Posts Tagged 'Making changes'

How Do You Deal with the Winter Blues?

I confess that with the beautiful temperatures (low 70’s) we have, I am very thankful to be here and not in Columbus, OH dealing with ice, 5″ of snow and very slow traffic! This past Saturday, however, two special events that I was taking part in were cancelled due to the weather!  It rained and the prediction included stormy weather.  Not conducive for taking the family out for a couple of hours to leisurely stroll through a community event and certainly not fun for a women’s night out! I share this so that you know the weather is not perfect here!  No matter where you live, there are challenges!

In talking with my Columbus friends, though, I know this is a tough time: it’s January, it’s winter and most of the country is ‘very good at it!’

So how do you make it through this tough mental and physical challenge?

An article I recently read (I apologize for not taking down the source) gave a few suggestions that I further modified.

* If you are a gardener, get out a gardening magazine and begin to dream and plan for your ‘next’ garden bed.

* Start planning a short spring trip or event with a best friend or spouse. We have a corporate event in Dallas TX in late April that I know provides a great get-away south at just the right time!

* Do a closet audit.  If you didn’t wear it last spring or summer, you’ll probably not going to wear it in 2013.  Don’t wait for January 1 (2014!!) to get yourself to your ideal size! (BTW, I can help with that little project now if you give me a call…and we have a special product promotion that will help you get there.  Send me an email and let’s talk!)

One of my Phoenix Toastmaster friends, Mary Lynn Ilnitsky, is a Certified Image Consultant.  Mary Lynn gave a great seminar on Wednesday night, Ageless Style, and I picked up some great tips to ‘Live the Stage, not the Age!’   I’ll share them in another column.  One of my takeaways: many of us, even if we have unlimited resources, do not know how to dress ourselves and it is of great benefit to get connected to someone with skill and expertise in this area.  If you are in the Phoenix area, call me for Mary Lynn’s contact information. If you are not local, do your best to locate someone who can help you do a closet audit.  I’m looking forward to my time with Mary Lynn!

* Create! Take a class that teaches you a new skill.  Adult Education classes provide abundant opportunities to explore new skills in a safe, inexpensive venue, taught by experts who are typically available to take you further down the path if you find it to your liking. I plan to be teaching a class “How to Create a Happy Body” in an upcoming session of an adult education curriculum. Contact me for details if you are in the Phoenix area.

* Tackle a household job that you’ve been putting off: a closet, a spare room.  That might simply mean organizing, but it might mean painting or re-decorating it in some way. Pinterest might provide some inspiration.

* Get into some very comfortable clothes and get out some travel magazines.  Cut out pictures of your next vacation destination and post them on the fridge.

* Embrace winter!  OK, those of you who know me would agree that this was something I never could do.  It is why we are finally in the south.  However, if you cannot relocate south, then making a mental shift would be helpful: not just being resigned to winter, but embracing it. I think this might be the most difficult approach…and I believe doing this would look differently for each of us.

What do you do to handle the winter? I’d love to read your comments below.


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!

Balance and Enhance Your Life Event

It is a choice- it always is.

You can be ripe and rotting- or green and growing.

If you are stretching your comfort zone (rather than stepping out of it only to get back into in as quickly as possible), then you are gaining new skills, adding new routines to your life, engaging with new friends, reading new books…you are GROWING!

I invite you to grow with me as I will be one of three speakers at a local Columbus, OH event on June 16.

Each of us will be presenting  from our area of expertise: Dalia will be sharing tools for managing stress, Jovanna will be giving a demonstration that will ignite your self-confidence, and I will be exploring four guardians of your health.  A brief description of each of us is available here. We are confident that you will leave our event with tips and tools to make positive changes in your life- if you want to.

Check out a short promo video that Dalia and I made at a recent networking event.

If you have any questions, contact me via email, or give me a call 614.804.0291.

Are you ready to grow?  Take a step in the right direction and join us on June 16, DeVry University, Room 305, Polaris campus, 9:30-11:30. Register here.

Who’s in Charge?

Last night I talked to a friend on the phone and the conversation turned to her need to make some decisions that would help her get to her ideal size.  One comment that J made is a great validation of a point in an article I read recently about the power to make lifestyle changes.

J realizes that she has to be “prepared for success” rather than failure when she visits ‘Grammy’ who lives nearby.  Grammy always has some homemade cookies or other delightful temptations that easily sabotage J’s best efforts for healthy living.  J has decided to be more purposeful in her visits: instead of simply going to hangout, she wants to go with the mindset of being helpful.  She is also carrying her own water so that she is not tempted to take in extra calories with food or drink!  Good for you, J!

We are successful when we achieve objectives we have established in advance.

Tony Jeary in his book Strategic Acceleration.

J’s actions are also an illustration of Tony’s description of success.  In advance of her visit to Grammy, J has established certain health objectives. She needs to take certain actions to accomplish those objectives. That strategy requires some thinking before she can be doing.

J, thanks for sharing!

The article that I initially referred to gives several tips about making changes. The tips can help anyone win in the lifestyle arena of achieving a healthy, ideal size. The authors mention four tips that if applied with the Slight Edge philosophy (a small change implemented daily over a long period of time), could result in any number of major health benefits for you. The bottom line is a realization that YOU are in charge of making good decisions, and YOU need to exercise that authority!

Feel free to contact me if you’d like to talk through your situation and get some suggestions to fine-tune your objectives and strategy.

What change have you  recently made that has already given good results? Would love to read your comments below.

Our Cycle of Beginnings

It’s almost here: 2011!

One of the exciting aspects of our calendar that I always appreciate is the number of opportunities we have to make a new start (my thanks to God the Creator for His plan). Think of it:

A new day

A new part of the day (morning, afternoon, evening)

A new week

A new month

A new season

A new year

A birthday

A new decade

And I’ll stop with that one!

How exciting to have a new year just around the corner…an opportunity to begin a new track in many areas of our lives.

Certainly finances have caused a great deal of anxiety this year. You may want to do something different, and actually do things differently, than you did in 2010. Have confidence that when you get a better handle on your finances, you will be reducing your stress, and any number of health challenges that are the result of chronic stress (i.e., high blood pressure, a suppressed immune system, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, accelerated aging).

Today, click here for a great blog about five strategies for providing a better personal and family financial scenario for 2011.

The author talks about budgeting, but gives some several very practical suggestions to help with the process such as looking for ways to do something you do regularly- cheaper.

Check it out!

Have fun being a better steward of the resources (time, money, energy) that you have been given. The rewards are tremendous.

If there is anything I can do for you, just let me know.

Mari  at 614.804.0291

Legacy Planning

What about a lifestyle plan for your child or grandchild?

Here’s what prompted that question.

Recently,  I was confronted with no less than three lengthy articles about  obesity, two dealing with childhood obesity, one with adult obesity.  I was struck by the variety of publications that carried these articles: one source was the Delta Sky magazine (I was flying from Phoenix to Columbus), one was from a professional magazine, Nursing Spectrum, and the third was The Illinois Nurse.

The health challenges that can result from weight issues are indeed overwhelming. Articles and books dealing with that subject abound in bookstores as well as online. The results of this challenge, then, are not the focus of this blog.

Today I want to sift through the three articles and list several suggestions for dealing with weight issues with a child/grandchild. As a further observation, I believe these suggestions will also give positive results to adults.

  1. Help kids pay attention to feelings of hunger and fullness. Eat when you are a “0” and stop eating when you are ‘satisfied’ which is before you get to ‘full’ or ‘stuffed.’ Don’t let your hunger level fall below 0 (when you feel like you are ‘starving’).
  2. Smaller, more frequent meals will help to accomplish #1: remember ELMO: Eat Less More Often!
  3. Limit consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks.
  4. Encourage consumption of USDA recommended number of fruits and vegetables ( currently nine servings.
  5. Eat  breakfast daily. In fact, each as many meals together as possible.
  6. Limit television and screen time.
  7. Limit eating out, especially at fast food restaurants.

Article will be concluded tomorrow with references.

Do you practice any of these suggestions? Have you noticed any benefit to your children? I’m interested in your comments- please note them below.

Lifestyle lessons from the Garden

“Lessons from My Garden” needs a conclusion! (Read my previous post to catch up.)

My choices for what to pull from the garden required little thought. We had deliberately planted the Black-eyed Susans and the grasses, so they got spared. The wildflowers and the morning glories had to go. They were all over the place!  The morning glories were not too choosy, climbing on whatever might support them: the bird feeder stand, the tomato cage, sturdy weed stalks, bamboo stakes.

A few weeding rules emerged: Find the base of the plant, then the root. Pull it out- gently, completely. Take as little soil as possible- leave it for the good plants. Get to the biggest plant: removing it will make the most visible difference and the progress will be encouraging. Do things orderly: you can’t tackle everything at one time. Don’t forget to step back and enjoy the progress! Set another goal. Work within a time limit. Get it done.

As I was weeding, I continued to think about the process we have to go through to overcome bad habits in our own lives.

For example, you can’t root out all of your bad habits at one time.

My suggestion: take stock of what you are doing right. I kept the Black-eyed Susans and grasses, remember? So know what you are doing right, and keep it up!

Make a decision about where you will start. There are several daily habits that can make a major difference in your health and well-being. In fact, one of my business mentors, Jim Rohn, talks about targeting half-a-dozen daily habits that will affect your health, your business, success or failure.  He said it this way:

Success is a few simple disciplines practiced every day.                                                                                                 Failure is a few errors in judgment repeated every day. Jim Rohn

Tackle the habit or discipline that is the most out of alignment with your goals. Getting on track in this area could yield the fastest results- which would be encouraging, which would mean you keep doing it, which means you get more results. Now that would be a good cycle to be in!

Early November is a great time to begin making significant changes in your daily lifestyle choices. We just had the time change; family’s activity schedules are changing so perhaps you can deliberately choose to write in regular personal activity; weather changes mean food changes, and fall and winter vegetables make excellent soups and provide variety to salads.

Get a few good habits in place- see some results- before the holiday schedule totally takes over and sabotages your efforts for positive change!

Food for thought!

When you are committed to change, what works for you? Feel free to leave a comment.