Posts Tagged 'self-evaluation'

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, mari.dezago@gmail.com 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.

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Looking at Things Differently?

My first business mentor, Patti, made an interesting comment during one of our early conversations.

“Some people take a Ropes Course to challenge themselves. We choose to open our own business!”

Fourteen years later, I still agree with that assessment.  Owning your own business is an amazing vehicle for personal evaluation and development.  Areas of your life that were not an issue suddenly become very visible to everyone, including yourself!  Whether you are a sole proprietor, managing employees, or recruiting others into your business, you are undoubtedly looking at things differently than when you were an employee.

Although I discovered there is a continual flow of decisions that a business owner must make- marketing, vendor choices, best use of work time, family time, ROI- my biggest challenge in being a business owner is coming to grips with who I am as a person: fine-tuning character qualities that seemed to be OK, until they were put into the daily context of dealing with customers and making business decisions.

Dr. Robert Rohm of Personality Insights, a psychologist and corporate trainer from Atlanta, GA, and a speaker at a recent conference I attended, addressed ten components of LEADERSHIP. One of those qualities was integrity. He reminded me that integrity is doing the right thing even when it is inconvenient or doesn’t make sense to anyone else.

I never thought much about this issue of integrity until I became a business owner.  I had already been a teacher, a successful coach, a pastor’s wife, a mom,  a friend.  I figured I had done an OK job of doing what I said I was going to do.  If I didn’t do it right away, no one seemed to notice, including me.  I didn’t get called on it.  There didn’t seem to be any big consequences if I didn’t follow through in a timely way.  Maybe you can identify.

Then I started my business.  I dealt with customers, with corporate deadlines, with other people’s expectations.  Gradually it occurred to me that I could not continue to be inconsistent with what I said and what I did. In fact, I realized that sometimes when I didn’t follow through, it cost me a customer, or money- or both!  But there was a subtle personal cost. My actions were not in alignment with my values, and the more times I acted without integrity, the further I drifted from who I was or thought I was or wanted to be. The results were internal chaos and business paralysis.

I had to realize that my word is my reputation.Integrity is as important in business as it is in friendship and family.  Integrity is a personal quality that is crucial in life.

Consequently I have become much more conscious of being consistent with my words and deeds.

However, I confess I can still get tempted to fudge on commitments with a variety of excuses. For example, I have said ‘yes’ to attending a meet-up meeting, a club meeting, a social, even posted it online that I am attending.  But when the time comes to get ready to be there, I re-evaluate. Any, or all, of these thoughts may cross my mind: it won’t make any difference if I’m there or not- I don’t have a meeting responsibility. Nobody will notice if I’m not there. It looks like I’ll be late.  I’ve heard that topic before.  I don’t know anyone who is going to be there.  (Add your own rationale!)

Then the still small voice kicks in: You said you were going to

And I am on my way.

What about you? Have you said you were going to call someone- and then neglected to do so? Have you said you were going to send someone a piece of information- and let it slip right out of your mind? Have you committed to a meeting or an appointment and let a minor distraction derail you?

Here’s my suggestion: Get back on track. Let your yes be yes, and your no, no.  That directive is not original: it’s from Matthew 5:37.  Apparently there is a universal need for a reminder to be honest with our words!

What are your thoughts? Please leave your comments below.

Are You Showing Up?

My business mentors, Phil and Kathleen, send out short emails regularly to educate, inform, inspire, or motivate us as business partners.  Today, their email included some thoughts from the book, The Science of Opportunity, by Howard Melamed.

Melamed makes the observation that there are opportunities all around us, but how we respond is our decision. A quote from p.9, “A coincidence offers an opportunity worth exploring and these improbable events often lead to Opportunity…Become sensitive to chance happenings.”

Another observation from Melamed  applies to those who are successful.  He has noticed that successful people  SHOW UP!  For what? Everything! Life! Birth! Celebration! Work! Concerts! Walks in the park! Meetings??

One of my business mentors, Jim Rohn, whom I have quoted a number of times on my Biz Tips page, has said that you never know which event is going to be the one that changes your life: which sermon will impact you forever; which speaker will inspire you to take action in a totally new direction with amazing results…so take good notes, and DON’T MISS ANYTHING!

Here’s a question for you: What activity or event is missing YOU? Something that you are debating about attending, participating in, supporting.  You do have a choice…you always have a choice. So make a decision to SHOW UP!

Although my theology gives me the confidence to know that my choices are never a surprise to God, I also know that choices result in ripples of effects, sometimes bigger than others.  Good choices result in benefits or even rewards.  Poor choices result in consequences, many times unpleasant, and sometimes long-term.

Those observations lead to another thought: Does The Science of Opportunity apply to more than business? Of course!  The opportunity to meet someone new, the opportunity to try a new restaurant or a new food, the opportunity to take a new walking path, the opportunity to read a new book or a new author, the opportunity to visit a new city…any of these opportunities could ultimately change your life! Isn’t that exciting??

Wow, The Science of Opportunity could have some unexpected results in any area of your life.  Certainly an interesting concept.

Click here to read a chapter of the book.  Here you can listen to an audio clip of the same chapter. What are your thoughts? Your comments are welcome below.

 

National Nutrition Month

The month is almost gone…yes, only four more days of March.

Perhaps you have read headlines, articles, blogs providing nutrition tips for you and your family because March is designated as National Nutrition Month.  Certainly, this is  a worthy focus!

It’s never the wrong time to make a decision, then make a commitment, and finally take action about improving your nutrition.  Why is that?

You have certainly heard this quote: Clothes make the man (unable to verify the original author) and while that is true enough, here’s a better one: You are what you eat  (Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote, in Physiologie du Gout, ou Meditations de Gastronomie Transcendante, 1826: “Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es.” [Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are]. I’m sure that was more information than you wanted to know about that phrase,  but amazingly,  it is all available on the internet! Is that a good thing???).

Look at the big picture of why food is so very important. Food affects all 100 trillion of our cells, and therefore, all of our functions: mood, energy levels, food cravings, thinking capacity, sex drive, sleeping habits and general health.

So is it worth it to make some changes?

Absolutely!

It’s never too late.  Here are two action steps you can take today:

1. Be conscious of what you are eating. Whenever you eat, including snack time, you should include something in each of these categories- carbohydrates, fats, protein. The percentage on your plate depends on your metabolism.  Contact me for a complimentary survey to identify your metabolic type.

BTW, carbohydrates should be of the fruit and vegetable category, food groups that probably every major health organization or disease-prevention-organization and even doctors would agree need to be increased on a daily basis.  It is also important to realize that counting french fries and ketchup as 2 of your suggested 7-11 daily servings of fruits and vegetables is not putting you on the path to optimal health!

2. Exercise portion control.  Mealtime portions can be helped by dishing up the food onto the plates in the kitchen, away from the table.  Snack portions can be reduced by measuring out or even counting if necessary, a serving size. Here’s a link for a handy portion control guide that you can print out for yourself.  The website also has visuals of serving sizes of foods.

One of my personal biggest challenges is what I call “amnesia eating,’ which occurs when I graze all day long and grab a few nuts (they’re good for you, of course!)- multiple times throughout the day.  It has been shocking when I have measured out a serving size and limited myself to that quantity for the entire day- what a concept!

This tip also reflects the necessity of reading labels.  Serving size is listed on packages that you purchase and serving size is connected to caloric and  nutritional intake.  This is true for beverages as well.  The bottles and cans of drinks that people are downing in one sitting  can be as much as 2.5 servings.  Check it out before your next purchase and decide if the calories and non-nutrients are what you want to take in versus a glass of pure water.

Portion control is also helped by the size of the plate that you use. Our grandmothers served meals on plates quite a bit smaller than what most of us use today.  Bigger plates translate into bigger portions, and this is exactly what has happened in both home and restaurants.  Our brain takes visual cues from everything about food, including how full the plate is to start!  If we see it on our plate, we seem to need to eat it (you remember, the ‘clean your plate’ philosophy or perhaps ‘the starving children in Africa would be glad…’  philosophy) Review this article for other tips about portion control.

In our home, we have been using  luncheon size plates for a number of years. We also regularly take home 1/3 to 1/2 of what we are served in the restaurant for a future meal.  Using a smaller plate as a visual cue for quantity allows us to leave the table satisfied, and not stuffed.

Trust that these two tips will be helpful to you today as you consider what you can do to improve your own level of health via better nutrition.  What tips can you share with our readers that have helped you make better choices about eating?

Remember, if there is anything I can do for you to help you on this journey of better health and fitness, just let me know.

A Productive Week for My Mom

My mom is 89 years old, and doing GREAT.  We are all so very proud of her.  In fact I’ve written three other posts about her.  Now, almost two years later, Mom still lives independently in her two-bedroom cottage on the same campus for seniors.  She still enjoys participating in regular activities up at the main building: exercise classes including time in the pool, dominoes, chapel, root beer floats, and special programs.  Last week, she told me about attending a class where she made chocolate roses- yummmm!

Mom celebrating her 89th birthday

Mom is still involved in off-campus activities. She attends a weekly Bible study (and still does the homework), a weekly seniors group at her church, a monthly seniors group at another church (seniors tend to be attracted to group settings where a meal is provided!), and  weekly church services.  Because my brother and sister live nearby, Mom stays very connected to immediate family as well.  Even though her grandchildren are not local, mom interacts with all three and now two great-grandsons via phone, emails, and even texting and video chats!  You certainly can teach an old dog new tricks! Mom is proof of that!

In spite of regular weekly events, there are still 24 hours in a day to fill, and you can only sleep, eat, and party so much.  So what does a senior Senior do with his/her time?

This week Mom sent me a note – yes, a handwritten note in the mail- that was priceless. Here’s what she wrote:

Sorry about the delay but you know how busy I am (or can think I am).  However did have a productive week (which I think means I didn’t misplace too many items that I had to seek- which means I wasn’t quite as busy in that sense looking for them!)

You see, Mom has observed that she and her friends lose things constantly, and a major part of their day is spent looking for them!  She has adopted a new philosophy that she easily shares with her senior friends when the conversation turns to what they have lost lately.  Mom says, “Oh, it’s not lost.  It’s just misplaced. You’ll find it in its new place!”

So how do you measure a productive week? Would love to read your comments below!

To Plan or Not to Plan. Is That the Question? Part 3

If you have read my two previous blogs, you probably agree that planning doesn’t guarantee results.  Sometimes when you don’t plan, the results are amazing, i.e., the unexpected adventure in the elephant yard at the Phoenix Zoo.  Sometimes when you plan, the results are amazing, i.e., getting lost in the desert for 3 hours!  Sometimes when you plan, you have to be flexible and re-schedule, i.e., Daniel’s birthday dinner.

However, if you look at each of those situations (and please feel free to add your own), you would probably agree that overall planning is required.  These three incidents all took place in Phoenix, and we live in Columbus, OH.  We were involved in them because we planned to be in Phoenix Jan. 1-10. That involved schedule considerations, airline reservations, finances, and family communication.

Planning for the birthday dinner meant that Erin, our daughter-in-law, came up with the idea, made the reservation, and asked us prior to our trip if we would be willing to baby-sit for the boys on the same day we arrived.  Of course, we had no problem saying yes.

Planning for the hike started years ago when we realized that hiking was an activity that combined our desire to explore the country close up and personal, to be outdoors, to be physically active, to observe and identify birds in the wild, etc. But this particular hike required a number of considerations I mentioned in my blog: the purchase of an appropriate guidebook, family schedule, food prep, communication.  Each of those considerations took some time and forethought.

I think you get the idea.

Planning takes place on many different levels.

Setting goals (where so many people start) is, I believe,  the result of dreaming, of creating a vision. Planning is a natural outcome of setting goals. Writing down what you want to do, what you want to have, what you want to be, where you want to go, what you want to see, is an almost meaningless activity if you don’t take that list to the next level and put some Realization Procedures in place.

Sharing these recent incidents with you from our lives was helpful for me.  I realized again that the experiences I treasure the most are the result of dreaming and visualizing the future, and not the result of  a to do list.

I didn’t hear a lot of chatter about New Year’s Resolutions last year in December.  Perhaps more of us are realizing that any changes have to be made in a bigger context of: ‘Why do I want to do this? Why is this important to me? What difference will it make in my life, in me, if I make this change, or have this experience?’ Thinking, ‘I need to lose weight,’ just doesn’t work.

What does all of this have to do with wellness?

Much.

People who have purpose, who have direction, who have passion are catalysts. They make things happen. They  seem to be healthier, have better relationships, and probably have fewer chronic health challenges.

My first suggestion is to be or become a person of purpose.  Find something bigger than yourself that will fill you with passion, maybe even make you ‘scary’ to some people because you have an awesome reason for getting out of bed each morning-and it isn’t a paycheck!**

Once you’ve discovered your purpose, then dream and visualize how the process of fulfilling your purpose will shape your life in 2012- and beyond.

Next,  take some time to write down what actions you are going to take as you head in that direction. There are books, CD’s, apps, courses, and coaches who are very capable of helping you get started and keeping you on track.

A small conclusion to the matter at hand might be the lyrics of a song  popularized by Bing Crosby in the 1944 movie Going My Way.

(Chorus) Would you like to swing on a star, carry moonbeams home in a jar?                                        And be better off than you are?

Or would you rather be a mule?

A mule is an animal with long funny ears. He kicks up at anything he hears.

His back is brawny and his brain is weak. He’s just plain stupid with a stubborn streak.

And by the way, if you hate to go to school, you may grow up to be a mule.

(Chorus)

Or would you rather be a fish?

A fish is an animal that swims in a brook. He can’t write his name or read a book.

To fool the people is his only thought and though he’s slippery, he still gets caught.

If that’s all of life is what you wish, you may grow up to be a fish.

(Chorus)

Or would you rather be a pig?

A pig is an animal with dirt on his face. His shoes are a terrible disgrace.

He’s got no manners when he eats his food.  He’s fat and lazy and extremely rude.

But if you don’t care a feather or a fig, you may grow up to be a pig.

(Chorus)

And all the monkeys aren’t in the zoo- every day you see quite a few.

So you see, it’s all up to you.

You could be better than you are.

You could be swinging on a star.

Seems to say that dreaming is the ticket to a new you!   What do you think?

(**BTW, if you are stuck on this part of the process, get in touch with me via phone, text or email and I’ll be glad to help you get started.)

Emotions of Change

When I find an article that is valuable to my readers, I like to share the link.  As a follow-up to my last post, here is a link to an article by Jim Rohn (you’ve probably guessed he’s my most valued business mentor by the number of times I quote him on this site: check out Biz  tips tab).  Jim writes about Allowing Emotions to Fuel Your Desires. 

Amidst the crowded schedules of December, some are going through the motions of activity but are in quiet desperation of wanting/needing to do something drastically different in their lives: they know it is insanity to continue doing the same thing and expect different results.

If you are one of those in need of change, please take the time to read this article.   Jim’s thoughts could play a major role in giving you the courage to change direction so that in 2012 you get closer to achieving your goals.

If there is anything I can do for you, don’t hesitate to contact me.