Monday, December 31, 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Favorite Funny Quotes

  1. Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? – George Carlin
  2. The meek will inherit the earth – if that’s okay with everyone else. – Author Unknown
  3. The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they're okay, then it's you. ~ Rita Mae Brown
  4. Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.  ~ Faith Whittlesey
  5. The light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off due to budget constraints – Elaine Ambros (humor expert)
  6. There are two different kinds of people in this world: those who finish what they start, and ... – Brad Ramsey
  7. If you're going to make every game a matter of life or death, you're going to have a lot of problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot. -- Dean Smith
  8. If you think something small can't make a difference, try going to sleep with a mosquito in the room. - Unknown
  9. Pro and con are opposites, that fact is clearly seen. If progress means to move forward, then what does congress mean?" - Nipsey Russell
  10. If the English language made any sense, lackadaisical would have something to do with a shortage of flowers. - Doug Larson
  11. I only know how to do things 3 ways: the WRONG way. the RIGHT way. and MY way. Which is really the WRONG way, only faster! ~ Unknown

Monday, December 24, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Favorite Quotes

  1. Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong. ~ Ella Fitzgerald
  2. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. ~ Aristotle
  3. “Those that don't got it, can't show it. Those that got it, can't hide it.” – Zora Neale Huston
  4. It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream – Benjamin Mayes
  5. The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence. ~ Confucius
  6. Nothing ever comes to one that is worth having, except as a result of hard work. ~ Booker T. Washington
  7. Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter, find simplicity; From discord, find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. ~ Albert Einstein
  8. Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. ~ Albert Schweitzer
  9. People will not warm to you words if you don’t appeal to their hearts – Karin Friedman
  10. "If you don't have time to do it right, When are you going to have time to do it again?" ~ (Author is listed as Unknown . I attribute it to Bettye A. Beach because she said it to me quite often!)

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Candle in the Wind

As we approach the New Year, people begin thinking about a new start - goals, resolutions and just things we'd like to do differently. One of the keys to success is motivation. With every goal, there will be times when you falter or fall, without motivation, you won't get back up. With it, you can keep moving and eventually reach your goal.

True motivation is always internal. It comes from within you. It doesn't come from family, friends, church or self-help books. External motivation is always temporary and fleeting.

Let's say you light a candle in your front yard. It's a bright sunny day. Winds are light to non-existent and there isn't a cloud in the sky. Your candle is burning strong and bright. As the day goes on, it starts to get cloudy and the winds pick up. Now, your candle is flickering. Soon it starts to rain. At this point, even a light drizzle is enough to extinguish the flame.

What if you had lit the candle, not in the front yard, but inside of the house? Now, the winds can pick up and it could rain cats and dogs but your flame would still be burning brightly. Are there things in the house that could put out the candle? Yes. But it won't be as easy to do.

Your motivation operates the same way. When I conduct goal-setting workshops, I have people come up with an initial  list of possible goals. Next, I have them go through that list and cross out any should goals. Should goals are goals that are on your list solely because you think they should be and not because you want them to be.

Should goals are like that candle in the yard. You might be motivated for a minute but these aren't truly your goals because someone else wants them for you more than you want them for yourself.

To find out if you are truly internally motivated, ask yourself one question: "Why?"

Why do you want to succeed with this goal? Your answers should begin with "I need ..." or "I want ...". They should not start with "I should ... ", "I might ...", or "Someone wants me to ...".

A strong reason why is critical to lighting the fire within - the fire that will sustain you when times get hard. It's a fire that will light the way to goal success!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12 Days Til Christmas ... Take a Break!

We are less than two weeks away from Christmas Day. There are gifts to buy and wrap, travel plans to make, Christmas parties to attend, food to prepare and the list just gets longer as you think about it! LOL!

In the midst of the holiday hub-bub, take a couple of hours during the week for yourself. You need the down time. Plus, taking some time out for yourself will make you more effective when you jump back in.
  1. Go to a movie
  2. Have dinner at a favorite restaurant
  3. Take a bath and curl up with a good book
  4. Pop some popcorn and watch your favorite holiday movie on TV
  5. Have a girl's night
  6. Have a date night
  7. Take a nap
  8. Get a massage
  9. Take a drive in the country
  10. Go to the library
You don't have to spend a lot of time but it is important to take some time to rest and recharge.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Helping Hand for the Holidays

According to the American Research Group, the average American plans on spending $854 on Christmas gifts this year. The good news is that spending is up significantly from last year – good news for the economy. It won’t be so great for the average American next month when those Christmas credit card bills start rolling in.

While we want to definitely focus on our families and friends this season, let’s not forget about those who won’t have as wonderful a holiday experience. People, who are homeless, financially challenged, hungry or just lonely during the holiday season. When we give to these people, we are also giving a gift to ourselves.

What can you do? Here are seven things.
  1. Call or visit any relatives or friends who live alone, in nursing homes or who may be isolated or away from loved ones.
  2. Take the kids to the toy store and pick out some inexpensive toys and gifts. Take your kids with you to a homeless shelter or hospital and have them pass out their gifts if possible.
  3. Go through your kitchen and put together a box of canned goods and unopened boxes for a donation to feed the homeless or hungry.
  4. Go through Wal-Mart and put together packages of toiletry samples (deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste …) and donate to a men’s or women’s shelter.
  5. Make cupcakes or brownies and distribute them at a local nursing home or assisted living facility. If you can sing or play an instrument, make a little show!
  6. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or to cook or feed the hungry.
  7. Adopt a shelter pet.
Writing a check is nice but doing something gives you the added benefit of seeing the people who are benefitting from your help.
Whatever you decide to do, contact the organization you want to work with or donate to and find out what kind of donations they’d like and the best way to help them. You wouldn’t want to make cupcakes and then find out that no one can eat them!
Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Who's In Control?

Sometimes I wonder who exactly “they” are. Maybe you do to. You know them. “They” are the shadowy figures lurking in the background. Apparently, “they” have a lot of power. I have been told that “they” control everything from national economies and political races down to what you learn (or don’t learn) in school.

Those who believe that “they” (whoever they are) control everything must also admit to having very little control over their own lives. They have an external Locus of Control.

Locus of Control is a psychological term that looks at how much control a person thinks they have over their own lives. People with an internal Locus of Control feel in control of their own destinies. People with a largely external Locus of Control feel outside forces and others control their fate.

Two co-workers applied for a promotion and neither one got the position. The person with the internal Locus of Control might think about what they could have done differently during the interview or what courses they need to take to be prepared the next time the position becomes available. The person, with the external Locus of Control will look outside of themselves for the answer. He might blame gender or race or just good old office politics for being passed over.

It is safe to say that most people who have experienced professional success have highly internal Loci of Control. They believe that, by and large, they are the ones who determine their fates. These are the people who don’t wait for favorable conditions or for things to change; they make things happen. These are the people who invest in bettering themselves and who will see the reward in hard work.
Those with a primarily external Locus of Control often feel helpless and at the mercy of others and events. They wait. They wonder. They watch as life passes by.

The Serenity Prayer (made popular by Alcoholics Anonymous) is a great start for developing a more internal Locus of Control. It says:

God give me the courage to change the things I can;
The serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
And the wisdom to know the difference.

A strong internal Locus of Control doesn’t mean you attempt to change everything. Like the prayer says, it means being accountable and in control of the things you can change but accepting of the things you can’t. Those with an external Locus feel that just about everything falls within the realm of what they can’t change.
ACTION: Today, take a look at your own situation. Are there things that are under your control? If so, what can you do to change things for the better? What is out of your control? What can you accept and stop fighting against?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Get It Together Girl!: Goal-Setting edition

This brief four-week series will introduce the workbooks in the Get It Together Girl series.

I love setting goals! It's one of the things I'm passionate about. Not only do I set goals annually, but I revisit them and set mini-goals every once. Most of the time, I meet them but even when I don't, I know what I need to do to tweak my plan. I'm so passionate about goal-setting that a few years back, I convinced my manager to let me conduct an optional goal-setting workshop for employees. It was from that workshop that Get It Together Girl!: Getting to Goal - Your Dreams, Your Desires, Your Way was born.

In this 90-minute workshop, we looked at the immediate past (no more than two years) to see what worked, what didn't and, most importantly, why. Then we shoot a year forward to see what we'd like our lives to look like. What is different? What has changed?

It's from that forward look that we start to look at what goals we'd need to create that picture. We also look   at the goals to determine which ones we truly want for ourselves versus the ones others want for us and the ones we thing we should have. Once we get rid of the should goals, we focus on no more than three goals and we develop the plan for achieving them.

As with It's About Time, I created an appendix with practical information - including a series of Goal Assistants for the most popular goals (weight loss, new job, continuing education, saving money, stopping smoking and starting a relationship). With Goal Assistance, I list several tips that will help you succeed as well as several resources to help you along your journey.

Challenge: We're already in December so New Year's is around the way. Instead of focusing on resolutions, think ahead to this time next year. By December 2013, what do you see for yourself and what will it take for you to get there? This is the beginning of your goal-setting journey!