Sunday, January 29, 2017

There Is Only One Next Thing To Do

Sunday evenings are my dreaming and planning time.  I love to sit down with my calendar and journal and plan my week.  Meal planning, appointments, “white space” for spending time with family and friends—my journal and calendar help me keep up with all the things that make up a life.

My favorite part of the journal is my dream page.  What are my dreams and how can I make them come true? 

Figuring out the next great adventure and working back from that to the “right now” helps me figure out the next steps I need to take. 

Money saved every week moves me closer to the next big trip we can take.  Meals planned and time carved out for exercise and rest keeps me healthy and moves me toward my fitness goals.  Unscheduled and unstructured time is a treasure to be spent today and builds relationships for years to come.

I have lots of dreams for all the parts of my life, but I choose one goal at a time to focus on and create a new habit.  One step, every day, moves me closer to that habit and reaching the bigger goal. 

One step.  Every day. 

There is only one next thing to do.

What brave thing will you do TODAY to make your dreams come true?

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Never Stop Feeling the Rain

Desert thunderstorms are some of the most vivid memories I have as a child.  The suddenness and ferocity of the rain beating down on the arid Sonoran landscape.  The warnings of flash floods and long-dry arroyos becoming raging torrents.  The lightning you could see for miles and the sulphur smell of ozone in the air.   

As we would run to get in our car or inside our safe, warm house, I was drawn to, mesmerized by this primal, violent force of nature.  

No rainstorm I had seen in my old suburban home could compare to the ones in this new strange place where we now lived.  

It was like we had moved to another planet, one with completely different weather patterns and landscape and plants and even people.  Experiencing a desert thunderstorm used all of my senses.  I was a part of it, not just an observer.  It was big, and real, and a gift from God and made me feel like I was, too.

Sometimes I think about those storms.  When I'm rushing around, moving from one task to another, trying to fit everything into the little cubby-holes I've allotted and something happens that throws everything off.  When I can't get back to where I wanted to be and I'm so frustrated by my schedule and my plans.  

I need something big, something that grabs my attention and makes me look up.  

Not just a gentle rain--a big, beautiful thunderstorm that shakes the earth with thunder and captures me as I feel and smell and taste something so much bigger than myself.  This gift from the skies grounds me--takes me out of my own head long enough to see the world around me.  How many other gifts do I not see because they're not dramatic enough to get my attention?  How many times do I just get wet, without feeling the rain?

I still sleep better with the sound of a rainstorm.  Not just a gentle rain, but a desert thunderstorm.  And as I drift off to sleep I dream of the wide open spaces, the lightning striking the mountains in the distance and the dry ground soaking up the water as it surrounds me, covers me, and washes away my little worries, replacing them with dreams of something big and fierce and wild.  One day I hope those dreams will capture my days, as well as my nights.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

This Is My Happy Place

There are people in this world who remind you that it’s the things that happen on a personal level that make this world what it is and show you how it could be.  A sweet friend sent me this pillow yesterday, just because she “thought of me” when she saw it.  She and I both made our careers in an industry where there are very few women and she has been a wonderful example of how to excel and succeed through grace, excellence and focusing on people.  Her smile is infectious and she makes you feel like the only person in the room when she’s speaking to you.   She’s one of my favorite people and I have truly been blessed by getting to know her as a mentor (whether she knew it or not) and a friend.

I hope to learn by her example and open my eyes to how I can encourage people  and help them find their happy place.  Through my writing and urging people to chase the adventure in the everyday, I hope I can help make this world a happier place, one adventure at a time.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Three Ways to Make Today Your Day One

We're almost to the end of January and if you're like me, some of your goals and resolutions are already looking a little ragged and beat up. 

We start off with good intentions, but those are usually not enough to get us through the tough middle and on to the end.

So, what do we do?  Give up?  Write it off to “that’s how resolutions go?” I’ve got a better idea:  let’s regroup and start over.  January 1 is not magic.  It’s a nice arbitrary starting point, but when you decide you’re ready to make a serious goal, any old day will do.  Let’s choose today.

Look at the scope of your goal.  Was it too hard?  Goals are supposed to be difficult, but reachable.  Was it not hard enough?  If it’s not a challenge, then you probably won’t take it seriously.  Choose a goal that will move you to work hard and give it your best.

Look at how you measure your goal.  Are there measurable steps?  “I want to lose weight before swimsuit season” is tough, but not really measurable.  How much weight?  What date are you shooting for?  Once you choose a specific goal, say 20 pounds by June 1st, then work backwards from that date and make specific smaller goals you can meet along the way.

Look at how many goals you set.  Much of successful goal setting is changing your habits.  Habits actually take 66 days to change and it takes perseverance to really make that habit stick.  Using a chart like the One Thing chart can help you visually see your progress and keep you from “breaking the chain”.   


Choose one goal at first.  Just one.  Make it difficult and measurable and figure out how you’re going to keep yourself motivated.  Once you’ve accomplished this first goal and made it a firm habit, then you can move on to your next one.   

I chose the goal of getting to bed by 9 pm and it has been TOUGH.  I chose more sleep because I think it will also help with my weight loss goal and productivity goals, so, I really want to nail this habit.  My 66 day chart looks a little sad, but I am choosing TODAY as my new day one. 

I hope you’ll join me in making today not just another day, but day one towards reaching your best goal.  

Monday, January 9, 2017

Hello, Monday.

Good morning, friends! Welcome to the second Monday of 2017! This one feels like "for reals"--holidays are in the rearview mirror and the new year is here to stay. I've done my goal setting for the week, meal plans are set and I'm looking forward to our first trip of the year in a few weeks. Diffusing a little stress away + a little peppermint to wake me up and keep me on my toes. 

Monday? Bring it on.

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Monday, January 2, 2017

Dream Big and Work Hard: Goals for 2017

It's 2017 and I AM READY!  Our family is still working on choosing our word of the year.  Last year's was adventure and I drew this on our kitchen chalkboard wall:

buy the 8x10 print here from Maine Mom Design's cute etsy shop

To the left of the drawing, the kids wrote down places they wanted to travel to and what outdoor activities those places offered, like snorkeling and paddle boarding.  We didn't get to as many as I would have liked, but we had fun on our trips to Garner State Park and Red River, New Mexico.

What I have found is that having these aspirations visibly in front of me makes me more mindful of them and more likely to make plans and make those adventures happen.  So, I'll be writing 3 things on my chalkboard wall this year, as an addition to our not-yet-chosen word o' the year:

Dream Big
I read motivational books all the time and the best productivity tip I've come away with is to make your goals big, specific and measurable.  Saying "I want to lose some weight" is a good start, but a better goal is "I want to lose 20 pounds by June 1st."  You have a specific, difficult challenge set and the time frame in which you want to achieve it.  After setting a goal like that, it's easier to work backwards and set smaller checkpoint goals and action items to make you successful.

Focus on Essentials 

Greg McKeown's book Essentialism

Greg McKeown's book Essentialism is one I usually read at least once a year because I need the reminder to step back and choose the most important thing.  I apparently didn't read it as many times as I should have in 2016 because I very much overloaded myself with commitments and I am determined to not let that happen in 2017.  I want to focus on my dreams and find the essential steps to make those dreams happen.

Work Hard
This year I want to make sure I'm working hard on the things that matter.  It's easy to get side-tracked doing a million different things that keep you busy, but don't help you advance your goals.  Make sure you align your work with your goals to make sure you're getting the most out of all your effort.

I would love to hear what your word of the year is and what steps you're taking to "make it so"!