The first step in making
a plan is to determine your needs to be able to determine your goals.
The Top 10 Reasons Why Planning Your
Life is Vital - By Barb Elyett
If you've ever
planned a vacation, wedding, surprise party, or special event, you know how much work is involved. Planning, checking, adjusting & planning again is all part of the process of creating the result that you want.
Many people understand the importance of planning events in their life but very few understand the importance of actually planning their life.
It's said that
people don’t plan to fail, they just fail to plan. It's pretty obvious that a wedding would be a disaster without a plan. Well, what about your life?
You have a choice to either make
things happen, watch things happen or wonder “What happened?” Which will it be?
you're serious about living in tune with your deepest dreams & desires you need to become a “makes things happen” person. Success will not attack you! The way you get what you want is to plan it!
Below is a list of top 10 reasons why planning your life is vital. This list
has been prepared to sell you on the fact that you need a plan to get what you want. If you aren't yet “sold,” read on.
1) A planned life gives you direction.
Planning allows you to know where you're going & how you're going to get there. Without a plan,
you lack direction & focus & run the risk of spending your time doing things that fail to benefit your future.
2) A planned life puts
your dreams within reach. If your dreams have ever felt a little “pie in the sky-ish” it's probably because they
weren't grounded in a plan. A plan provides action steps
necessary to achieve your dreams. Apply the action steps & you're on your way to making your dreams happen.
3) A planned life puts you in control. If you leave your life up to chance or let others control it for you, you're sure to be disappointed. Taking control of your own life is the only way to get what YOU truly want.
4) A planned life gives you peace. Just knowing that you're taking steps to create the life you want gives you a sense of peace. Without a plan, it's easy to get into confusion & despair about which way to go & how to spend your days.
5) A planned
life gives you purpose. When you take the time to plan your life you choose to live life
“on purpose.” You no longer just “exist.” You embrace the purpose you were created to fulfill & make it happen thru action.
6) A planned
life gives you passion. Success is the progressive realization of a worthwhile goal. It isn't a destination. It's a journey. When you're headed towards a goal, it makes your “present” more fulfilling, more passionate & exciting.
7) A planned life empowers you. Planning puts YOU on YOUR side. When you're single-minded about where you're going, you have power to live your life your way.
8) A planned life
honors God. You're to be a steward of all God has given you. To manage your life shows that you respect the gift of life that you've been given.
9) A planned
life puts your subconscious mind to work for you. When you plan, you plant a vision on your
subconscious mind. That vision creates the opportunities for you to succeed at your plan.
10) A planned
life gives you freedom. Freedom exists in one place, inside of you. When you claim the freedom you have to shape your destiny, you're truly free.
How to Solve your Money Management Problems - click to read the article
- Step 1: Define the Problem!
- Step 2: Brainstorm all solutions!
- Step 3: Pick a solution!
- Step 4: Take action!
- Step 5: Evaluate!
- Why Your Credit History is Important
- How to Build A Credit History and Establish Credit
- What Can Be Done to Improve a Bad Credit Report
- How to Deal with Your Debts
- How to Evaluate Credit Repair Companies
- Where to Find Low-Cost Help
Where to Find More Information
for more info concerning parenting issues you can click on parenting 101 to stay within the emotional feelings network of sites~
Sharing Everyday Math Experiences With Kids
- The Seven Essential Virtues of Moral Intelligence
- Personal Property
- Study / Quiet Time
- Telephone / Mail
- Shared Costs
- Smoking / Drinking
- Personal Space
- Other Issues
Action Plans - Small Scale Planning
How to Use Tool:
Action Plan is a list of tasks that you have to carry out to achieve an objective. It differs from a To Do List in that it focuses on the achievement of a single goal.
want to achieve something, draw up an action plan. This allows you to concentrate on the
stages of that achievement & monitor your progress towards it.
To draw up an Action Plan, simply list the tasks that you need to carry out to achieve your goal. This is simple, but still very useful!
An Action Plan is
a list of things that you need to do to achieve a goal. To use it, simply carry out each task in the list!
Remembering To Do All Essential Jobs, in The Right Order
How to Use Tool:
A 'To-Do List'
is a list of all the tasks that you need to carry out. It consolidates all the jobs that you have to do into one place. You can then prioritize these tasks into order
of importance. This allows you to tackle the most important ones first.
are essential when you need to carry out a number of different tasks or different sorts of task, or when you've made a number of commitments. If you find that you're often caught out because you have forgotten to do something, then you need to keep a To-Do List.
Whilst To-Do Lists are very
simple, they're also extremely powerful, both as a method of organizing yourself & as a way of reducing stress. Often problems may seem overwhelming or you may have a seemingly huge number of demands on your time.
This may leave you feeling out of control & overburdened with work.
a To-Do List
The solution is often simple: Start by downloading our To Do list template (you'll need to have Adobe Reader installed - click here to get it free).
Then write down the tasks
that face you & if they're large, break them down into their component elements. If these still seem large, break them
down again. Do this until you have listed everything that you have To-Do. Once you have done this, run thru these jobs allocating
priorities from A (very important) to F (unimportant).
If too many tasks have a high
priority, run thru the list again & demote the less important ones. Once you have done this, rewrite the list in priority order.
You'll then have a precise plan that you can use to eliminate the problems you face. You'll be able to tackle these in order of importance. This allows you to separate important jobs from the many time-consuming trivial ones.
Using Your To-Do Lists
use To-Do Lists in different ways in different situations: if you're in a sales-type role, a good way of motivating yourself is to keep your list relatively short & aim to complete it every day.
In an operational
role, or if tasks are large or dependent on too many other people, then it may be better to keep one list & 'chip away' at it.
It may be that
you carry unimportant jobs from one To-Do List to the next. You may not be able to complete some very low priority jobs for several months. Only worry about this if you need to - if you're running up against a deadline for them, raise their priority.
If you haven't used To-Do
Lists before, try them now, as they're one of the keys to being really productive & efficient.
Prioritized To-Do Lists are
fundamentally important to efficient work. If you use To-Do Lists, you will ensure that:
- You remember to carry out all necessary tasks
- You tackle the most important jobs first & don't waste time on trivial tasks.
- You don't get stressed by a large number of unimportant jobs.
To draw up a Prioritized To-Do
List, download our template & use it to list all the tasks you must carry out. Mark the
importance of the task next to it, with a priority from A (very important) to F (unimportant). Redraft the list into this order of importance.
Now carry out the jobs at
the top of the list first. These are the most important, most beneficial tasks to complete.
Effective Scheduling - Planning
to Make the Best Use of Your Time
So far in this
section of Mind Tools, we have looked at your priorities & your goals - these define what you aspire to do with your time.
Scheduling is where these aspirations meet the reality of the time you have available.
is the process by which you look at the time available to you & plan how you will use it to achieve the goals you have
identified. By using a schedule properly, you can:
- Understand what you can realistically achieve
with your time;
- Plan to make the best use of the time available;
- Leave enough time for things you absolutely
- Preserve contingency time to handle 'the unexpected'
- Minimize stress by avoiding over-commitment
to yourself & others.
How to Use the Tool:
There are many good scheduling tools
available, including diaries, calendars, paper-based organizers, PDAs and integrated software suites like MS Outlook
or GoalPro 6. The scheduling tool that is best for you depends on your situation,
the current structure of your job, your taste and your budget: The key things are to be able to enter data easily, and to
be able to view an appropriate span of time in the correct level of detail.
Scheduling is best done on
a regular basis, for example at the start of every week or month. Go through the following steps in preparing your schedule:
- Start by identifying the time you want to make available for
your work. This will depend on the design of your job and on your personal goals in life.
- Next, block in the actions you absolutely must take to do a
good job. These will often be the things you are assessed against.
For example, if you manage people, then you must
make time available for dealing with issues that arise, coaching, and supervision. Similarly, you must allow time to communicate
with your boss and key people around you. While people may let you get away with 'neglecting them' in the short-term, your
best time management efforts will surely be derailed if you do not set aside time for those who are important in your life.
- Review your To Do List, and schedule in the high-priority urgent activities, as well
as the essential maintenance tasks that cannot be delegated and cannot be avoided.
- Next, block in appropriate contingency time. You will learn
how much of this you need by experience. Normally, the more unpredictable your job, the more contingency time you need. The
reality of many people's work is of constant interruption: Studies show some managers getting an average of as little as six
minutes uninterrupted work done at a time.
Obviously, you cannot tell when interruptions will occur. However, by leaving
space in your schedule, you give yourself the flexibility to rearrange your schedule to react effectively to issues as they
- What you now have left is your "discretionary time": the time
available to deliver your priorities and achieve your goals. Review your Prioritized To Do List and personal goals, evaluate the time needed to achieve these actions, and schedule
By the time you reach step 5,
you may find that you have little or no discretionary time available. If this is the case, then revisit the assumptions you
used in the first four steps. Question whether things are absolutely necessary, whether they can be delegated, or whether
they can be done in an abbreviated way. Remember that one of the most important ways people learn to achieve success is by
maximizing the 'leverage' they can achieve with their time. They increase the amount of work they can manage by delegating
work to other people, spend money outsourcing key tasks, or use technology to automate as much of their work as possible.
This frees them up to achieve their goals.
Also, use this as an opportunity
to review your To Do List and Personal Goals. Have you set goals that just aren't achievable with the
time you have available? Are you taking on too many additional duties? Or are you treating things as being more important
than they really are?
If your discretionary time is still limited, then you may need
to renegotiate your workload. With a well-thought through schedule as evidence, you may find this surprisingly easy.
Scheduling is the process
by which you plan your use of time. By scheduling effectively, you can both reduce stress and maximize your effectiveness.
Before you can schedule efficiently,
you need an effective scheduling system. This can be a diary, calendar, paper-based organizer, PDA or a software package like
MS Outlook or GoalPro 6. The best solution depends entirely on your circumstances.
Scheduling is then a five-step process:
- Identify the time you have available.
- Block in the essential tasks you must carry out to succeed
in your job.
- Schedule in high priority urgent tasks and vital "house-keeping"
- Block in appropriate contingency time to handle unpredictable
- In the time that remains, schedule the activities that address
your priorities and personal goals.
If you have little or no discretionary
time left by the time you reach step five, then revisit the assumptions you have made in steps one to four.
Effective Scheduling is just
one of many tools explained in "Make Time for Success!" from Mind Tools. This downloadable e-book contains more than
100 pages of time tested tips, tricks and secrets that can help you work better and get the most that life has to offer. Click
here to learn more. Or if you're struggling to find direction in life or in your
career, click here to find out about "Design Your Life", our new life design and goal setting program.
Goal Setting – Quick Start Plan - By Richard Gorham
man should be born again on the first day of January. Start with a fresh page...on the first of January let every may
straighten himself once more, with his face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past."
often do you see people who have succumbed to their current, sometimes ill-perceived, circumstances?
In extreme cases perhaps these people drink too much or take some other "home remedy" to self-medicate their feelings of inadequacy &/or hopelessness.
On a more conservative level, they may simply complain about being treated unfairly or feel deserving of something they think they've either earned or are entitled to.
When setting goals for future success, it's imperative that you begin the process with a clear healthy mindset. One that empowers you with the realization that
you & you alone, possess the ultimate tool to improve your situation - Freedom of Choice is this tool.
No doubt you've heard others speak about the power of choice. The fact remains that in virtually all scenarios, each of us
has the personal freedom to choose how we will respond to any given situation.
Those who choose NOT to choose
will remain a self-imposed victim of his or her unique circumstances. Those who DO take control of & responsibility for, their own situations - have the ability to effectively prepare, respond
& take actions necessary to improve their lives.
So as we step into each New Year,
new month, new week or new day, "STEP OUT ON PURPOSE!"
Take ownership of the challenges
in front of you - & make some winning choices (which may not be easy choices, but will be the
right winning choices) that will benefit you for the rest of your life.
these important words by Leonardo da Vinci as you consider the obstacles in front of you. Make your New Year's, or
New Day, resolutions & conduct your goal setting with this in mind:
obstacle yields to a stern resolve."
Leonardo da Vinci
SETTING QUICK START PLAN
Goal setting doesn't have to be a long drawn out process. While you should certainly take enough time to be thoughtful
in your planning, the process itself is fairly simple.
using the following "Quick Start" goal-setting process to start the year off with a clear vision of what is important to you & how you intend to achieve your
New Year's resolutions.
Reflect On the Prior Year
Note your achievements of the past year - list all of the
good things that happened in the last 12 months. List names of new friends & people who have come into your life. Be as
detailed as possible, listing the simple to the significant.
List the things that
you're grateful for including Health, Friends, Family, Employment, Financial, Emotional, Spiritual, etc.
If you have a job & live in a safe, warm place - you can be grateful that you have it better than millions of other people all around the world.
It's a fact: Gratitude Improves Your Attitude.
Note your disappointments of the past year - list all the things that you didn't like about the prior year. What caused you stress & unhappiness?
you make choices that you wish you would have made differently?
you associate with less than desirable people that limited your ability to achieve?
the list as long as necessary - get it all on paper.
At the top of your list,
write in big bold letters "Things I'm resolved to never experience again!"
Create Your New
Determine what you want - not simply what you feel you need to do, but ask yourself specifically "What do I want?" Ask this question under each of the following Life Categories:
Health & Fitness
do you want it? - Get clear in your own mind why you want these things. Are these goals things that will serve you well? Will these goals help you to achieve a more fulfilling life?
If not, start over & get more clearly about what you really want for
yourself & what your motivation or purpose is for wanting these things.
must understand why you want to achieve these goals, because the "purpose, is your ultimate motivation" to achieve your goal.
Every time you feel unmotivated, you'll refer back to these statements & realize
exactly why it's that you need to take another step toward achieving your goal.
really works if you apply it.
Create your M.A.P. - Master Action
Get specific! Write down the necessary action steps that you're
committed to taking to achieve each goal. Ensure that you include at least 2 action steps that you can do right now that'll get you on your way.
something now, or within the next 24 hours, will create instant momentum for you & you'll be well on your way to
achieving your goals.
Consider investing in a life management system such as Franklin Covey or Tony Robbin's
- Time of Your Life system. Tools like these are extremely helpful in teaching you more about yourself & how to effectively
set goals & maximize your time.
In addition, you'll receive some wonderful tools (life planner) that will assist you in connecting your everyday activities to your New Year's resolutions & life-long goals.
Sound good? Then do yourself a favor & print this article & schedule some
time (right now would be good) to completing the quick start process.
Avoid the "Someday Syndrome". Tomorrow never comes & the road to someday always leads to nowhere.
Oh yes, almost forgot - remember that long list of disappointments you developed? Those things you said you're resolved to never experience again?
point of destroying that list & celebrate your new goals & resolutions. (That "ugly" list isn't anything that one little match can't
make quick work of.)
"Opportunity is missed by most
people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
Conquering Goals: The Battle Plan - By Anthony Mullins
"To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe."
While these 3 items define
success, without all of them success would be unattainable. Without a dream, you'll be without desire & without desire, you'll be without action. If you can unlock the dream, then you can unlock success & make your dream reality.
Take a look back across your life & at the difficult
things that you've already accomplished. For some, finishing high school seemed impossible only to graduate from college. Others set out for a career & ended
up owning their own business.
No matter who you are, you've
accomplished many things in your life. I venture to say that many of your accomplishments were at one time or another, a goal. Goals & dreams give hope & the ability to achieve things otherwise not realized.
If you can institute the following keys into your daily routine, you can realize more goals & reach new heights of success. What are the keys & how do they work?
1. Identify the Goal
In order to achieve, you must set & accomplish goals. Goals give purpose & make us feel good about ourselves.
Think about the horse
pulling a cart with the carrot dangling out in front. What purpose does the carrot serve?
It’s the dream &
the desire. When the horse wakes up each morning, I doubt that he is very excited about pulling a cart all around town. But add the
carrot & we've created purpose & motivation.
All day long the carrot hangs
out in front & all day long the horse chases it. People laugh at the horse because of its simplicity. But during the first
5 minutes of the day the horse has identified the goal to get the carrot.
At the end of the day, the
horse is rewarded for its perseverance. While we all might laugh at this little analogy, what would happen if we inserted
this horse mentality into our daily lives?
I agree that it isn’t that simple;
however, don't make it harder than it has to be. There's a simple system to creating & accomplishing goals. You can't just wish your goals; you need to install structure in your life for establishing goals & achieving
your desired success.
First, goal statements need to be specific. Simply setting a goal to lose weight isn’t enough; being specific will allow you to better define the goal & create a stronger plan for success. “I'd like to lose 10 pounds by June 1st” is a much stronger goal. This gives the goal more credibility &
creates the need for a specific plan.
Next, your goals need to be achievable. Achievable
doesn't mean easy. Goals should require you to move outside your comfort zone. Goals are meant to help us accomplish things, but don't make them impossible.
Sometimes the accomplishments might be small & other times they might be great. But, each one should require you to elevate yourself in order to see
thru to the accomplishment.
This stretching will make
you stronger & build your confidence to achieve greater goals. When I think of this process, I visualize athletes pushing
themselves & their bodies beyond where they have ever been. Why?
In order to build larger &
stronger muscles, the weight must be gradually increased. This weight increase in turn develops the muscles & new, higher
levels of strength. Without the increase of weight, the muscles will not get stronger.
I believe the same principle
holds true in the setting & accomplishment of goals. Goals need to require more effort than the last, thus making you stronger.
establish a deadline or date for accomplishment of your goal. The date can be just around the corner or somewhere in the distant future; setting any date is the important
part. A date will allow you to keep your eyes looking forward & not looking back. The goal lies in the future; now let’s
get after it!
Finally, make a list of your goals. Create a “Goal Contract”
with yourself. Write down your goals, include all of the specifics & sign it. This further solidifies your commitment
to the goal(s). Now, find a moment each day to review your goals. Make them part of your daily routine.
2. Create a Battle Plan for success
I like to use the words “battle plan”,
because accomplishing goals isn't easy. Around every turn there will be obstacles. You'll quickly recognize some obstacles & others will appear
without warning, like an ambush.
You may have control over
the outcome or you may be reliant upon another for help. Either way, it's going to be a constant challenge for you to keep
moving forward, even thru the setbacks.
The key to overcoming setbacks
is to learn from what has happened & then alter or strengthen your battle plan. Mel
Gibson said regarding his making of the Academy Award winning epic, Braveheart,
"You have to go in with
a plan. You can deviate from it, though - it's just a jumping off point."
As you're formulating
your plan, ask yourself these questions: “What tools do I need to accomplish my goal(s)? What resources do I have at my disposal?
How long do I have to accomplish my goal? Whose help might I need to realize success in my goal?” Answering these questions will help you think thru what is needed to ensure success.
Another critical factor in your plan is other
people. George Washington said it this way,
to all, but intimate with few; and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.”
If you need support from others,
be certain that they support & are in alliance with your goals. Surround yourself with strong supporters & let them
become your battle warriors.
Rely upon them to help &
encourage you. It's unimaginable that you could achieve any goal without a few obstacles. Because of this possibility, you
need to surround yourself with positive thinkers.
The introduction of negative
ideas or feelings into a situation can sabotage your plan. Cheer yourself on every day &
surround yourself with others who do the same.
Be your biggest fan. Support
& motivate yourself with a positive attitude, even when you stumble. In John Maxwell’s book, “Think on These
Things”, he offered a quote that resonates this type of positive thinking:
“I am never down.
I am either up or getting up!” What a positive image.
3. Charge into Action
Welcome to the battlefield! You’ve assessed
your goals & created the battle plan. Now it's time to charge & get going. Often, goals are set with the best of intentions
only to fail because they never get started. Inaction is an enemy of success. It'll even seek to destroy the work that has already occurred.
In the words of Oliver
“Finding the great
things in this world are not where we are standing, but is in what direction we are moving: to reach the port of heaven, we
must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.”
First, in either
your personal or professional life, be courageous. Don't limit yourself or settle for being average. You weren't created for
ordinary, but for extraordinary.
Believe in yourself &
your ability to succeed. In order to be above average, you must think & act above average. If you dream & accept mediocrity, you'll always
fall short of your true potential. Dream great things & move into action to accomplish them.
There are moments when you're offered opportunities to accomplish great things only to accomplish little because you fail to act upon the opportunity.
Create your own success, seek greatness.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “Beware of rashness, but with energy & sleepless vigilance, go forward & give us victory.”
Next, be committed. Earlier you took the time to write down your goals & dreams. This was
an exercise of commitment. Once you move into action, this exercise will need to expand. Keep your goals nearby, so as to
never lose focus.
Each day recite your dreams
aloud. Move into action each day toward your dreams. Strive to keep your goals in the forefront of your mind.
Finally, you must also be critical. As you encounter opportunities, ask yourself how this will
affect your goals.
Will this lead you to success or move you farther from your goals?
If they point towards success, accept their challenge.
If they don’t, let them
Even meeting new people is
an action exercise. Ask yourself, “Will this person support, encourage or push me to new heights or will they pull me
away or hinder me from achieving my goals?”
Charging into action is probably
the most difficult step in this process. Be courageous, stay committed & be critical. When you have mastered these skills,
hold on tight & prepare yourself for a wonderful ride!
4. Celebrate Victories both Large & Small
is the final key. Rewarding yourself gives you an opportunity to reflect upon your achievements & to celebrate
the hard work required by the journey. Celebration is an important part in the goal process. It allows you to enjoy the fruits
of your efforts & to express joy & fellowship with those who helped in your accomplishments. It provides a forum to share with others the self-satisfaction you have received from your success.
A common misconception is that celebration comes at the end of the journey. Says
who? I challenge you to celebrate early & often. Recognize that some of your goals can be accomplished in a short time, while others might take years to accomplish.
With long-term goals, the end is distant & thus you might become discouraged or bored with the goal. It’s very easy to get caught-up
in the end-result & forget all of the small things you accomplished that were essential to the mission. Take time each day to celebrate your accomplishments.
I've heard my clients say, “I haven't or can't accomplish anything.” Nothing could be farther from the truth!
The truth is that these persons
haven't seen the end goal, but have accomplished many things that have led them toward their goal. Certainly you need to stay focused on the ultimate goal, but don’t
forget to celebrate the critical accomplishments along the way.
Try this great exercise: Create a celebration team & a weekly
celebration list. This will help you more clearly recognize your progress & the reasons to celebrate. I'm confident that
you can find at least one thing each week to celebrate.
Once you view the list, set
aside some time to celebrate. You can celebrate alone or with friends. Develop an environment that allows for self & group
celebration. Ask others if they'd be on your celebration team, to support you & celebrate with you. Have fun with it!
In the end, it’s the accomplishment of goals & the achievement of dreams that will bring great joy to your life. Stay committed & focused, develop a plan, move into action & celebrate your success. With this powerful structure in place, you'll amaze yourself & those around you with all that you accomplish. You can do it!
Copyright Anthony Mullins
Elite Coaching Alliance 2005
is the President & Life Coach for The Elite Coaching Alliance. He specializes in leadership, marriage, relationship &
family, Christian based coaching. He's the author of the upcoming e-book "Finding Fulfillment in & Unfulfilling World".
He can be reached by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 770.587.3545. Visit our new website http://www.elitecoachingalliance.com
The Gift of the Present
Read, then think - & in that order please.
opened the bottom drawer of my sister's bureau & lifted out a tissue-wrapped package. "This," he said, "isn't a slip.
This is lingerie." He discarded the tissue & handed me the slip. It was exquisite; silk, handmade & trimmed with a
cobweb of lace. The price tag with an astronomical figure on it was still attached.
"Jan bought this the
first time we went to New York, at least 8 or 9 years ago. She never wore it. She was saving it for a special occasion. Well, I guess this is the occasion."
He took the slip from me &
put it on the bed with the other clothes we were taking to the mortician. His hands lingered on the soft material for a moment,
then he slammed the drawer shut & turned to me.
"Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special occasion."
I remembered those words thru
the funeral & the days that followed when I helped him & my niece attend to all the sad chores that follow an unexpected death. I thought about them on the plane returning to California from the Midwestern town where my sister's family lives.
I thought about all the things that she hadn't seen or heard or done. I thought about the things that she had done without realizing that they were special.
I'm still thinking about his words & they've changed my life.
I'm reading more & dusting
less. I'm sitting on the deck & admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden. I'm spending more time with my family & friends & less time
in committee meetings.
Whenever possible, life should
be a pattern of experiences to savor, not endure. I'm trying to recognize these moments now & cherish them.
I'm not "saving" anything;
we use our good China & crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, the first camellia blossom. I wear my good blazer to the market
if I feel like it. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries without wincing.
I'm not saving my good perfume
for special parties; clerks in hardware stores & tellers in banks have noses that function as well as my party going friends.
"Someday" & "one of these
days" are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it's worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see & hear & do it now.
I'm not sure what my
sister would've done had she known that she wouldn't be here for the tomorrow we all take for granted. I think she would have called family members & a few close friends. She might have called a few former friends to apologize & mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think she would have gone out for a Chinese dinner, her favorite food. I'm guessing - I'll never know.
It's those little things left
undone that would make me angry if I knew that my hours were limited. Angry because I put off seeing good friends whom I was going to get in touch with someday. Angry because I hadn't written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days.
Angry & sorry that I didn't tell my husband & daughter often enough how much I truly love them. I'm trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter & luster to our lives.
And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that every day, every minute, every breath truly is. . .a gift.
May love litter your life with blessings.
- To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.
- To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.
- To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
- To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who missed the train.
- To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask a person who just avoided an accident.
- To realize
the value of ONE MILLISECOND, ask the person who won a silver medal in the Olympics.
Treasure every moment that
- Yesterday is history.
- Tomorrow is mystery.
- Today is a gift.
That's why it's called the present!
6 Tips for Better Time Management
how to make time to smell the roses.
The simple, unpleasant
truth is that we are probably busier than we ever have been. Notwithstanding the fact that little science backs up this notion,
the anecdotal evidence is overwhelming.
"You can see it
all around us," says Jana Jasper, a New York-based productivity expert & author of Take Back Your Time. "People
talk too fast. We're always in a rush. We start things & don't finish them & are constantly nagged by the idea that
we've forgotten to do something, but we're not sure what it is."
That people awash
in labor & time-saving devices, from robotic vacuum cleaners to microwave ovens to computers, would feel so harried so
often seems counterintuitive. But what technology gives, it also takes away.
"As we have increased
the numbers of time-saving devices & products to make our lives easier we have found ways to fill the time," says Tracy
Lyn Moland a time management consultant & author of Mom Management, Managing Mom Before Everybody Else. And a chronic
lack of time leads to stress.
But the time-management
experts we spoke to all say that it's possible to reduce stress. Think about it as adding an extra hour to your day thru time-management techniques.
Something as simple
as "knowing where your keys are in the morning, knowing where your kid's library book or homework is, will reduce a lot of
stress," says Moland. She has a number of time management tips.
Make a Time Diary
Take a week and
plot out what you do every day. Be honest. If you watch 25 hours of TV each week, write it down.
"This is a painful
awakening for most people," says Jana Jasper. "You have to include everything - gym time, eating, driving, weekly meetings,
all of it. It can be upsetting to see how little unstructured time we allow ourselves. But it's difficult to make intelligent
decisions about using your time more effectively if you don't know what you're doing with your time now."
Learn to Say "No"
Turn off your cell
phone & beeper. When someone asks you to do something that you really don't have time to do, say so, politely, but firmly.
And don't allow yourself to feel guilty.
"One reason we're
feeling so busy all the time is that we're worse at setting personal boundaries around what we'll say 'no' to," says Jana
Kemp, founder & president of Meeting & Management Essentials, a time-management
consultancy in Boise, Idaho.
Part of declining
to do things, is focusing on your goals, Kemp explains. Your time diary can help in this regard. Once you've blocked time
for important, but often not scheduled activities, sign on for only those things that are important, family, friends &
health. Once you know exactly what you have time to do, turning down things that don't fit into your priorities is easier.
Time-Based, To-Do List
"Create a to-do list that
includes how much time you'll spend on each item on the list," says Moland. Lists are always helpful, but when you add how
much time each task should take, it helps prioritize how you go about the tasks. When you prioritize tasks you naturally focus
on those that you can do immediately.
Let Your Computer Help
get you into the time bind in the first place, so use it to help get you out. Try some of the many personal scheduling software
programs that allow you to keep a calendar, "to-do' lists & phone & address books on your computer.
"It's not enough
to be efficient anymore," said Jasper. "The goal here is to use the technology to get rid of all the paper in your life. I
can't stress enough how important this is."
Much of organizing,
these experts say, comes from streamlining your life. The more clutter you have in your life - phone numbers on slips of paper,
business cards in notebooks, a desk piled high with calendars & lists - the more likely you are to waste time trying to
stay organized & on top of things.
Is there a more
overused buzzword today? We all combine several activities into one all the time. Some multitasking is dangerous. Talk on
the phone while driving & your chances of being involved in a traffic accident rise dramatically. That being said, lots
of activities can be effectively & safely combined. Listen to books on tape while commuting. When you watch television,
pay your bills.
"Women are better
able to multi-task than men," said Moland. "Even if both partners work full time, the woman usually is able to still think
about the children's schedule, the home, the meals. Men are better able to focus in on one task at a time - & women can
learn from this at times."
Don't Be a Perfectionist
wrong with being ordinary. Perfectionism, otherwise known as paying excessive attention to every detail, important or not,
is a kind of procrastination.
"Set rational goals
for yourself," says Jasper. "It's a fine thing to strive to be your best. It's counter productive to try to be the very best."
expectations of yourself just adds stress to your life, Kemp explains.
let any progress, however small, go unrewarded.
"Use your time
diary to make decisions about how you want to organize your time better," said Jasper. "As you make progress in prioritizing
& saying 'no,' let yourself enjoy that. It doesn't have to be a big reward, maybe it can be as simple as spending some
time by yourself or getting a massage. It's important to acknowledge & enjoy your success."
John Casey is a freelance lifestyle, health &
science writer in New York City.
A Thousand Marbles
The older I get, the more
I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a Saturday morning are most enjoyable.
A few weeks ago,
I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand & what began as a typical Saturday morning,
turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time. Let me tell you about it.
I turned on the old am band radio
that was once my Grandfather's & tried to see if it would pick anything I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous
signal & a golden voice. You know the kind, he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business. He was telling
whoever he was talking with something about "a thousand marbles".
I was intrigued & stopped
to listen to what he had to say. "Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home & your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work 60 or 70 hours a week to make ends meet. Too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital."
He continued, "let me tell
you something Tom, something that has helped me keep a good perspective on my own priorities." And that's when he began to
explain his theory of a thousand marbles."
"You see, I sat down one day
& did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about 75 years. I know, some live more & some live less, but on
average, folks live about 75 years." "Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 & I came up with 3900 which is the number of
Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime."
"Now stick with
me Tom, I'm getting to the important part. It took me until I was 55 years old to think about all this in any detail", he went on, "& by that time I'd lived thru over 2800 Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be 75, I only had about 1000 of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store & bought every single
marble they had. I ended up having to visit 3 toy stores to round-up 1000 marbles. I took them home & put them inside
of a large, clear plastic container right here in the kitchen. Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out &
thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life. There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight."
"Now let me tell you
one last thing before I sign-off with you & take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last
marble out of the container. I figure if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the
one thing we can all use is a little more time."
"It was nice to
meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family & I hope to meet you again here on the band. 73 Old Man, this is K9NZQ, clear &
going QRT, good morning!" You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all
a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the yard that morning & then I was going to clean the
garage. Instead, I went upstairs & woke my wife up with a kiss.
"C'mon honey, I'm taking you
& the kids to breakfast." "What brought this on?" she asked with a smile. "Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. Hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're
out? I need to buy some marbles."
God Bless You & Yours! Have a Great Weekend
& May all Saturdays be Special!
keywords in the above article? "stopped" & "listen" - if we all did more of both of those things we'd be extremely rich in some much needed knowledge & wisdom!
We convince ourselves that
life will be better after we get married, have a baby & then another.
Then we're frustrated that the kids aren't old enough & we believe that we'll be more content when they are.
After that, we're frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they're out of that stage.
We tell ourselves that our
life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, when we're able to go on a nice
vacation, or when we retire.
The truth is there's no better time to be happy than...
RIGHT NOW !!!
If not now, when? Your life
will always be filled with challenges. It's best to admit this to yourself & decide to be happy anyway. happiness is the way.
So, treasure every moment
that you have & treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, (special enough to spend your time with) & remember that time waits for no one.
So, stop waiting...
- until your car or home is paid off.
- until you get a new car or home.
- until your kids leave the house.
- until you go back to school.
- until you finish school.
- until you lose 10 lbs.
- until you gain 10 lbs.
- until you get married.
- until you get a divorce.
- until you have kids.
- until you retire.
- until summer.
- until spring.
- until winter.
- until fall.
- until you die.
There is no better time
than RIGHT NOW to be happy.
Happiness is a journey, not a destination.
Work like you don't need money.
Love like you've never been hurt,
And dance like no one's watching.
What is time management?
is an endless series of decisions that gradually change the shape of your life.
decisions produce frustration, low self-esteem & increased stress. They can result in the following symptoms of poor time management:
deadlines constantly being missed
between unpleasant alternatives
Fatigue or listlessness
many hours of unproductive activity
from one project to the other; no satisfied feelings of accomplishment
for rest or personal relationships
of being overwhelmed by demands & details; doing what you have to do instead of what you want to do most of the time
The methods of time management can be learned by realizing that:
You can establish
priorities that highlight your most important goals, allowing you to base your decisions on what's important to you & what isn't.
You can create time by realistic scheduling & by the elimination of low priority tasks.
You can learn to make basic
do you spend your time? An easy way to find out is to use the Time Inventory Chart. At the end of each day write down the time spent on each of your activities. The total amount of time for all activities
should equal the total number of hours you were awake.
(Click on the Time Inventory Chart underlined link words to copy the chart!)
Set goals for yourself
First, using your time inventory, compare
your current use of time to your achievement of goals. Imagine yourself as very old and aware that your days are numbered.
What had you hoped to accomplish in your life? What makes you most proud? What is your biggest regret? Put down anything that
comes to mind. Don't think about it or analyze it, if something occurs to you, write it down. Use this list for your long range goals.
Second, make a list of one year goals,
those that stand a reasonable chance of being accomplished within the next twelve months.
Finally, put down your short range goals
for the coming month, including work priorities, personal growth, recreational activities, etc.
You have created three lists of goals: long,
medium and short range. Prioritize each list by deciding the top, middle, and low priority items:
Top priority: those items
ranked most essential to you.
Middle priority: those items
that could be put off for awhile, but are still important to you.
Low priority: those items
that could be put off indefinitely with no harm done.
Once you have prioritized your lists, choose
four top priority items from each list. You will have twelve top priority items representing your current goals.
Time Management Goal Planner
Lifetime Goals (long range)
One year goals (medium range)
One month goals (short range)
Pick two top priority goals from each category.
Enter them here. These are the goals you will begin to work on now.
These six top priority goals should occupy your
time for one month. Next month make a new list. Some goals will remain top priority, others will drop off. The goals will
always be accompanied by a list of specific, easy to accomplish steps. Set aside a certain time period each day to work on
your top priority goals. Emphasize results rather than activity. Try to accomplish one step toward your goals each day, no
matter how small.
Motivations & Plans for Goal Setting - By Kerri Wood
"Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy."
As you know, it's a new
year! The year 2006! Every year more than 90% of Americans come up with New Year’s resolutions. Most of them
never start even start their goals, a few start but never finish or follow thru & even fewer yet accomplish what they set out to do.
So why do so many people
fail before they even start & so few people make thier dreams come true?
Every one of the people
who have New Year’s resolutions have the ability to accomplish what they set out to do. Some people find the motivation to start, but can’t finish. Others have a plan but no motivation to follow it. Others do neither. Those who succeed have a well laid out plan & the motivation to make it happen.
What is YOUR motivation?
Everyone has something different that motivates them. Some people have heart problems or diabetes. Some people want to share a healthy life with thier kids or family.
Others are working towards
a race or end product. Motivational stories & quotes can help inspire & drive people also.
Whatever it is, in any area
of your life, you need to find YOUR motivation. You need to Explore YOUR world within!
you find your motivation, it’s not automatically easy to do what you need to do. You may need to put up motivational reminders or carry with you something that brings out what inspires you.
Constant daily reminders.
Take time in the next few days & dig inside yourself & find what you motivation is to accomplish your New Year’s resolutions.
Make yourself a PLAN!
Now that you're motivated, you need to make a plan.
- A fitness plan
- A nutrition plan
- A financial plan
- A personal development plan.... etc.
Whatever your goal is you need to have a plan. A map to how you're going to accomplish what you want. This should be written or typed & laid out in simple easy steps that keep you heading towards your goal.
One way to create a plan is to start with your main goal & break it down into easy action steps or smaller goals.
For example: If you want to lose 5lbs your goals could include:
# Join a gym
# Join a fitness group
# take a nutrition class
for each goal you can make a checklist of what you need to do to accomplish those goals:
Join a gym:
__ List what i want in a gym (personal
training, pool, spa, classes etc.)
__ Research gyms in my area
__ Go in to gym for tour/talk with sales department
And you'd do this for all of your goals leading up to the main goal. All of your goals should have a due date so you are keeping a good pace at working towards your resolutions or goals.
They should be measurable.
Instead of saying I want to look better word it in a way where you'll KNOW when you have accomplished it.
I want to wear a size 6…
or i want to lose 5lbs. Both of those can be measured & you'll know exactly when you reach it.
A goal of being president of the United States by the time you're 55 is much more realistic.
Set yourself up for success, make small steps in the right direction at a reasonable pace & you'll succeed. If you make a mistake or fall down, it’s ok. Just pick yourself back up, learn from it & keep going.
Failure is the only opportunity to begin again more intelligently
. - Henry Ford
If you need help
on making a plan
or finding your motivation
, you aren't alone
. You can join groups like Fitness From the Inside Out or you can get one on one coaching to help you get there faster.
The most elite athletes
in the world have coaches. The most successful & influential business people have coaches also. Both of those groups know a lot about the areas they work in, but know
the value of having a team working with them & for them to help them get where they want to be.
Find your motivation, make a plan & take action! Your dreams & goals ARE within your reach. Don’t give up & it’s always nice to have a little help!
Life and Fitness Coach