go through each day feedback on the challenge of the day and if was helpful.

I'm excited -- I believe that this is going to help all of us move up and out of whatever place we find ourselves.