Monday, February 27, 2012

Recognizing the Seasons of Life

As winter is still upon us and we look forward to spring, I’m reflecting on the seasons of life. So which season are you presently in?

To recognize that season, please take note it is not determined by years of life, but how you have navigated through your life and how you have processed it. After recognition, one must determine what to do with that season, and if you are ready to move to the next, etc. 
An important part of recognizing your current season, I believe, is nailing down your priorities. Where are your priorities? Time? Money? Family? Friends? Fun? The answer lies within your own mind, of course, but to truly recognize them, look at your life. Where do you spend the majority of emphasis in time and energy? It is true that actions speak louder than words. So, if you don’t like where the pie chart is taking you on priorities, take time to change it . . . through actions.

And then, to seek that balance in priorities, are you changing because you WANT to, or is it because you or someone you love is hurt enough that you HAVE to. Regardless, free will has attitude, and producing a good attitude during the change will not only help you, but those around you, weather any storm.

As winter might be dragging a bit in your life and you are looking forward to a brighter spring-like day, find your priorities, recognize your season, and make your plan to change if you don’t like the current forecast.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Maintaining Work-Life Balance While Traveling

I am in my office at this moment catching up from traveling. I have found that it makes no difference if being gone is for work or fun. Returning to piles of work in my office is a drag. So I ask myself constantly, how can I make this balance better?

1. Phones with email access are a huge help. Who can live without a smartphone these days?!  I find that when I return home I can zip through the emails repeated on my computer in a delete frenzie if I have tended to them on my iPhone.

2. Take work with you. I try to take a bit of work in different areas, whether it be my business, my home bills or my ranch paperwork; and my iPad, which I can write a blog or two on if I need to be creative. I give myself choices so when I do get home, I am able to feel like I did something, even if it wasn’t as much as I had hoped. If you take too much with you, your briefcase will be very lonely on that trip sitting in the corner. Paul Davis, a writer who was able to work full-time for six months while road tripping his way through the United States, shares lots of good ideas for how to work while on the road on his blog, Vagabondish.

3. Don’t beat yourself up. I have done this so many times. It is a fact for everyone that you will be behind for a while, well, that is, unless you have an assistant! 

4. Reward yourself for catching up. Movie anyone? How about a nice long walk to de-stress and chat with a friend as you walk? Or how about planning your next trip? Now, that’s a reward!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Balancing the Scale

Being physically fit has always been in my sights. Even as a child, I watched intently as Jack LaLanne would demonstrate his exercises and isometrics on the black and white TV. During my 20s, high impact aerobics were popular, and my family and friends were in that era, but in my 30s I noticed that it was tennis, then later golf. But in my busier work career, the routine had fallen off, as I was “busy” and “didn’t have time.” Yes, it can gradually take you down a road where the sight of stairs drives you to the elevator. So, my excuse in my 40s became a time issue… and rightly so as every moment seemed filled. However, could I have made that balance? And “HOW could I?” is really the question.

Devotion and commitment are two words that must be forefront. And IF I had disciplined myself to that 30 extra minutes three times per week, it could have made a difference in my mental game. Priority is another key word. So where does your priority lie?

I have noticed that big companies have fitness rooms, and nice ones, too, that offer employees the opportunity to get moving towards fitness. Or how about a lunch walk in which you take your sandwich on a walk with you? And a co-worker, too! Not only will you be moving and losing, but you will not be spending those extra dollars on an out-to-lunch date which can be costly over time. The military offers a few great tips for even working out at your desk!

I think we get it. It is a matter of MAKING time, early in the day, or lunch time, to find the commitment, devotion and priority to make it happen.

Jack LaLanne and his programs were broadcast in black and white. Come to think of it, the concept is black and white… just do it. Then colorful results will appear with a better you in the mirror.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Balancing Work and Life: How to Rise Before the Sun Does

I recently posted ten reasons to wake up early, but I thought it would also be helpful to share a few ideas on how to make this possible. Waking up early is important to achieving balance each day because it prepares you for the day ahead and allows you to do things you don’t usually have time for. While the benefits of waking up earlier may seem obvious, actually finding the motivation to stop snoozing each day may feel a little more daunting – but it doesn’t have to be. Here are six ideas Peter Shankman recently shared:

6) Water. Keep a glass of water next to your bed and drink the entire glass before your alarm shuts off. Water is a great wake-up call because it opens brain cells and rejuvenates you.

5) Get up—now! Move your alarm clock to somewhere you can’t reach so you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Some even recommend putting the kibosh on your alarmclock’s snooze feature. This and the water will help get you moving faster.

4) Get a pet. Feed a pet at 5 a.m. once, and he or she will make sure you’re up and at ‘em to eat!

3) Just do it. Don’t tell yourself you’re going to wake up early, actually do it! If you set your alarm at 5 a.m., wake up at 5 a.m. No snoozing until 6:30!

2) Leave your room. Once you’re done sleeping, it’s time to leave the bedroom. Go drink some coffee in the kitchen or check your email and read the paper in the living room.

1) Early to bed… Early to rise. Easiest way to get up earlier? Get to bed and get those eight hours! Yes, this might be a transition at first, but when you start to enjoy the things you’re able to accomplish in the morning, you’ll find all the motivation you need to get to bed earlier.

The best way to start a new routine is to just do it! Don’t wait until the first of next month or after a vacation. There are always a million reasons not to do something. Don’t make anymore excuses – try waking up early tomorrow morning and see how much you can accomplish before 7 a.m. Better balance is just an early morning away.