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We are all phenomenal!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Phenomenal Woman
by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.
Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

RIP precious mentor, teacher, author and so much more

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MONETRUBY 6/1/2014 8:44PM

    Oh, I loved this!

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FITNFUNJEN 6/1/2014 2:21PM

    Love!! She was phenomenal! We all are!

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CIPHER1971 5/31/2014 6:58PM

    that is phenomenal

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LADYOLIVER 5/31/2014 3:22PM

    emoticon emoticon for sharing.

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ZELLAZM 5/31/2014 2:31PM

    I think I'm going to start using that word more rolls off the tongue so nicely, especially in this poem. It's new to me...thanks for it!

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LINDA! 5/31/2014 11:12AM

    emoticon She was such a great writer and motivator.

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1CRAZYDOG 5/31/2014 9:45AM

    I love this, thank you!

✲ •。* ✰ ˛★* 。° ✲。* •★ *˚。*。✰
“You are the only one who can break away from bad thoughts and see the bright side of every situation.” Karen Noe
,。˚★˚ 。
★ *˚ ✰ 。* ✲˚。✰* ˚。✰ •* ˚ ✲。* ˚。

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NANCYPAT1 5/31/2014 9:29AM

    What a glorious soul left us mere mortals to go to her eternal reward - she WILL be missed - I love this poem and often have felt that it was written for ME . . . oh, and you, and you and you and all of us PHENOMENAL WOMEN.

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EVER-HOPEFUL 5/31/2014 9:07AM

    beautiful verse by a beautiful lady.thanks for shareing emoticon

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Are you treating every day like New Years Day?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

On another challenge I participate in The Daily Challenge as do a couple other Campers, this is today’s challenge -

Hold a 5-minute meeting with yourself to check in on your goals for the year.

How to do it

Take five minutes to check in with yourself on any goals you made at the beginning of this year. Have any setbacks made it harder for you to complete your goals? What's in store for the second half of the year? Use this time to look back on the first six months of 2014 and think ahead on what you hope to accomplish before the end of the year.

Why it matters

Financial experts recommend a mid-year check-up for your taxes, investments, and other money matters. You can take the same approach with your personal goals and expectations for the year. If there's something you want to achieve in 2014, you still have half the year to make it happen! A mid-year meeting is one way to ensure that when December rolls around, you can look back on the year and feel satisfied with what you've accomplished.

Back at the beginning of the year now nearly half gone, I posted this blog with a new to me idea and while I am still not meeting my goals regularly, this method does help me not just throw up my hands in despair and give up entirely.

We can start a year with certain plans, hopes, and dreams. But a year is a long time. In a year we could easily forget or lose motivation for what we started the year desiring in our hearts. Or perhaps we will end up needing something new. If I have learned any one thing it is that life changes.

Perhaps that is why I don’t choose to look at this year as one vast expanse of time ahead of me. Instead, I want nothing more than to be present for the day ahead. To have intention for my day ahead – determined by where I am now, what my heart desires now, what my body needs now, what those I love need now.

I think I have spent so many years trying to achieve, achieve, achieve. Yet I have seen that when we let go a little bit, take things as they come, remain present, and proceed bit by bit, it is then we fulfill our hopes and can watch things happen.

I don’t suggest having no goals or plans for this coming year. I have some myself. I still find it helpful to consider what you want to achieve and to set up the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-oriented) approach to them. What I encourage you to consider today, though, is to not get so caught up in the entire year and get so lost in the big vision that you forget about TODAY.

Have your goals and know the intention behind each. Is it your health? Your confidence? Your happiness in work? Your joy in relationships? Your passion for a certain activity or dream? Know the intention and then reflect each day on how you can live out that intention that day.

What if every day were like New Years Day? After all, January 1st 2014 is just another day. Just like the 364 to follow it. Treat them all with the same hope and sense of renewal. Give them all the same attention to intention. Then watch yourself soar.

What are some of your goals and the intentions behind them? How do you think approaching the year day by day can help you with your goals?

So go ahead and have a 5-minute meeting with yourself and assess where you are and where you want to soar!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITNFUNJEN 6/1/2014 2:14PM

    Great idea!! So true! I tend to re-evaluate monthly and quarterly as well.

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LADYOLIVER 5/31/2014 3:21PM

    emoticon Thanks for the reminder. I may need to break this down into a quarterly meeting with myself.

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LINDA! 5/30/2014 7:15PM


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CIPHER1971 5/29/2014 4:58PM

    Great idea, although I am not a great believer in New Year's resolutions, because as you say it is just another day

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EVER-HOPEFUL 5/29/2014 1:24PM


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SUSANSLIFE 5/29/2014 12:56PM

    Great ideas! We try to live one day at a time and we can assess how our separate days are adding up.

I gave up New Year's Resolutions many, many years ago, because I didn't want to fail over and over. Instead, I can do a mini-meeting with myself whenever I feel the urge, and I can look back on how I've progressed, period. No progress? Then that part of my life will be more on my mind, and by next meeting, maybe I'll see progress then.

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GARDENQE2 5/29/2014 11:45AM

    You still have a month before the year is half over!
Make the best of it!
emoticon emoticon

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GORIANA 5/29/2014 11:17AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 5/29/2014 9:35AM

    Sensible to say the least! Thanks for sharing.

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DOLLFACEDX 5/29/2014 9:26AM

    What a timely reminder - emoticon

I jumped on the GroundHog Day Resolution bandwagon....and promptly fell off!

I think my program requires yet another shake-up this month - a 5min mtg after my morning walk to organize myself before simply launching my day.

Dolly emoticon

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ZELLAZM 5/29/2014 7:57AM

    This is a good idea. I've hardly been able to come up for air since the beginning of the year and do NOT want the rest of the year to be like this. It's going to take more than a 5-minute meeting, though. Fortunately, I have a bit of time off from one of my jobs during the week ahead! Thanks for the good thoughts, Kat! Nice to see you blogging!

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A new kind of resolution. Happy Ground Hog Day Resolution! 2014 Kickoff

Sunday, February 02, 2014

A month has passed since some made their "NEW YEAR" resolutions. How did you do? Did you head into 2014 with a plan and it's already gone beside the way or are you living it?

I have been overindulging for decades in many ways.

Many have been over eating, over drinking, over spending, under exercising, generally engorging themselves on life with the idea that come January 1st they will put an immediate end to it all. They will do this by merely invoking their New Year’s resolutions.

You see, I have a big problem with resolutions. They are for the most part unattainable. By turning one page of the calendar you cannot break firmly engrained bad habits.

Realistically you cannot vow to start going to the gym five days a week when historically you have gone once or twice then stopped.

Little known fact, but makes total sense, more people sign up for gym memberships during the month of January than any other time. Of course they do, for a brief moment, they are following through on their well – meaning resolutions. But by the end of February most people who signed up stop going all together, another hunk show up once every few weeks. The rest are MIA by March.

The basis of the recovery movement is a day at a time. Each day we have the chance to examine and amend our behavior.

What works about this principle is if you slip up, it’s one day. You are not falling off a giant wagon that you have declared will carry you for 365 days.

As we all know bad habits, old habits, all habits are hard to break. They require daily vigilance and diligence if we want to change them.

And if you fall back into old ways, as we all do; if you take a piece or three of pizza when you have sworn off carbs. Or snuck a Marlboro Light when you promised to quit smoking; or if you took out that over used Visa for a purchase you vowed you would not make; well, you are merely human.

But human nature, being human what we tend to do is go, “Oh well, I’ve botched the whole thing up now” and what can be taken as a momentary, singular tear in a resolution (if we must use that word) becomes a direct pathway right back to the old habits.

The Visa remains in use. The one cigarette gets turned into a pack and then another, until you’re right back to a pack a day. The pizza is followed by dessert and well what the hell, I will start the diet next week. Which often turns into next year, which translates into never. The single day you missed working out, is suddenly four, then four weeks, then WTF – why bother?

The advantage of a day at a time is you just say, OK, I’m not ruining a year with this one incident. I’m not undoing my whole new lifestyle.

I’m not stacking the deck totally against personal progress. I’m making it doable.

Habits are easy to return to once they are habits, and that works both ways, good habits and bad habits. If you get in the habit of taking care of yourself, eating well, working out, not over spending, whatever your Achilles heel might be it will be much easier to return to it even if there is a slip up.

But you can realistically only create those habits if you take it a day at a time. If you set yourself up by saying, “I will never eat another carb until June.” Well, that is not possible. Not for me. I say I try not to eat too many carbs. That is as good as I can do. I know will eat them, but I don’t set myself up to fail. If I’ve had more on one day than normal, I say tomorrow I cut way back, maybe tomorrow I have none. The day after I will see what happens. And it’s the way I live my life. Some days are better than others. If I said December 31st, “I am totally off carbs”, and by January 2nd I was at IHOP, it would likely be another year before I made that declaration. I would probably spend too much time at IHOP.

So, yes, we are all about self-improvement. Yes, we are all about making the most of our lives. Yes, we are all about owning our flaws and life-limiting habits and trying to correct them, to make our lives and the lives of those we love that much better.

But we are also realistic. And we know to live that way mandates a day at a time approach.

We are grateful we wake up each morning, not just January 1st with a clean slate. Whatever has gone on the day before is history and we have a whole new 24 hours to start again. And once those 24 hours start building, they become days and weeks and months. And then it’s January 31st again and you are in a much better place than you were the year before. And it didn’t happen because you resolved to never do anything again, but because you made the choice to live your life one day at a time.

You trust you will do the right thing and if you don’t you are grateful every day is a new slate. Ipso facto - if you live in the moment every day is January 1st.

Check out this system and see what you think. David Seah came up with Ground Hog Day Resolutions.
Brilliant really. You could do yours as GHDRR if you find this today or VDRR if you read it later. ANY time really you can pick it up and introduce a set of goals revisited MONTHLY.

If you start TODAY it would be

February 2 GHDR #1

Each month you check-in equal to that month's number on the calendar...
To make things easy, I’ve made the check-in date for each month equal to that month’s number on the calendar. For example, in April, my VDR review day (VDRR) is on the 4th. In May, the 5th and so forth. Therefore, my schedule looks like this:

March 3 — GHDR #2
April 4 – GHDR #3
May 5 – GHDR #4
June 6 – GHDR #5
July 7 – GHDR #6
August 8 –GHDR #7
September 9 – GHDR #8
October 10 – GHDR #9
November 11 –GHDR #10 Veteran's Day
December 12 – GHDR #11 End of Year

When you finish up in December you devote the rest of the month to holiday celebrations. If holidays coincide with the days use them for themed reflection. I love the one for Tanabata that Dave Seah uses. It is a Japanese holiday when one makes wishes for self improvement, written on streamers and placed on trees.

Veteran's Day is a day of remembrance, and we give thanks for freedoms enjoyed due to the sacrifice of others and as Dave says, gives additional resolve to push to the end.

The point is that there are so many ways for us to set ourselves up for success and celebrate and savor ALL the moments of every day!

P.S. The sun isn't up yet so no clue what Phil will predict for us. Hoping for an early spring; how about you?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CASSIOEPIA 5/29/2014 9:06AM

    We think a lot alike!

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EVER-HOPEFUL 2/17/2014 12:36PM


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PREDEL 2/10/2014 5:41PM

    I LOVE this idea. It's so doable. Thanks for posting this, Kal. You are such an inspiration to us all! emoticon

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HERMIEME 2/5/2014 2:45AM

    Wow, this is AWESOME!!! I was gonna do Chinese New Years Resolutions but this sounds even better! I'm IN!! Thanks so much--if I make blogs I'll be sure to mention you sparked me. All HUGS, Emmy :))

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MONETRUBY 2/3/2014 11:22PM

    What a great concept! I'm too late for GHDR, but may just jump in anyway and see where it takes me.

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EDDYMEESE 2/2/2014 3:54PM

    I have taken this exact approach this time and I have to say that what I find that I've accomplished is a 5-pound loss but even more importantly, I don't feel like I've suffered or been deprived, I don't feel like I didn't do enough and I feel like I could continue doing this forever. I've historically been that person that wants to give it 110% and doesn't succeed and I'm kind of giving it 90% now and doing far better than when I was aiming for 110. So I totally get what you're saying and I believe in it!

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KCSMOM9 2/2/2014 1:32PM

    This is great! As someone who never kept resolutions I consciously decided not to start my weight loss journey until Feb. 2012, and here I am 2 years later 15 lbs. from goal. It has been a long process, and I have stalled along the way, but I have kept going. I know if I had said Jan. 1, 2012 "I am on a diet" I would still be the same old same old. Because I change my mindset about "resolutions" I am where I am right now. emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 2/2/2014 12:32PM

    Good plan!

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ZANNACHAN 2/2/2014 9:15AM

    The advantage of doing it every month is that holding onto resolutions for a month is a lot less daunting than a year.

For me, I tend to think of it as more like re-evaluating goals, which I typically do some time in January and then again around June. But it's never been an all or nothing kind of thing--just a course correction, if you will.

This year, though, I'm really struggling. A lot, with everything. I am just so tired, so stressed, I guess. But I'm not a quitter, so I'm not giving up.

And I would really, really really love an early spring!
*fingers crossed*

Comment edited on: 2/2/2014 9:16:29 AM

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ANNIETENNIS 2/2/2014 8:59AM

    Being a contrary type of person, I didn't even bother with New Year resolutions until February rolled around. I started my New Year yesterday.

Thanks for a wonderful blog and adding to my day.

May you have a fantastic day, and even more incredible week.

Annie T. emoticon

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CIPHER1971 2/2/2014 7:14AM

    2006 june 13th I decided not to smoke on that day, I rinsed and repeated on 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th........ I am still rinsing and repeating nearly 8 years later, although not conciously most days. I love this post, it sounds like a recipe for success to me.

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MARINEMAMA 2/2/2014 7:03AM

    Thanks for sharing this!

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BLC 24 Chronicle & Cruise Goals

Saturday, January 18, 2014

emoticon emoticon







Work out 5 times per week

Drink 8 glasses water a day

Choose to eat what is good for me

Remember what I am grateful for

Pay it forward



I am a work in progress and finding my way with balance and ME focus. I am too much of a perfectionist and have this deep seated need to “do it all”. TOTALLY not working. Something/s is/are going to have to give and THAT is very stressful.

I realize that most of these don’t seem to be related to weight loss but I have come to realize that weight loss isn’t what I really NEED to work on.

I really feel more and more sure that in order to find and hold onto that magical "click" I NEED to focus on things totally non scale related.

Meditate - I am making progress at being mindful and grateful.
Laugh - Laughter is a GREAT thing and I continue to strive to laugh more vs. being angry far too often about things I can't control. Adapt. Adjust and overcome.
Breathe - I am breathing but barely? I MUST find a way to accept those things I simply cannot change. LOTS of them.
Walk - YES! Getting cold outside and I won't enjoy it as much but the dogs always do!
Work out 5x a week - I’ve been on the injured/ill reserve list for too long. Last round I blew my streak and I mean a streak of many rounds. Too easy for me to slide and let it go more and more often and I NEED to get better and get MOVING.
Drink 8 glasses of water a day - YES!

Ummmm....I am eating mindfully but WAY too much. ;/ I did so well on a much more stringent Paleo but my routine has been a mess lately with little or no consideration for it quite honestly by my family members and as such I have taken to a bad food prep attitude. If they want to eat crap, why not. I buy pre-made from Costco and put it in front of them. Then if someone is in their room having a meltdown, I am SOMEWHAT less upset because I didn't spend hours in the kitchen. Not that I've had hours cuz I've been doing even more schlepping back and forth with cars to and from shops, appts. at school and counselors etc. AGAIN, life stuff we ALL have and I am no different. Maybe just older and more tired and handling it less well than the inspiration each and all of you give me when I see/hear how much you do every single day and with aplomb.
Balance - Constantly a work in progress but I am truly focusing more and more on what I can do to create more personal balance in my life and take care of ME!

There are a lot of things carrying over on a too long to do list. I have to find balance because I am becoming overwhelmed which is when I begin to avoid things. ;/ Do you just accept you cannot do it all and regroup? But they are things I have as personal goals and I am financially invested in (courses and such). Jen asks how I think my life would be different were I not Type A...perhaps less tense/stressed/overwhelmed and more open to being footloose and fancy free and saying "So what?" I do envy that in others.

I have some goals that keep getting shoved in the background for other things and I NEED to take my life back or have a life. TRYING but is that enough?

Remember what I am grateful for - Always....part of my morning ME time and reflections. and adding some inspiring reading and a gratitude journal to bedtime.
Pay It Forward - I try to do something to care and share and pay it forward every single day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENSHAINES 1/19/2014 8:05PM

    Kal - how do you do the laughter goal? I agree that laughter is SO important! One way I manage it is to see something (that is brief) that tends to make me laugh - I spend 20 minutes on it most days.

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ZANNACHAN 1/19/2014 1:40PM

    I struggle with finding balance as well.. and like you, I think the things I have the most problems with have more to deal with stress than weight loss, per se. But they are all related, aren't they? *hugs*

I love that one of your goals is to laugh more. Everyone needs to laugh. It really is the best medicine. And I think your meditation goal is a great one... I'm also working meditation back in because it really makes a big difference when you do it regularly.

I'm sorry that your family is not being more supportive. And if you learn the trick for how to provide quick, easy, healthy meals... I'm all ears. Because balancing home cooked, healthy meals against time limitations (for both of us).... isn't easy.

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MONETRUBY 1/18/2014 5:20PM

    So difficult to find that balance, isn't it? I struggle with that, which I'm sure I've mentioned before (just see my comment to your post below). It's quite a challenge, so it's why it will remain a work in progress for most of us, for pretty much the rest of our lives. It's so good that we have each other to lean on at times like this! It's oddly comforting to know that other people are struggling with this, too. Makes me feel not so alone.


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1CRAZYDOG 1/18/2014 2:02PM

    Yup . . . balance is the key, but so hard sometimes to find that balance and then maintain because life is not static.


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FUNGIRL81005 1/18/2014 11:25AM

    I thought of you this morning...I woke up at 7am this morning to drive across town and pickup a friend and drive her back across town for work. She usually rides the bus but the bus would not pick her up until 8 and she would not arrive until 10. She was due at work by 8 , but was going to call in late..... I am up and glad that I did something that I usually would not do. The morning is brighter...... Oh ya I also made her a snack pack of fresh pineapple and a natural flavored water drink. I can recall when I did not have much money that the first to go was fresh fruits and veggies......
Paying it Forward..... emoticon

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BELLSES 1/18/2014 9:53AM


These are good goals, and good realizations. Sometimes, something just has to slide, and you can try to pick what it is, but sometimes even that isn't possible. And you have to breathe, let it go, and try to pick it back up when you can. This is how my life has worked for many years. I can really only focus on one aspect of life in detail at a time. I'm amazed at people who appear to be able to do it all at once.


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CHOCOHOLIC2276 1/18/2014 9:29AM

    Your goals are reasonable my friend.

Balance? Ah....that too eludes me. At the end of the day we do what needed to get done that day and it became our priority. "WE"sometimes fall by the wayside. No time to work on our goals today, family, friends, work, etc took priority. Add up enough of these days where our needs and our goals were pushed to the side and you've got a problem.

I know you will find the way and I know you can do this! I've said it before you are the heart of Azure and many on the BLC:) We emoticon you Kal:)

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AWESOMECHELZ 1/18/2014 7:57AM

    When you wrote "I realize that most of these don’t seem to be related to weight loss but I have come to realize that weight loss isn’t what I really NEED to work on", I thought "YES, that's the KEY!".

Yes, we are here to lose weight but also get healthier and you are learning that there are all kinds of great goals we can set that are not about losing weight but ultimately, will take us that direction too. Thanks for sharing since it has helped me focus. Have a GREAT weekend! emoticon emoticon

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STONECOT 1/18/2014 7:54AM

    I am a lot more selfish than you Kal. I forced the various members of my family, young as they were to take responsibility for their own things, and when they didn't, shrugged and made them sort it out for themselves. You obviously care more than I ever did.

emoticon and good luck with your goals.

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ZELLAZM 1/18/2014 7:10AM

    Have a great new round! Recognizing that weight loss is just a visible aspect of the healthy lifestyle we all crave - something I need to remember, too. Thanks for sharing your goals and thoughts, Kal! Enjoy your day.

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GHOSTFLAMES 1/18/2014 6:57AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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In the end time is all we have and all that matters...

Friday, January 17, 2014

I have an assignment for a class I am taking in one of my challenge groups.

As I search for photos to upload as part of this assignment my recurring theme that resonates with me isn't about all that I am NOT getting done but rather this frenetic pace I keep trying to do it ALL having been touched by lessons that REALLY matter more to me than many others. Hear me now....every trite word...time waits for no one and MOMENTS matter more than a prim diary or planner or militant schedule. How many people can I touch? How many random or intentional acts of kindness or paying it forward can I accomplish in the time I have left? THAT is what matters to me my friends. In the end, we all have the same 24/7 to use as we wish and I hope and dream of touching and being there for MANY in my moments.

Wow, Mr. Richard G. Scott nailed it. I love this quote and couldn’t agree more. You have to start somewhere and baby steps are usually the best place. And with a devoted heart and a determined mind, you will slowly but surely develop the skill or habit to which you aspire . But persistence and tenacity are key – and like this quote above emphasizes, it’s all about consistency. Focusing on the big picture can be hard at times, but we have to remind ourselves every now and then to take a step back – it helps to overcome discouraging setbacks and keep our eye on the prize.

That's all....And at 57 if I am missing the point or failing, it's the moments that bring me joy.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 1/19/2014 10:39PM

    emoticon I couldn't agree more! I remember my dad telling me that the older you got, the faster time went. I am beginning to believe that he was right. We need to notice and experience our experiences. If we're not aware, they pass us right by. Life is nothing more than a series of experiences. . .one right after another. We need to slow down and remember that it's the journey that counts.

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MONETRUBY 1/18/2014 5:16PM

    Yes yes yes, it is baby steps! I, too, am guilty of trying to do it all, all at once. This never works (for obvious reasons), so I then feel as though I have failed. But it is really about consistently making that effort to do better, be better, just one act at a time. If I can only do one thing today, that is one more than if I did none at all. Brilliant!

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-COURT- 1/18/2014 4:38PM

    You also have a way with words. I like your thoughts on topics and jsut life in general. Makes me think. emoticon

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ZANNACHAN 1/18/2014 12:42AM

    Love this!

Time is something I constantly struggle with--I just don't have enough time to do all the things I want to do, all the things I need to do, and all the things I feel I should do. Important things constantly fall through the cracks as a result. And yet... no matter how I try to prioritize etc., I just don't have enough time. Or energy. Or both. emoticon So instead, I do the best I can, focus on baby steps when I can't accomplish bigger ones, and hope that it's enough.

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1CRAZYDOG 1/17/2014 9:10PM

    emoticon to the max!

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FUNGIRL81005 1/17/2014 6:36PM

    YOU make me smile!! emoticon

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LIVERIGHTNOW 1/17/2014 4:54PM

    I emoticon YOU, Kal!!!!!

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CIPHER1971 1/17/2014 4:52PM

    Love it - as I get older I look for experiences rather than things

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STONECOT 1/17/2014 4:25PM

    Love it!

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ERNOINACTION 1/17/2014 4:18PM

    Awesome blog and quotes! Thank you so much for sharing!

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