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Be Proactive

Sunday, January 15, 2012

So I'm blogging from my phone, and this is very interesting...

I'm sitting in a living room of a model apartment at my Grandma's complex. It is a really nice place. I haven't seen my Grandma yet, cuz we got in kind of late, but we've seen Amy and her husband and stepson.

In spite of not going to bed till midnight, I woke up at 5:30 and couldn't fall back asleep! Time difference, man. I gave up trying around six and came out here to sit with my planner, my Kindle and my phone and knock out some thoughts.

I'm rereading Seven Habits. After I got the planner, I realized that I could use a refresher to better use it. I read the first habit on the plane and wanted to write some things down about it.

The first habit is"be proactive." Proactive people don't blame externalities. They focus on what they can change, and they change it. Covey suggests a thirty day challenge of being proactive, so that's what I'm going to do.

I can see its application generally, but also specifically with regard to weight loss. No excuses. He says (I'm paraphrasing) that proactive people don't blame the weather; they make their own weather. You create your environment with what you put in it. If it isn't working for you, it is your responsibility to change it. He says responsibility is response-ability--you are able to choose your response.

So none of this especially new, but reading it in his wordsa is so inspiring and such a good reminder. And the 30 days will be good, I think.

P.S. I wasn't planning to doi my habit blog till Wednesday, but I managed it without even realizing!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDABENEDICT 1/17/2012 10:32PM

    Great blog ....I needed to read this today. Thanks !

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    Look at you putting your proactive plan right in motion by writing this blog early. I agree with the book and you know is always great to be reminded. I needed it too, so thank you for the early blog.



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MOMFAN 1/16/2012 4:15AM

    Love it! Proactive is what we all really need!

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DONNACFIT 1/15/2012 8:46PM

    Great blog!! I love that fav is "sharpen the saw" I'm working on being my own coach and I think I'll bring in the author as an assistant

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KAYTIE22 1/15/2012 7:56PM

    I liked the "Seven Habits" and good for you for going back over them again. Thanks for the reminder. I should take a look at my book too.

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 1/15/2012 7:03PM

    Make their own weather :-) I like that

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TEXASTITCHER 1/15/2012 5:31PM

    Good new habit to acquire

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HS1056 1/15/2012 4:11PM

  Wow Brenda! In different words you said just what was my "lightbulb" moment that got me off the couch to begin my healthy lifestyle. I finally realized that I had the choices to make, good or bad, regarding my situation. I could sit on the couch and blame whoever and whatever or I could choose to get up and live my life. It took some years of wanting to change until that day back in June when the realization hit me that I HAVE CHOICES! And look at me now. Funny, huh! Really though it changed my life. Great Blog!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RUTHXG 1/15/2012 2:12PM

    A really empowering thought, that! And you did a great job blogging on your phone. I look forward to seeing what shapes your proactivity takes.


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MISSLISA1973 1/15/2012 2:00PM

    I love this habit. I read this chapter years (I mean YEARS) ago and it changed my attitude so much, it just blows me away the way some people approach life. "I can't" and "no" seem to be their first response to any new idea. Proactivity turns it around to "What do I need to do to make this happen?" I love your weather analogy. What a great way to put it! Let's make some sunshine today!

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CANDOK1260 1/15/2012 1:40PM


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GETSTRONGRRR 1/15/2012 1:01PM

    Sounds real good kiddo....and totally achievable!

For me, being proactive is planning ahead for and around my future excuses.....I keep spare gym clothes in my trunk for those days I might forget to pack my bag....I have rainy weather clothes for those times when I can only work out outside....etc, etc. etc.

Take away your future excuses today!

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HOPESINGH 1/15/2012 12:54PM

    That's the second inspiring blog I've read today. Thanks! emoticon

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LILBITWANNABE 1/15/2012 12:09PM

    Hmmm so true. I might have to check out that book. What I'm doing now isn't working so maybe enlightenment from elsewhere would help.

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CARLYG8 1/15/2012 11:37AM

    Oh my gosh....I haven't read that since it came out. If I remember right, I had to read it for a business course or something in college (early '90, maybe '91). are right. The same principles apply to weight loss too!!! I am going to have to find my copy...I think I still have it with some old college textbooks. Thanks for the reminder!!!

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STILLOUT2LUNCH 1/15/2012 11:10AM

    I totally agree with the proactive philosophy. So what specifically are you gong to do this week to become more proactive?

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HELLODANAE 1/15/2012 11:07AM

    I totally agree, I have to work with what I have, instead of asking why I should ask what
I might not make sense but I get what you mean. Sounds like a great book. I might look it up!!!

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ACCEPTHECHLNGE 1/15/2012 10:38AM

    So, you were able to get computer connection...just see, that you are blogging from your phone. Great.
I think in this world, you have to be proactive. I found that out when it comes to your health, especially.
Again, good luck and enjoy your trip to the City at the Bay. I miss San Francisco, having lived in the Bay Area for over 30 years.

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"I Used to Be Fat"

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Has anyone seen this show? It's on Logo, and it's about teenagers who are overweight, as far as I can see. I'm watching a marathon of it right now as I clean up and pack. I have a friend coming over to watch Sammy tonight, because my housemate is out of town till tomorrow night. It's a really nice show and very motivating. I may try to watch it more when I get my bike...


Hooray! I'm very happy and excited, and a little annoyed that I could have had it weeks ago if I'd just ordered from Overstock in the first place.

I lost a pound this week. How I'm not too sure, but we've gone through two massive containers of spring mix this week, so that may have had something to do with it. emoticon

I'm packing to head out to California this weekend. Amy, Anna and I are all going to San Francisco this weekend. Amy and I are bringing our families (minus Sammy) to visit my grandmother. Anna went for a conference, and she'll come see us when she's not busy with that.

I don't really know how it's going to be. I haven't gone to see my grandmother in almost 10 years. The last time I went out there, she was living in a home in a seniors' community, but now she's living in an assisted living residence. It sounds really cool, like a dorm for the elderly. But still, I'm a little nervous.

And there's no wireless there. The computers with the Internet access apparently are only for residents. I'm not too sure how I will subsist without Internet, but I will use my phone to log in. I don't know how easy it will be to blog or track while I'm there, and I'm not sure how much activity I'm going to be able to get...and forget exercise!

As far as eating, I hope that it will be okay. I do want to go to Round Table Pizza, since I haven't been in waaaaay over a decade--probably closer to 15 years, but other than one Round Table Pizza meal, I know I can make good choices throughout.

I will do my best Starfishies to visit your blogs and blog myself, but if you don't see much of me, wait till Tuesday! I'll be back!

Starfish Love!

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Yes, I have seen the show and I liked it. It inspired me to motivate my own self. Have a great time on your trip, sounds like a ton of fun. Hugs to grandmother!



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DONNACFIT 1/15/2012 8:51PM

    Have a great visit!! I love my bike so I hope you love yours, too!!

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BECCIE0524 1/15/2012 7:30PM

    Have fun and enjoy your new bike.

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COLLINSCJ2009 1/15/2012 12:26AM

    You are going to have a great time with your grandmother.

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HELLODANAE 1/14/2012 10:13PM

    Have fun!!! enjoy what you CAN do and forget about what you can't emoticon

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LINDABENEDICT 1/14/2012 9:23PM

    Have fun !!! McDonalds, Panera and Starbucks all have free wi fi, but bet you are having too much fun to Spark much while you are visiting !

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MADAMES 1/14/2012 5:21PM

    Congratulations on your weight loss! Enjoy your visit! :) Evelyn

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JMCADE 1/14/2012 5:13PM

    Have a good time, and remember everything in moderation. I've seen that show and it is very good.

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HS1056 1/14/2012 5:11PM

  Have a super fantastic time, Brenda! I'm sure you'll find plenty of healthy options out in Cali. And a big WOOHOO for your weight loss this week! Have fun!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 1/14/2012 4:27PM

    I'm confused... This weekend or next? It's already Saturday! Have a great trip, we'll miss you!

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ANNIEONLI 1/14/2012 4:19PM

    enjoy your trip!!!! Have a good time!!

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PINKNFITCARLA 1/14/2012 2:55PM

    Enjoy your visit and glad you will have your bike soon!

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MOMFAN 1/14/2012 2:21PM

    Using the phone takes lots of patience, finally have learned out how to do it all on hubby's when we travel. Remember to enjoy San Francisco, I have lots of fond memories when we went down and celebrated dd turning 21 many years ago.

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KIM--POSSIBLE 1/14/2012 1:51PM

    Glad you are going to get your bike. Enjoy your time with your family! "See" you when you get back!

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HOPESINGH 1/14/2012 1:49PM

    Enjoy this visit!
by the way, this starfish team sounds so cool. I was too slow on trying to join so I missed it - I'll try next time, 'cause I'm jealous of those participating in the challenge.
Have a nice trip! emoticon

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    Congratulations on losing a pound this past week! Way to go.
Are you at all considering taking a laptop with you? SFO terminals have computer access and so, of course, does Starbucks. Are you staying at a hotel? If so, they might have internet access.
Have a wonderful and safe trip. I hope the rain holds off until you return. We watch S.F. news every night and they are expecting some rain.
Ruth's suggestion to have your grandmother tell you some stories from her past is a great idea. I hope you are enjoying your trip.

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RUTHXG 1/14/2012 1:17PM

    Have a wonderful time, Brenda! You know, if you just do a little walking on those SF hills, you'll get some trackable exercise.

I hope you & Amy & Anna have a really great visit with your grandma. Suggestion: see if she'll tell you some stories from her past that you can write down. Who knows how much longer she'll be around to tell them?

Much love to you. emoticon Oh, & huzzah on losing the pound!

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ERIKGN 1/14/2012 1:14PM

  What channel is it on?

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Why I Won't Order from Them EVER AGAIN

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I ordered from this website for the first time December 12, 2011. They sent the order to my old apartment. I left that apartment in March 2010. WHY would you pull an address from PayPal and not confirm the address during the checkout process?

So I schlepped to the old apartment and found the package, thank goodness. The CSR I spoke with gave me a $10 credit for my trouble. I decided to use that credit to order the exercise bike I wanted to replace my gym membership. I ordered it December 22.

On December 28, I called them, because there had been no change to my order status. I was told by a very nice lady that it would be shipped in a couple days. An hour later, a woman called me and said no, it would not be shipped in a couple days. It was out-of-stock and on back order, so the vendor couldn't ship it until January 16. Did I want to cancel?

I decided no. I did not want to cancel. Since they were batting zero with me insofar as I'd never gotten an order from them with no hiccups, I wanted to use my $10 credit and be done with them.

So, imagine my OUTRAGE when I received an email from them yesterday CANCELLING my order. I waited 2.5 weeks, and they CANCELLED my order just like that. THAT'S how they reward me for my PATIENCE? I called and spoke to an idiot woman, and she said that they were out-of-stock and the vendor can only keep an order on back order for so long, and after that, they have to cancel it. Which begs the question: WHY did they tell me they would ship it after January 16 if they couldn't keep the order that long?

The woman said, well, it's not even on the website anymore, because it's out-of-stock, and when it's back in stock, it will be back on the website.

"So then I can reorder it?" I asked sweetly.


"Well, that's not gonna happen!" Seriously? THAT'S her solution???

I then ordered my bike from for $3 less than at the other website, even WITH the stupid credit. And they gave me a time frame for shipment. 5-10 business days.

This is ridiculous.

Can I tell which website it was? I don't want to get in trouble with SP or have SP get in trouble with anyone, but I really want to say, so you're on notice if you ever order from them that your stuff may not arrive to your address or at all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HS1056 1/17/2012 3:18PM

  I order online and thankfully have never had such problems as you experienced. Thanks for letting us know which site to stay away from. Let us know how the bike works for ya. I am considering getting one myself.

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BECCIE0524 1/14/2012 7:52AM

    Sorry about the problems, but I hope you enjoy your new exercise bike!

Good luck on your weigh in!

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ANNASBF 1/13/2012 6:02PM

    oh wow! how awful. Sometimes it is so annoying when the phone person is saying things that just don't add up... and they don't even know it! Although you will probably be able to tell by this rant... I'm in a family business... brick and mortar... and we are always being "shopped" by customers who want to get educated and then they tell us they find it cheaper online... of course it is... and they buy it there! A real person who cares how you are treated who is going to go the extra steps to follow thru costs money to keep on staff (and I have staff members who have worked for me for 30 years... we are hanging on to EVERYONE despite the economic downturn, we have reduced hours and such... but everybody is still here and supporting their families!).... versus a nameless voice on the phone for a warehouse company who depends on your willingness to be abused for a price... and they know they are going to get you once at least.... but I have to pay people with knowledge and care to be there for you when you want to come in.... I'm taking a deep breath now.... please, shop locally if you can and maybe pay a little more for something when a smaller guy is not given the big discount price to buy the same goods as a Walmart, etc because we can't buy the volume. Shop the little guy... get treated like a human being!!!! Beatletot, I'm so sorry you were treated this way... it is just wrong! Grrr on them.

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AMYLONGHORN 1/13/2012 5:05PM

    I'm NEVER ordering from them...they were mean to my sister Brenda!!!!!

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DIGISCRAPPY 1/13/2012 11:56AM

    Ugh, I had a non-fitness company pull that kind of garbage with me. I had to email and email then post on their Facebook wall before I got a response, saying they were sorry and would get my order filled. Another couple of weeks went by and then I started emailing again. Finally, I got a note that they were out of stock and didn't know when my item would be available again (it was listed as available up until a few days before this) - so they were refunding me for the item. I wouldn't have minded the item being out of stock if they had just been straight with me and hadn't made me chase them.

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PINKNFITCARLA 1/12/2012 10:50PM

    Wow...sorry about all your problems. I hope you enjoy it from the new company when it arrives!

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GETSTRONGRRR 1/12/2012 9:58PM

    Terrible story....these days web-based companies ought to know that just a few bad reviews can lead to their downfall

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KIM--POSSIBLE 1/12/2012 7:39PM

    Wow, worry for your frustration! Glad you are going to be able to finally get your bike!

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BEATLETOT 1/12/2012 3:43PM

    It was

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L*I*T*A* 1/12/2012 3:34PM

    you have us all curious........

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 1/12/2012 1:33PM

    Yes, definitely tell us the website. You are allowed to let your SP friends know about this trouble! I think SP prob signs a contract with their sponsors saying they can't control what their users post in their blogs. so yes, tell us!

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SHRINKINGLULU 1/12/2012 1:25PM

    That sounds awful!! You better tell us, or how will we learn from your experiences?! I think the rules are just that you can't be promoting another site in a sales-pitchy type way, so since this is the opposite and just your personal experience I think it'd be okay...

Congrats on the new exercise bike though!

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RUTHXG 1/12/2012 11:39AM

    What a frustrating series of experiences with that company! I don't think it would be a problem to name the company here. You are not telling lies about the company, so no legal issues would be involved as far as I know. There are whole websites devoted to customer complaints against various online vendors . . .

A company that is in reorganization after bankruptcy tried to pull a fast one on me this fall. In October I (not knowing about the bankruptcy etc.) ordered several items on clearance & with an additional promotion from the company's e-mail flyer. Two of the items were out of stock & on backorder; I was shipped the rest. Two months later, I saw a $29+ charge from this company in my online bank activity; I was disturbed because each of the two backordered items was only $10+change, & the shipping would not have added $8-9 more. I spent long periods on hold waiting for their customer service to pick up, only to be disconnected. I also left an electronic message through their online system. No answer ever came. The package that arrived several days later was just one item, which should have totaled just $12.50 or so. The company had taken away the discounts altogether. The good thing was that I then took the documentation to my bank, which refunded the extra $16.50 & took up the dispute with the vendor.

The company was Chadwick's, a clothing vendor. Never buy from them!

I have bought numerous times from Overstock & found it to work quite well. One small item from a recent order, my stand-up desk, arrived broken. When I contact Overstock through its online customer-service chat, I did have some hassle explaining what part I needed, as this one didn't have a part number & was not named in the instructions. Compounding the problem, the first two people who chatted with me were apparently only authorized to paste in stock phrases from a list (I got suspicious that I was communicating with just a computer, but when I asked the guy assured me that he was a real person, heehee). But eventually I heard from a couple of other people who confirmed that the part was being sent & then made sure that it had arrived.

Amazon also satisfied me very fully after only part of a futon frame I ordered arrived. I ended up with a refund well exceeding what I paid + the return shipping.

I hope you end up LOVING the bike for which you have endured much hardship! emoticon


Comment edited on: 1/12/2012 11:52:47 AM

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JECKIE 1/12/2012 10:39AM

    Stuff like that makes me crazy. Ugh.

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HONBAD 1/12/2012 9:59AM

    I absolutely think you can say who the site was. That should be motivation to keep cutsomers happy. I haven't ever done it, but whenever I am handling customer service related stuff, I always ready to tell them how much bad word of mouth advertising I am prepared to give them. Luckily they make me happy before I have to make any threats :)

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LILBITWANNABE 1/12/2012 9:45AM

    Wow I'd be mad too! And I think if that company was worried about word of mouth advertising being good or bad, they should have conducted business better.
So glad you found the bike elsewhere so now you can actually look forward to getting it:)

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TAICHIDANCER 1/12/2012 9:22AM

    Tell us!

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STOP worrying

Friday, December 30, 2011

That's the beginning of my Bottom Line underneath a checklist of "small bites" I'm planning to take this year.

I'm sitting here, armed with my brand new FranklinCovey planner, plotting my road map to the five resolutions to which I'm committing for this year.

I didn't just focus on this year, though. I have an ultimate career goal that I have been dreaming about for years. Every now and then, I get a hankerin' for getting some work done on it, but then I wind up doing tedious research that may or may not help me and may or may not be relevant in ten years...which is probably a decent timeline for getting this accomplished.

So I wrote down the small bites for my easy ones first. Losing weight. Cleaning my house. Reading more. Stopping the smoking. Well, I guess they aren't easy, but they have much fewer "bites" than the big 10-year elephant. I'm considering another blog about these goals, because I don't want you all to think I've been on Spark so long and still haven't figured out that writing "Lose weight" isn't a sufficent plan for doing so. This isn't my first rodeo.

And I started writing down what I need to do with my old elephant. It's an enormous project, so part of the reason I get so bogged down is there is so much to do, and I don't know where to start and in what order to go. But I figured, start writing, then put them into the Covey planner, and I mean, there is so much, does the order of doing things in this year REALLY matter? Probably not.

Then, I noticed a theme in my list. A few snippets:

emoticon Order x from y.
Sub point: Suck it up and do it yo!

emoticon Talk to my contacts about my plans and straight up ask if they fit.

You get the idea.

Then, I saw the theme, and I wrote my bottom line:

Bottom Line: STOP worrying about people stealing your idea or putting you down! Make it happen!

I'm obviously still a little worried, since I'm not putting my idea out there in SparkLand to be searched out on the Interwebs and gestohlen. But I'm going to stop worrying about looking like a fool with a crazy plan, and I'm just going to suck it up and do these things that will make my plan make sense.

And it goes for the others as well. Stop worrying about looking like a fool. You can get so much more done if you don't.

And as a gesture to that end, if you want to know the idea, you can SparkMail me. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BECCIE0524 1/8/2012 9:13AM

    Just do what makes you happy!

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HAKAPES 1/6/2012 5:04PM

    I used a Covey planner 3 years ago, and I loved it!
My favourite part was the sharpen the saw - I saved so much time on the long term, and I still like to do it every week/every year.
How many roles do you have?

I think the idea part is the easy.
Implementing it, I find it hard.
Bill Gates is said to quote once: "Intellectual property, has the shelf life of a banana".

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    emoticonYou are awesome!

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REBECCATKD 1/2/2012 10:21PM

    You CAN do this!
In my school, we train our students to write down all the action steps needed to meet their goal and assign an amount of time and a deadline to it. Just a thought/see if it works for you!

Also, for your reading goal, I just finished The Submission by Amy Waldman. Excellent read!

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    You will do this !!!! I have faith in you ! Thanks for dropping your friend from Germany a line !

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LILBITWANNABE 12/31/2011 5:19PM

    Whatever your idea, if you think it's a good one...I bet others do too!! Go for it!!

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COLLINSCJ2009 12/31/2011 3:24PM

    Don't worry, be happy. emoticon

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HOPESINGH 12/31/2011 4:47AM

    Life in Academia... Sigh...
I so know what you're talking about. Having an idea, thinking it's so good everybody will steal it. Then thinking it's stupid. Then wishing you had someone to talk to about it and get some proportions.
Wish you lots of luck! emoticon

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 12/31/2011 2:28AM

    Omg intrigued!!!

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ACCEPTHECHLNGE 12/30/2011 11:32PM

    You are bright and committed. Now, I am curious....
DO IT! Get started and 'things' will fall into place.
Alles Gute in Deinem Unternehmen, und dem Planen fuer die Zukunft.
There is no room for doubt.
Guess who? emoticon

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RUTHXG 12/30/2011 11:13PM

    Yes. I'm glad you're going to eschew worry about how others will respond.

I'll PM you for the promised insight!


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MISSLISA1973 12/30/2011 11:10PM


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Thursday, December 29, 2011

I haven't been around much lately. I had the last several days off because my sister was in town. This meant too much eating and too little moving.

I'm also a little down because the stationary bike I bought is on back order till January 16. When I called to check on the order, they said it was all fine, then called back and said, oh, no, it's on back order. Do you want to cancel?

The next cheapest price is $32 more and should arrive a week to a week-and-a-half earlier. I'm not sure it's worth it. Plus, I have a $10 credit from this particular website because they sent a previous order to my old address (in spite of the fact that it was the first time I'd ordered from them...and I've been in this house for a year and a half!). They gave me the credit for the trouble of schlepping to the old apartment and looking for the package.

Well, after this, I won't be using this website again, so I figure this is my only chance to use the $10 credit.

At first, I thought, what a bummer that I can't work out as much as usual...I won't lose weight! But then today, I remembered the adage about weight loss being 80% about nutrition and 20% exercise. So I am pledging to stay in my ranges with more gusto than before at least until I get my bike.

And I'll keep working out, just not as much. I have a housemate/tenant, so when she's home, I don't want to be exercising, because it feels weird with her here to be rolling all over the floor. But I'll make the most of the time that she's not home.

Good to be back!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 12/31/2011 2:36AM

    Sucks about the bike! But that's a good plan... I would probably do the same thing!

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SEATTLESIMS 12/30/2011 1:48PM

    ugh, I know how you feel.. my sister was in town too!
AND, I've totally been thinking about that 80% nutrition 20% execise thought.. and as much as I hate to agree with it.. Well, I still don't BUT I'm going to give it a try! batten down the hatches on calories and nutrition this new year!
Welcome back!

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RUTHXG 12/30/2011 11:34AM

    I've had a visiting sister too, & too much eating / too little exercising all through the holidays. But that's OK--we'll have plenty of nonholidays to make amends. I think you'll figure out ways to continue exercising, even if it's not as rigorous as what you'll do once the bike has arrived. Like you, I prefer to exercise in private. Now that I have a housemate & winter is keeping me indoors more, I'm exercising with videos after she leaves for her early-morning job a couple of days a week, & doing strength training in another part of the house while she's home. But I'm not going to sacrifice my health on an altar of privacy--if I need to exercise & S is here, I'll just do it!

Yep, 80/20 has held true in my experience. What the exercise contributes (besides burning some immediate calories) is a heightened metabolic rate, which means we burn more calories the rest of the day too. But eating in one's calorie range is super-important. Go you!

Happy new year! emoticon

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HOPESINGH 12/30/2011 9:56AM

    Welcome back! Two weeks aren't such a long time, I'm sure you can do other sorts of workouts in the meantime. Hope you enjoyed your sister's company! And have a wonderful new year emoticon

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GETSTRONGRRR 12/30/2011 8:06AM

    Good attitude...keep it up.

You're absolutely right about the 80/20 rule. I keep telling myself that I can't work off a bad diet!

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HELLODANAE 12/30/2011 7:08AM

    my husband always told me about the 80/20 and did not like it but now that you mentioned I guess he is right. Glad you are back, I will eventually.


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L*I*T*A* 12/30/2011 1:10AM

    have you tried any of the sparkpeople video's???
when i can't get any other exercise in i usually do the chair one....
way to go with staying on track!!!
wishing you and yours all the blessings of 2012...
blessings and hugs...........lita

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