Archive for December, 2012

What’s Ahead for You in 2013?

Living in AZ provides us with unlimited possibilities for hiking, an activity that Ed and I both enjoy.

My bottom line description of hiking is taking a walk on a trail.  That said, all hikes are not equal.  Three weeks ago we revisited a hike in the Superstition Mountains. On that first attempt in January, 2012, we started out mid-morning on the Garden Valley Loop Hike, an 8 mile, 5 hour hike.  We got back to our car as the sun was setting behind the mountains, and pulled away with our headlights on!  For more of the drama- and the lessons learned- read my previous blog post.

As we re-walked the trail we were impressed with the challenge of the terrain. We didn’t remember it being so difficult: bald rocks, washes to cross without markings, trail signs (cairns- piles of rocks), many, many natural steps both up and down, narrow passes, broad flat lands…and almost always, rocks of various sizes covering the trail.

Garden Valley Trail, bald rocks

Garden Valley Trail, bald rocks

 

Garden Valley Trail- cairns

Garden Valley Trail- cairns

The variety in the trail prompted me to take a number of photos.  As I walked over and around the rocks,  I thought about what a picture this is of our lives- and at this point in the year, Dec. 22, not only reflective of 2012, but also a potential picture of 2013 that is unfolding.

If you are evaluating 2012 (as I am) and you are planning 2013 (as I am), perhaps these thoughts can encourage you and prepare you for what lies ahead.

On the trail, sometimes the rocks were quite large- and our pace and progress were definitely slowed.  Does that describe any part of 2012 for you?  How did you handle that? What were the lessons? As you are looking at 2013, and writing down Plan A, do you have a Plan B?

Garden Valley Trail

Garden Valley Trail- large rocks

 

Garden Valley Trail- small rocks

Garden Valley Trail- small rocks

 

Garden Valley trail-uphill

Garden Valley trail-uphill

The majority of the trail was strewn with many little rocks-slowing the pace only slightly, requiring adjustment of immediate attention, while continuing to move forward.  I thought of the many daily distractions that become momentum-busters, and the necessity to focus on the big picture of what needs to be accomplished for the day, the week, the month. I recently was reminded of this planning tip: Before the end of the day, take time to write down the 6 things you wnat to accomplish the following day.  On the new day, start with number one and pursue it until it is done.  Then start number two.  Whatever is not completed moves to the next day’s list.  Brian Tracy calls this technique “Eat That Frog” and further says that if there are two frogs that must be eaten, eat the ugliest one first!

Sometimes we were climbing up- and sometimes we were climbing down.  During those climbs I was very thankful for the walking pole that I had: it provided stability, so that I could keep my pace fairly consistently, and gave me confidence that I had help if I needed it.  What’s your tool?  Do you know how to use it?  Are you using it?

Because we were constantly navigating rocks of various sizes, we were immediately aware of  ‘smooth,’ no rocks.  We definitely took advantage of the change!  Whoever was leading shouted out, “No rocks- let’s make up some time,” and we immediately quickened our pace.  When the terrain changes in your life, when opportunity comes, are you ready to move forward quickly and gather momentum- or do you fail to notice the change and therefore lose the opportunity to gain ground?

Garden Valley Trail- smooth!

Garden Valley Trail- smooth!

Hikers are typically a friendly lot: they’ll tell you how far it is to the next marker, share a sandwich, point out an unusual bird or other animal, or share a tale

 

about someone who got lost on this very trail!  Many of us are in a ‘people business,’ regardless of our industry.  Are you ready to talk to people you meet? I have found that it’s best to have a friendly attitude: ‘to have friends, show yourself friendly.’  It is difficult to maintain a friendly disposition if you are sick, not feeling well, or are ‘under the weather.’  Do your best to stay healthy: maintain (or gain) a strong immune system.  If you need some assistance in this area, please give me a call.  One of the most rewarding aspects of my business is knowing that I help others to be the best they can be on many different levels, including their health.

Hiking is a great metaphor for facing a new year.  Both are best done with a good measure of preparation: mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually.  Both hiking and a new year have aspects of predictability and serendipity.  Be prepared for both and enjoy the ride!

What are you looking forward to in 2013? And how are you preparing for it? I’d be delighted if you would share your thoughts and plans below.

Have a blessed Christmas and may your 2013 be your best year ever!

Advertisements

Making Memories

Sunday morning I had to locate my sweaters.  The temperature has been in the low fifties in the morning here in San Tan Valley, AZ.  Numbers like that require more than a T-shirt and shorts on my body!

Next to my ‘package of sweaters’ in the cedar chest was a ‘package of memories:’  rotated photoa very small  Cubs t-shirt (Nathan’s first favorite baseball team); a Dr Who Fan Club t-shirt (we were great Dr Who fans in the 80’s: the boys would ‘sneak’ into the family room after we had put them into bed to watch it- which of course meant we all watched it!); a t-shirt with a corn snake on it (Nathan successfully bred and hatched corn snakes as a 9-yr old); a blue turtleneck with trucks embroidered by Ed’s mom as well as two sweater vests she knitted; and an army shirt that Daniel wore as a 6 or 7 yr old in North Fort Myers.  (I’m sure that Daniel will correct me on the details!)

Since we have moved to Arizona, we have the opportunity to make new memories.  I connected with Erin on Thursday morning, and Greyson (age 3) and Sawyer (age 1) started on our day together.  Because we live where residential meets agriculture, we stopped at Schnepf”s Farm to visit the u-pick fields.  With Sawyer on my hip, and Greyson helping me with our wooden baskets, we slowly made our way to the fields (emphasis on slowly!).  We got to the squash row, put our basket at the end of the row, and carefully sat Sawyer next to it as the guardian.  Fortunately— he sat there very absorbed in simply watching us!  That attention lasted through our picking radishes, cucumbers, and spinach.  By the time we hit the lettuce rows, Sawyer was much more comfortable, and within a few minutes of being set down, he started crawling toward us!  Greyson and I looked at each other and knew that we were done!

We gathered everything, and proceeded to slowly make our way back to the check-out (emphasis on slowly).  On the way, we discovered a great photo op.  I took this one of Greyson—and he took the second one of Sawyer being held in place by me…

Greyson farm photo

Greyson

     Cost of the vegetables: about $2.00.

     Memories made: priceless!

Sawyer

Sawyer

We did much more on Thursday together: walked to the park with Grandpa; watched hummingbirds at the feeder cuddled under a blanket (because that’s how we did it the first time two weeks ago); listened to Christmas carols by Grandpa on the violin and me on the piano; and of course, the boys played with trains.  What a wonderful day!

Life is much too short.  Take the time to make memories!  You don’t have to break the bank to do it.  Gifts, gift cards, cash…all come and go.  The three keys to building relationships- any relationships- are time, truth, and trust. Invest in people- one of two things that last for eternity!

Today, spend some time with someone.  You might need him/her.  S/he might need you. Sometimes you can plan the details.  Sometimes you simply have to take the first step.  Start walking!

Drop me a note and let me know what kind of a memory you made this week!