Monday, October 31, 2011
I did not write this blog, (but did insert the pictures) but it is so worth sharing. Credits given at the bottom of the page.
A few years ago, I was playing golf in Phoenix, Arizona. As I stood, ready to tee off at the first hole, a little prairie dog stuck his head up from a nearby hole, looked at me, and began to chatter madly. I was amused by this little creature and how seemingly unafraid he was of me.
As I stood taking a couple of warm up swings with my golf club, he continued his chattering. At that point I began to wonder what he was communicating to me. Was he criticizing my stance or swing? Was he telling me to leave his domain? Or was he doing what came naturally to him; making noises.
I realized that the little prairie dog is a lot like my chattering mind. There are times when my mind seems to go off in many directions, thinking about many things and worrying about others. Sometimes it is like that little animal that seemed insistent upon chattering mindlessly.
I recently played golf again and as I teed off at each hole, I would mentally talk myself through the proper stance and swing. As I withdrew my attention from everything around me and focused only on my mental routine, I found that my golf shots were longer, straighter, and higher than they had ever been. I can contribute part of this improvement to a new golf club, but only a small part of the enhancement. The greater improvement came from focusing and limiting my self-talk to instructions about what I wanted, and not what I didn't want. I was effectively in "the zone."
Being in "the zone" is a term that is used in sports to identify the experience described above. As I thought about this, it occurred to me that I am in the zone during other activities, such as writing. It is here that I must tune out all distractions quieting my chattering prairie dog, which is not as cute or entertaining as the real one. I realize that I can consciously choose to be in the zone during the times that I feel so mentally scattered and disorganized.
When I play golf, I make the decision to focus because I want good results from my efforts. I can choose to tune out the noisy chatter of inner and outer voices, and go to a place where I can program for a successful outcome.
There is an adage that I recall often, "where the focus goes, the energy flows." It seems to me that a lot of that powerful mental energy is lost when my focus is scattered. Each and every moment it is my choice which master I will serve; that of focus and control, or the one that is scattered to the winds. I think that I will focus on the first master. I get more distance and accuracy with it.
Affirmation for the Week:
"I am focused and in control of my inner chattering prairie dog."
Have a focused week!
Mary Rau-Foster, E-mail Mary
I echo Mary's sentiments. Have a great week everyone ~ Donna
Friday, October 28, 2011
My week started out and has slowly went down hill.
I have tracked all of my food
I have exercised 3 out of 5 days
I have even been Booed at work (something we do every October, all employees are 'booed' with a Halloween basket. Once booed you boo two other people. My basket consisted of a Woman's First Book, sugar free vanilla wafers, and a very small amount of other candy all low cal. I chose two people and gave them each 2 - 2 yr calenders (pocket and larger one), A zip lock bag full of a nut mixture I made up, 2 pieces of sugar free mints, 2 beef jerky treats, chap stick, aroma therapy candle and lotion)
The not so happy part of my week consisted of my beautiful dog (3-legged) has been having seizures. He has had 4 of them so far. He has been having them for about 5 years and it is very unusual for him to have so many in 3 days. This is devastating for me as I know each time he has those seizures I lose a small part of him. If it weren't for those he'd be in perfect health and gets a long fine even though he takes phenobarbital 60 mg 2x a day.
The love of my life Mike also recently found out he has not 1, not 2, but 3 new hernias. He had 2 surgeries last year, one giving him a stoma/colostomy bag (Feb 2010) and the other reattaching (Nov 10). He should not have 3 new ones so it's been a hectic week.
I'm a survivor. I always have been someone with broad shoulders that can carry the weight of the world or so it seems. This girl is getting tired though. Tired of all of the health issues of those around me that I love, tired of not losing any more weight though I put my heart and soul into it and track everything I eat down to the cap full of oil I use when making scrambled eggs.
Guess it's time to switch up my routine get away from this pity party I am having so I can become a groovy girl again...
Spark on my friends.... Donna
Thursday, October 27, 2011
It's not the fake fangs, spiders, or haunted houses that scare my friends most this time of year. Oh, no ó it's the pillowcases full of chocolate and candy corn! My advice: Never stock your house with your absolute favorite candy (you know who'll eat most of it), and keep these picks in mind when snagging a piece from your kid's trick-or-treat bag...
BEST CHOCOLATE MINIATURE
3 Musketeers Minis
(24 calories, less than 1g fat)
You'll save calories if you go for chocolates with light and airy insides instead of denser fillings.
WORST CHOCOLATE MINIATURE
(45 calories, 2g fat)
Mindlessly down a few of these and you might as well have eaten a whole bar. Whoops!
(50 calories, 0g fat for 10 pieces)
Most fruit-flavored hard candies have reasonable calorie counts. But tart ones take longer to eat!
WORST FRUITY CANDY
Starburst Fruit Chews
(204 calories, 4g fat for 10 pieces)
Chewy Starbursts are one of the only fruit candies that contain fat; each square has 20 calories.
BEST FULL-SIZE CANDY BAR
York Peppermint Pattie
(140 calories, 2.5g fat)
Light and airy filling means fewer calories; plus, intense mint and dark-chocolate flavors really satisfy.
WORST FULL-SIZE CANDY BAR
(280 calories, 14g fat)
Packed with peanuts? Yep, calories too. It's best to avoid treats with nuts and caramel.
BEST HALLOWEEN SPECIALTY CANDY
(16 calories, 0g fat)
Fluffy, sweet, and low-cal? Yes please! Six of these babies still come in under 100 calories.
WORST HALLOWEEN SPECIALTY CANDY
Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkin
(170 calories, 10g fat)
There's literally no higher-calorie combo than chocolate and PB.
OVERALL PICK OF THE SEASON
Tootsie Caramel Apple Pop
(60 calories, 0.5g fat)
Suckers generally last a long time ó meaning that by the time you finish them, you won't feel the need to go back for seconds...or thirds...or fourths. Tart, fruity, and fun, this pop is a true Hungry Girl favorite.
Article by Lisa Lillien
Have a great day everyone ~ Donna
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
12 ways to stick to your goals
Here are some things I do to ensure I stick to my goals:
1. Think about your goals all of the time. Wake up and think about them. Think about them drinking your coffee. Think about them driving. Print out your goals on a piece of paper and take them with you wherever you go. Whenever you have a spare minute, review them and mentally imagine them being successfully completed. Dream up just how good you want it to be and then follow through.
2. Make lists. One of the things I fill out every night is a plan for the next day which has blocks available for scheduling activities and contacts, along with the major objectives that I want to achieve. By filling it out the night before, it both clarifies the goal and programs your brain to think about it while you are sleeping. Once you wake up you will be ready to get into action immediately. This is a very helpful practice.
3. Journaling. Start to use a journal on a daily basis. And have specific things that you journal about, make it structured. Most people journal like ďWell I had a good day today and X Y and Z happened.Ē Itís better to journal in terms of your goals. Have a structure and stick to it. Ask yourself how well youíre doing on your goals, every day. Where in your time line to get your goal are you?
4. Routines. Get in a routine of doing personal development every day. Itís the most important part of your day. Personally I prefer very early in the morning (like 6am) but some people work also well at night. If you can do it at night and stick to it, then fine. Otherwise schedule it when you know youíll follow through.
5. Map out your goal completely and continue to map it out as you go. Review the goal constantly and update it. This is easy for guys who for example have a weight training schedule, youíre always moving up in how much you can handle. Itís continuous. Do that with all of your goals.
6. Time trials. Steve Pavlina recommends doing 30-day trials in which you adopt a behavior pattern for only 30 days. This is a great approach that represents chunking down and time blocking.
7. Organize as much as you can. Itís possible that itís just me, but I feel much more motivated when I know exactly where everything is and what is going to happen. To give you an idea, right now I have a stackable inbox in my office on 4 different shelves; I have a filing cabinet and an expandable folder. I use Appigoís ToDo app for my iPhone to schedule everything I need to do (Ēnext action itemsĒ) and I have a calendar on there of what I expect to have happen.
I also have a tickler file, a bunch of virtual documents, and different notebooks filled with information and things to remember about the most important subjects. My organizational system has developed over years of practice, so you donít have to start like I am all at once. Gradually build it up and get a workable system. Thatís what you want to develop.
8. Think long-term. Have a running list of the things you want to accomplish this week, this month, and this year. Most people only do daily planners, but how can you possibly make a plan for your day without knowing what you ultimately want to achieve? Make long-term goals and review them. Review your monthly goals once a week, and your weekly goals once a day. Make a routine out of it and you will be solid.
9. Clean off your desk constantly and consistently. I donít know about you but my desk is clean for about 30 minutes. Develop the habit of continuing to clean it. Before you leave the office or go to bed, clean off your tables and desks. When you return youíll be more inclined for productivity because you can work easier.
10. Put reminders of your goal everywhere. If you work at a computer, put a note on your computer monitor. If you have a bathroom, put your goals right where you can look at them when you have nothing else to do. Hold a copy of your goals with you at all times.
11. Use time blocking. If you hesitate even slightly about starting on a new project, give yourself only five minutes to start it. When you know that you will only have to work for five minutes in order to make some progress, it becomes much more likely that you will follow through. Itís important to train yourself to just get started on whatever it is. Ask the question, ďWhat is the very next physical or mental action that needs to happen on this for me to get completion?Ē
12. Take action. Your subconscious mind only believes what you put into action. Conscious mind chatter is going on all the time and while you might think that your thoughts are important, there is a part of you that only believes what you actually do. When you put your ideas into action, you make it much more likely that you will stick to them. Thereís a big difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it. If you arenít in action, you donít know it. You might understand it, but you donít know it.
In summary, use what works for you. Iíve found that sticking to your goals requires some discipline and stiff upper lip, but it also requires flexibility.
The main thing to remember is to persist through your hurdles and keep going even when you think itís not working and you are getting no external rewards. Most people quit when they are right of the doorstep of achieving their goals. Persistence in the face of adversity is the sign of a master. Being persistent yet flexible is not easy but it will teach you life lessons that are as important as the goal itself. If you follow my suggestions, youíll find that your goals are getting met faster and with more clarity.
On a last note.....There are still 2 months left of 2011....make them 2 months that will count. Is it realistic to set a goal of 5 or even 10 lbs to lose by the end of the year? I think so.....Have a great day Donna
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