New Habits Grow Slow…

Making a new habit stick is tough work. You would think in an age where multitasking is the norm changing a single behavior would be a snap. But this earthly goddess can’t tell how many times I’ve given up on something new. It gets too hard or  time consuming. I lost interest and decided life as I knew it worked better; regardless of the actual outcome. My life drifted this way for several decades.

My 40th birthday seemed a fitting time to reassess my goals both small to big, internal to external, emotional to physical. The map of my personal state was strewn around with little care like clothes in a teenager’s bedroom.  The time had come to clean things up and get some order. But where to start? I didn’t want to quick fix clean up and hide away the stuff that I believed couldn’t part without. For me that meant getting a plan. I needed time to really think about what I wanted  to accomplish. Put myself to the test of  was it 1) plausible 2) serving a  real purpose and 3) something I’d stick to for a long time.  Great! I had atleast created little piles of goals around me. But still where to start? I feel this step always tripped me up in the past. I jumped to the smallest pile. It was quick and easy. No problem! Problem was… I wasn’t in the right mindset yet. See there is something to knowing and liking who you are as a person. Really you know your true self best. Everyone else sees fractions of you. But you… know your story in and out. The foundation of your life starts with you. That structure has to be strong to support anything more you do in this life. Without it in tact things run the risk of failing.

So back to me…this time I started with the biggest pile “Me”. I was existing with parts of  myself , fractions. My first habit changing goal-  to add those fractions together I was living by and create a whole me. Cause I was not sure of myself anymore. It was a mountain of a task to face some shortcomings but it provided me my first set of habits to change. It put me to the test of being accountability to my first goal; Compile a whole me. That’s where I started my slow path to fixing my foundation. Taking time and action to understand, accept, get rid, forgive, applaud or modify parts of me that make Brenda.  Almost a year later and I’m feeling ready to tackle those smaller piles of goals. The next steps have new hurdles and changes afoot but they seem almost easier now to face. I got the tools to change the structure but my foundation is rock solid. Bring it!

18 Tricks to Make a New Habit Stick (c/0 quantumjumping.com)

1) Commit to 30 days – Oh yes!

2) Make it daily – Get that pattern down

3) Start simple – Build on baby steps

4) Remind yourself – Don’t forget your goal

5) Stay consistent – Make it a priority

6) Get a buddy – Talk to someone who will support you

7) Form a trigger – Something you do before the new habit to get your mind ready

8) Replace lost needs – Get a better bang for your new habit

9) Be Imperfect – Fall off the wagon; get yourself back on

10) Use “But” -Starting down negative thoughts? Use a “but” to change your mind to the reason for changing the habit

11) Remove temptation – Stay focused

12) Associate with Role Models – Good role models give you reason for good habits

13) Run it as an experiment – For 30 days test it out and make modifications. Don’t pass judgement if you fail.

14) Swish – Cool trick – See yourself doing the old habit. Visualize a swish pushing it away and replace with the new habit.

15) Write it down – Huge! Commit to your new habit

16) Know the benefits – Gives you more knowledge

17) Know the pain – Consequences of sticking to an old habit

18) Do it for Yourself – Most important!

Hugs & wishes,

Brenda

~~Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself~~
Leo Tolstoy

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It’s the Simple Things that Make you Smile…

Simple Actions have big payoffs.

A smile can brighten a stranger’s lonely day.

A touch can renew a lover’s desire.

A lended ear can focus a wayward soul.

A hug can calm a sad heart.

How many simple little actions can you do in one day?

That’s the big payoff.

 

Hugs & wishes,

Brenda

~~“A Simple Action, Consistently done, Compounded over time, Creates a Predictable and Controllable Result” ~~

Ron Maurer

Offline…please hold for an operator

Every once in awhile the day to day routine gets bumped off track. Be back blogging online next week. Enjoy your holiday weekend. Give thanks, live free and make sure to share a hug with someone close.

Hugs & wishes,

Brenda

~~How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!  ~~

Maya Angelou

I Just Called to Say, You’re AWESOME!

Awesome. Excellent. Wicked…I love the word “Awesome”.  Awe +some. It’s been around in the English language for some time. Roughly 400 years. Makes it a decent heavy weight in my book. The original Old English word meaning “filled with awe, profoundly reverential”. There awesome stayed shelved for 350 yrs. Reserved to be spoken only while witnessing  the force of Nature, the revelation of Science and the holiness of the Divine. AWESOME.

Fast forward to the late 20th century. Let’s briefly stop in the 1960’s. Social reform gains momentum. A generation speaks out against the status quo establishments. Pop culture fame shoots through the roof; along with slang. While partying hard one night with Bad, Bitchin’ and Cool, AWESOME seemed ready to shed it’s awe-inspiring presence. By the 80’s AweSome was partying like a rock star. Forever diluted to awesome. awesomely. awesomeness.

But I’m here to bring back AWESOME to its full greatness! I stumbled upon at website called awesomenessreminders.com today. Intrigued. Please, remind me of some awesomeness. I clicked on it. A whole website dedicated to calling people to tell them they are AWESOME. At first, I thought it was so non awesome.  Really paying someone to call you and tell you were AWESOME. Then I read some reviews and my outlook started changing to this is awesome! Frankly how many times do you call someone like your BFF, your parents, your siblings, your child and tell them just one little sentence. “You are AWESOME!” Yeah, best intentions. Got me thinking how this concept is really cool recognizing the AWESOME in everyone’s day. I would feel pumped getting that call. Walking out the door feeling filled with awe to start my day!

Give it a try – call someone you love and tell them they are AWESOME. Even better, call someone in need (a widower, a friend struggling to get a break, someone in the hospital) and tell them they are AWESOME. Guaranteed afterwards you’ll never use awesome so lightly.

Hugs & wishes,

Brenda

The Axis of Awesome – something to hum

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpB_40hYjXU

Last Breath…

Death seems at such a juxtaposition to the  universal return of life during Springtime.  I have a hard time accepting it this time of year. The Earth is reawakening from its long Winter slumber. The Sun warms our spirits. All things breathing seem anxious to create new life.  We open our windows and let the cool breezes air out our living spaces. Pushing aside the staleness of Winter’s past festivities left in the corners of our minds with light and happiness. All things in Nature sing about creation abounding anew. Signs of our archetypal myths of death and resurrection surround us during the Spring.  Centuries of legends from every land – Egypt, Greece, England, China, all explaining nature’s triumphant return to life. Tales that symbolize man’s trust in the Divine and Its protective “maternal” nurturing to our survival. Our ancestors recognized Spring as the welcome return of life; a resurrection. It was time to plant the fields and to feast off the land. But not at the selfless cost to a deity – our unknown protector of our life force. The return of Spring came due to great sacrifice on the deity’s behalf for our benefits. There was a balance of life, death, resurrection. A flow that happened year after year. Mankind created rituals and priesthoods to honor said deity of the day. To enhance mankind’s Springtime payoff by showing our devotion and thanks.  To store up our reserves of life over the years and hoping maybe to cheat our cycle of “death”. But there is a higher plan that can’t be bought or praised to extend the good times. When you sit with someone dying you feel that. Life free flowing out of your loved one. No stopper to plug the hole and store the life force. Those gathered around scramble to make the most of the time together. Long bedside vigils met with phases of soul bearing grief and heartwarming memories. We become the archetypes of old. Our dying loved one traveling on a  journey to the other side; from the Springtime to the Winter of their years. Those left behind playing roles of guide, mourner and healer. Everyone finding a natural order to witnessing death; the moment life ceases with the last breath. Or does that last breath take us to the Spring of a new place? A rebirth and renewal. The greatest question still left unanswered by man. Man is left to experience the wonderment of the Universe like a child in the end. RIP til the triumphant dawn of your Spring, Dear One.

Forgiveness is our biggest gift towards inner peace. It lets us be free inside our own skin & frees our mind of negative ties. Take that extra weight off your back. Lighten your burden in this life. Let your resentment flow away from you like a white flower released into a flowing river. Watch it move away from you and out of your vision. (I’m not saying it doesn’t hit a few rapids along the way ;).  But let it leave your mind and heart. Forever.

Hugs & wishes,

Brenda

~~In Buddhism, rebirth is part of the continuous process of change. In fact, we are not only reborn at the time of death, we are born and reborn at every moment.~~

Fundamental principle of Buddhism

Living for the Weekend!

TGIF!!! When I worked the 9-5 that was your weekly Friday morning greeting around the office. Cubicle calls heard from far and wide – “Morning, Dave.” “TGIF, Bren!”  TGIF started my love/hate of corporate jarrgon acronymns – the short hand of communication CEO’s live for today. But few could ever come close the happiness those four letters represented. TGIF  (Thank God It’s Friday) = Freedom from this 5 day crap. I’ll be honest I was never in love with any of my 9-5 jobs, in case you didn’t pick up on that.  (The only exception was the ad agency; referred to as my “MelRose Place” days. Friday was Daiquiri Day. The blender started up and like Pavlov’s dogs the office became abuzz with packing up the work week. Fast.) Meanwhile back at the corporate ranch, time never moved so slow as between the hours of 3:30p-4:59pm on Fridays. That last minute I deducted as my travel time from my desk to my car. Shutting my car door – TGI…Freedom was mine at last! 5:01 pm. Weekend is mine! Now what…

I rarely hear anyone say, “I don’t know what I’m going to do this weekend. Got any ideas?” As a culture we have made sure to occupy every single waking moment of our day with something. In fact, we over book our time off.  Add more people into your caravan and you have now created a new worlds’ record for over loading your weekend. Do we really enjoy our coveted weekend packed to the gills? All that lead up from Monday to Friday. Those thoughts of personal freedom for 2 days. Do you arrive Monday at work revived and refreshed? No. No one ever says TGIM! You have shackled yourself to the idea of a weekend of independence but the actions of a well trained hamster. We exhaust ourselves when we should be reviving our lives. Hell, I still do it to myself too. So let’s bust this hamster wheel out of our weekends!

First some prep work. Start by setting aside 20 mins/day during the week to get errands and/or chores done. Everyone in the house helps. I know some gals do it all. But seriously time to speak up and set some duties for the people living under your roof. Let g0 of the idea of a “House Beautiful” clean home. We live in our homes not visiting them like museums. Pick up your supplies for any weekend projects during the week. Include in your grocery shopping list items for planned spontaneous weekend consumables (hello daiquiris!).  You have just saved yourself hours maybe even a full day of running around.

For the weekend – here’s the tougher part. Mark a few hours for Saturday and Sunday with nothing booked. Those hours stay open for leisure time. Try to keep technology out of the mix. Use leisure time to read on the porch, a walk to the park, chat with a neighbor while picking a bouquet. Let leisure time meld into what’s planned for the weekend. Start and stop points should be free of rigidness. If you like family time, let everyone pick something to do. Maybe you can do all of them and not feel rushed or maybe just one. That means there are choices and compromises. Trust me it’s not easy to plan for fun. Keep the family conversations going and make sure everyone has a voice. Take back your weekends!  Be productive! Give yourself a rewarding and relaxing weekend. Recharged for the work week. TGIF!

Hugs & wishes,

Brenda

~~”During a recent password audit, it was found that a blonde was using the following password:

MickeyMinniePlutoHueyLouieDeweyDonaldGoofy

When asked why such a big password, she replied “It had to be at least 8 characters long.”

TGIF joke