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  FORUM:   Fitness, Vent Post, Info to Share & More!
TOPIC:   SPARKS' HEALTHY REFLECTIONS - THOUGHTS TO SHARE! 


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MOMMA48
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12/6/10 1:18 P

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emoticonAre you a good friend to yourself?

If you met yourself, would you want to stick around and talk? Are you the kind of person others can be proud of? Hopefully you are, because that's who will be with you for your entire life. Your values and beliefs create a pretty good picture of what you want to see in the mirror. To be proud of yourself, do everything you can to make real life look like that vision. Find people that have the qualities you want and learn from them. Becoming a person you like gives you the confidence that you're someone worth being friends with. There's also a flip side to the friendship coin--you also need to cut yourself as much slack as you do your friends. You have friends because you see the good in them, not the flaws. You like them the way they are, warts and all. You enjoy their company and root for them to be happy and do their best. Look at yourself the same way. To be a good friend to yourself, accept your blemishes, while still pushing yourself to reach your full potential. Don't harp on your weaknesses. Take another look in the mirror and be kinder this time.

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MOMMA48
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10/9/10 12:02 P

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Sparks Healthy Reflections!

emoticonJust Breathe!

Breathing is one of the most overlooked aspects of good health. Oxygen is fuel for the brain and the body. Good, clean air boosts your physical and mental performance and helps lower stress. Whatever goal you're working for, proper breathing will help you reach it.

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MOMMA48
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10/8/10 9:56 A

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Sparks Healthy Reflections!

emoticonDon't waste your energy on worrying!

Too many of us worry about things that we cannot change. Although worrying gives you something to focus on, there are more productive ways to spend your time. Instead of worrying about the things you cannot control, remind yourself that worrying doesn't bring change. If it is a situation that you can control, then there is no reason to worry! Find a solution and spend your energy fulfilling it. If nothing else, just talk to someone about your concerns. Getting them out in the open tends to help put your mind at ease.

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MOMMA48
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9/29/10 7:26 P

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emoticonSparks Healthy Reflectionemoticon

Never giving up!

Do you ever get frustrated because things are moving too slowly in your life? Many people don't realize that building a foundation for success does not happen overnight. It is a slow process in which you are constantly working and learning. After all, that foundation must remain strong, even in times of failure or crisis. This takes time! You may have to remind yourself that "failing" is only failure if you quit; otherwise it's a learning opportunity. So don't worry if your life seems to be moving in slow motion. Concentrate on building a solid foundation and learning from your back steps.

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MOMMA48
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9/25/10 12:08 P

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emoticonSparks Healthy Reflectionemoticon

emoticonSpeaking up with the tough questions!

Many people ask the wrong questions, which can hinder their work. That's why it is so important to ask the right questions--to get the right answers! Everyone fears looking stupid in front of other people. No one wants to ask a silly question and get laughed at. But not asking a question that needs an answer can have consequences that might be just as embarrassing or detrimental. If you're thinking about it, chances are that someone else is curious too. Your own fears can paralyze you, but deep down if the shoe were on the other foot, you probably wouldn't make fun of someone else for asking questions. Don't take the hard way and suffer through mistakes, speak up and clear up any confusion!

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MOMMA48
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9/19/10 11:12 A

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emoticonSparks’ Healthy Reflectionemoticon

emoticonThe sweetness of reflecting on a dream!

Setting goals is easy. The tough part is putting time and hard work into realizing those dreams. The energy you are willing to put forth to reach your dreams is directly related to the probability of achieving them. Above all, be patient with the situation and with yourself. Don't lose your way by being blinded by disappointment, frustrations, and failures. Ponder the goals in your life and the obstacles you might face. Make appropriate plans to overcome those roadblocks even before they occur. Think of the reward of reflecting on a goal you have reached, rather than one you failed to see through. Most big dreams involve big effort!

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MOMMA48
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9/18/10 9:42 A

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emoticonSparks’ Healthy Reflectionemoticon

Transmitting light through our actions!

Are you a candle or a mirror? Most people are somewhere in the middle. This quote reminds us of the importance of our actions. The example you set (as a mirror) is a way of sharing how you feel based on your behaviors. Gossiping, complaining, and being pessimistic show those in your life that you are unhappy and feeling low. The same is true for the opposite behaviors. Positive, affirming comments transmit to the world that you are happy, friendly, and optimistic. What is your mirror reflecting? Let your actions reflect your true beliefs and values.


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MOMMA48
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9/12/10 10:25 A

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emoticonSparks’ Healthy Reflectionemoticon

Are You a Good Friend!

Even if you aren't an antique lover, you can probably appreciate old things. The most worthwhile, long-term investment you can make is investing in relationships. A healthy, edifying friendship can have a huge impact on your well-being, character, and even your success. Old friends have seen us through celebrations, grief, births, graduations, marriages, and so much more. They love us for who we are--warts and all! Think about the most formative friendships in your life and consider writing a note of appreciation to each of your friends. Maybe there are some buddies that you need to reach out to because they have a need, or others you just need to reconnect with. Your gratitude shows them that they are cared for, which everyone needs to know.


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MOMMA48
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9/11/10 10:47 A

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emoticonSparks’ Healthy Reflectionemoticon

Flexible goal planning

Does change stress you out? Do you feel anxious not knowing what is around the corner in life? It is unreasonable to expect the world to adapt for you; rather you must change to fit the world. Life is without a doubt, unpredictable. While it is natural to desire stability and consistency, life simply doesn't work that way all of the time. People pass away, financial situations change, relationships end--all without our consultation! The best solution is to develop a sense of humor and flexibility. Continue to set long-term goals, but keep your options and means for achieving those goals adaptable, just in case life decides to throw a wrench in your plans.


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MOMMA48
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9/8/10 8:10 P

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emoticonSparks’ Healthy Reflectionemoticon

What kind of emotional atmosphere are you creating?

Positive people are almost always natural leaders and motivators. People gravitate towards them, just as they avoid individuals who continually mope or complain. Take a look at your own attitude. Is it one that others would want to emulate in their own lives? Instead of jumping to throw in a negative comment, try to think of something good to say instead. By no means hold in your feelings, but remember that no one likes to be surrounded by constant pessimism. Attitudes are contagious so fill your environment with happiness, enthusiasm, and optimism!


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MOMMA48
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9/6/10 9:26 A

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emoticonSparks’ Healthy Reflectionemoticon

Confidently seeking what you want most

Do you constantly feel overlooked for promotions or think that good fortune never seems to come your way? They say good things happen to good people, but have you considered that maybe good things happen to those who actively work for them? Life is not a series of random coincidences. Your lot in life is determined directly by the amount of effort you are willing to put towards the goals you want to achieve. If you want that raise, work hard and then approach your boss confidently. Many times a healthy level of assertiveness can go a long way in showing people what you're made of. Don't be afraid to let your inner hero outshine your more logical and reserved self. The return could be huge!


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MOMMA48
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9/5/10 1:15 P

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emoticonSparks’ Healthy Reflectionemoticon

How your body influences your emotions!

There is an undeniable link between feeling healthy and feeling happy. When was the last time you had the flu, a migraine, or heartburn and felt joyful at the same time? While many of us would agree that there is a relationship between our internal workings and our feelings of happiness, many of us don't take active steps toward living a healthy, positive life. How can we meet our goals when our body isn't feeling up to par? Tiredness, aches and pains, and feeling under the weather can all be big hindrances to our goals. It is very important that we nourish our bodies with adequate amounts of the right foods, condition ourselves to maintain and build strong bones and muscles, rest properly at night, and generally adhere to a healthy regimen if we expect to feel positive emotions.


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MOMMA48
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9/4/10 12:37 P

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emoticonSparks’ Healthy Reflectionemoticon

Winning victory against yourself!

No one likes to lose. The thrill of victory after competition is hard to match. But the wins that leave the most significant, long-term impressions are the ones where you win against yourself. Beating a friend in a game of hoops is much less meaningful than setting a personal best time while running. We live in a highly competitive world, and everything around us screams that we've got to be number one in order to feel successful. Truly though, the best measuring sticks are your past and your potential--not against someone else's standards. Raise the bar for yourself!


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MOMMA48
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8/29/10 8:53 A

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Is your life filled with anger?

When someone cuts you off while driving, or misses an appointment you made together, you probably get angry. Often our imaginations create internal situations and fantasies that perpetuate those feelings until you are boiling and ready to take it out on someone else. Truly though, we waste too much of our time and energy feeling negatively towards all sorts of things in our lives. When was the last time you went an entire day without feeling angry? Think about the times you most frequently feel those tense, frustrated feelings building up in you and examine the root. If the situation is unavoidable, you've got to force yourself to accept it and move past it. Maybe you need to sit down with a co-worker and talk to her about what is bothering you--instead of just letting her idiosyncrasies get under your skin each day. Perhaps you need to find an alternative route home to avoid the daily traffic jam that makes your blood boil. Your body and mind will thank you for the peace such moves provide in the end.


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MOMMA48
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8/22/10 12:33 P

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emoticonSparks Healthy Reflectionemoticon

The Power of a Positive Face!

Have you ever contemplated how much a smile can change a person's day? Both the person who smiles and the one who sees it are positively impacted by such a small act. This seemingly tiny reflex can perk up a bad attitude, make you seem more warm and inviting, and often pass some happiness on to others. So the next time your alarm goes off for your 5 a.m. run or your dog barks in the middle of the night, smile instead of grumbling. You'd be surprised how a positive face can in turn become a positive and motivational attitude!

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MOMMA48
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8/15/10 2:08 P

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emoticonSparks’ Healthy Reflectionemoticon

Struggling to find your voice!

In the face of conflict we might be tempted to just go with the flow and not make waves. The path of least resistance is saying "yes" when you want to say "no" and that road is always paved with regrets and mistakes. While compromise is good and a necessary part of healthy relationships, no one should have to fully deny their feelings and remain voiceless while others dominate a situation. It might feel easier to nod your head and passively agree, but in the long run you are being cheated. While there might be a whole list of justifications and excuses for stepping off the path of your principles, staying true to yourself reaps countless more rewards than selling out to appease someone else. Reconcile today the negative passivity you have displayed in the past.


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MOMMA48
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8/13/10 11:24 A

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emoticonSparks’ Healthy Reflectionemoticon

What leaps of faith are you willing to take?

Trying new things can give you a real zest for life. Pushing beyond your comfort zone in a responsible way helps you grow confidence and creativity that you can apply to your everyday life. Do not let fear control what you do (or don't) do? While taking risks can be scary, doing nothing is a big mistake, as it produces nothing fruitful within you. There is a direct relationship between the things that we achieve and the effort we put forth to obtain them. To reach the fruit, you have to climb the tree first!


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MOMMA48
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8/10/10 3:52 P

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emoticonSparks’ Healthy Reflectionemoticon

The positive cycle of forgiveness!

OK, be honest. Do you hold grudges? Do you allow old drama to determine your behavior? Is there someone you just can't seem to forgive? Grudges and a non-forgiving attitude do nothing but harm both parties. You might feel like you're "winning" by not letting someone off the hook, but you're only increasing your own worry and stress. Bitterness can lead to hate, which can sour a life. Today, write a letter explaining your point of view to the person you feel resentful towards. Clear the air; forgiving him. Even if you don't send it, it is an excellent way to relieve tension. Forgiving someone does not absolve them of the wrong that you experienced. It can simply free you to live a life that isn't anchored to the hurt and resentment of past events.


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MOMMA48
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8/6/10 11:27 A

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What Wealth Do You Possess!

There is a long-standing tradition for Buddhist monks to rise each morning very early and set out to collect alms bowls, and go out into their community to collect donations of food, usually merely rice or a simple curry. Surprisingly though, none of this food is eaten, as the monks are typically well-stocked at their monastery. Why? This age-old tradition is still in existence simply to allow the nearby townspeople to experience the joy of giving. Do you have resources or talent that you can use to help others? Hoarding what you have wastes opportunities and fails to leave a positive mark on the world. Whether you have money, talent, time, knowledge, or energy, each should be shared. No one is better off by keeping wealth--tangible or intangible--to himself or herself.


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MOMMA48
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8/3/10 6:47 P

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Small steps that lead us to achievement!

There are natural consequences that accompany every choice we make in life. Some opportunities inevitably pass us by, but we can take advantage of others. Many people feel powerless, but this is rarely the case--some opportunities just require a little thinking outside the box. Today, reflect on the doors you are opening in your world and which ones are closing. You have the power to create the life you want if you are willing to set goals and take steps toward them. Rarely does fulfilling our hopes and dreams happen overnight, but you can take one tiny move towards them each day.


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MOMMA48
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8/2/10 8:23 P

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Are you setting the pace for your health?

Exercise can be extremely uplifting! Marathon runners often talk about a "runner's high." Not only does working out help your physical body become stronger and more resilient, but it also has many pluses for your mind. Taking time out of your day to exercise gives you a chance to let go of your worries, calm your mind, and concentrate on one thing--which seems impossible to most moms! Running works for most people, as you can set the pace and distance to suit your skill level. Start slowly by doing a combination of stretching, walking, and light jogging. Then gradually work up to a routine that elevates your heart rate. Be careful not to start out too fast--it might lead to discouragement and muscle soreness that will make you never want to put on your running shoes again. Pretty soon you'll be able to intensify your workout to incorporate quicker paces and longer sessions. Endurance and setting a healthy pace are keys to long-term success.


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MOMMA48
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7/31/10 2:02 P

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emoticonSparks' Healthy Reflections!

Persevering through failure!

Of course try, try again, but when you don't succeed at something it's best not to beat yourself up or hold yourself to an unrealistic standard of achievement. Feeling as if you're a failure, simply for not reaching a goal, is not who you truly are. Do you think you're the only one who fails? Of course not! Most problems involve steps to their solution, and solving each step along the way IS an accomplishment. If you become discouraged during your weight loss journey or find your financial aspirations out of reach, keep trying! Some of life's most rewarding experiences make you sweat and persevere through hard times, only to emerge on the other side victorious and wiser for having worked so hard.


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MOMMA48
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7/30/10 9:19 A

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Speak up and take back control!

Many people feel uncomfortable being assertive, which often leads others to take advantage of them. Do you ever feel like you shouldn't say something because you might hurt someone's feelings? Does your spouse shirk their responsibilities around the house and expect you to pick up the slack? While it is important to serve others often, being someone's lackey is unhealthy and it's up to you to break that cycle. Kindly address situations where you think someone is taking advantage of your meekness. Being aggressive is a negative quality that people respond to with hostility. Making your voice heard maturely and positively is a trait that will take you far and build respect among your peers.


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7/26/10 7:08 P

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Storing up for the winters of life!

One of Aesop's most famous fables is about an encounter between a grasshopper and some ants. All summer long the ants had been toiling away, saving up grain for the long winter. All the while the grasshopper merrily--yet foolishly--squandered his time without a care in the world, without making any provisions for the cold season to come. When winter came, the grasshopper found himself starving and begged the ants for food. They replied, "If you were foolish enough to sing all the summer, you must dance supper-less to bed in the winter." While leisure time is important for rejuvenating an overworked mind, idleness is just a step away from foolishness. Think about the future that you deeply desire for yourself and your family. Chart and take wise steps towards it. There's nothing wrong with stopping to smell the roses, as long as you keep moving along the path.


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MOMMA48
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7/25/10 11:49 A

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What nature teaches us about silence!

Too often we speak before we think and do not listen nearly as much as would benefit us. Today, examine situations where you might learn something by listening instead of talking. Some people can be challenging to relate to--a nosy mother-in-law, overbearing boss or co-worker, or simply your child wanting your attention. Instead of justifying your feelings or explaining your point of view, use effective yet concise words and then wait for a reply. Good leaders are always marked by being good listeners. When a friend needs to talk, resist the urge to give advice right away and just listen. We have an obligation to tame our tongues and give people the courtesy of being an attentive and engaged listener. Wouldn't you want the same respect? Everyone deserves to be heard. Give that thoughtfulness to someone this week.


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MOMMA48
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7/4/10 9:51 A

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emoticonSparks' Healthy Reflections!

WHO IS STANDING IN YOUR WAY?

Imagine someone regularly tying small weights around your ankles as you try to climb a mountain. Doesn't sound fair, does it? But that's exactly what you can do to yourself, a little bit at a time, if you don't watch out. When you think of who and what is standing in the way of your dreams, it's easy to forget your own responsibility. Even the best of us can be guilty of unknowingly hurting our own progress. Procrastination, lateness, being disorganized, pessimism, not being honest with yourself, severe self-criticism, downplaying achievements, focusing only on weaknesses while ignoring strengths, keeping goals a secret, demanding perfection, giving up after a small setback--these are all ways you can make it tough to be (and do) your best. Smart systems, the right attitude, and a promise to keep going no matter what will make a world of difference.


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7/2/10 6:52 A

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emoticonSparks' Healthy Reflections!

Your smallest actions add up to something big!

Everything you do makes a difference. Even if you're not on the front lines leading the effort, you have a contribution to make. Without your contribution, no matter how small, so many other things would never happen. The world needs what you have to offer. You have no idea how the simplest of your everyday actions can effect your child, and even people you've never met. Chances are, you'll never know. But if you're looking for a purpose to work toward, all you need is the desire and the right perspective. Define yourself as your task, and that's all you'll ever be. Define yourself as your contribution to your family, and suddenly you're a very important part of a bigger picture. The biggest pictures are the ones where there's room for everyone to be seen.


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MOMMA48
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6/6/10 9:39 A

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Becoming the Person You Want to Be!

Take a look at your priorities and your goals. Where did they come from? Are they the products of soul-searching, self-analysis, and careful planning? Or are they a reaction to pressures from other people? Did you find them within yourself or within the pages of a magazine? The answers to these questions are important because they tell you if the person you're becoming is someone you want to be. Here's another way to look at a goal: do you want it, or do you just think you should want it? It's not easy to follow your own direction in life. But it's more possible than you may think. Question everything. Every priority in your life needs to justify why it's there. If you can't come up with a good reason that actually comes from YOU, maybe it doesn't belong.


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6/5/10 9:40 A

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emoticonSparks' Healthy Reflections!

Do you see possibilities or problems?

It's been said that some of the smartest people around would make lousy entrepreneurs. How can that be? The fact is, some people are so smart they can easily see all of the problems, roadblocks, and snafus that they'll need to overcome to succeed. They can think of all kinds of reasons why their idea won't work. This knowledge can overwhelm any thoughts of possibilities or dreams. When you think of your goals, do you focus on the positives of making it happen, or the negatives of potential barriers? To reach your goals, you gotta really want them. More importantly, you gotta really believe that you can do it. Think more about why you CAN make it happen instead of why you can't. No more excuses.

**I think I'm more of a "possibilities" sort of person! Problems can be solved -- but to look forward positively is the key!

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5/26/10 11:09 A

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Are you paying attention to your health?

If you want to be around to enjoy your growing family, it's never too late to start taking care of your body. Whether or not "skillfullest" is a word, Thomas knows the value of prevention versus treatment. You have a better chance of survival by using the doctor that keeps you out of the hospital in the first place. Why wait for symptoms to show up before you start paying attention? By then, it may be too late. Remember the major goals and the people that you're living for. Are you really willing to risk missing out because you didn't take precautions? You'd be amazed at how some basic, simple everyday nutrition and fitness choices and actions make a big difference in staying on your feet. Injuries and disease are a steep price to pay when many can easily be avoided.


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5/25/10 12:00 P

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Are you creating your own life?

Take a moment to look at the circumstances of your world. Is it what you want to see? What could you do differently to take one step closer to your ideal vision? We're all dealt different hands in life. That's how things are. To change things, you have to first accept that fact, then figure out where to go from here. We should all be able to count on each other for help, but in the end, we can't expect anyone to change our lives except ourselves. Nor should we want it that way. It's natural to feel powerless and give up in the face of hardships, but complaining and blaming do nothing except prevent action. Without positive action, you're giving up your power and asking for more of the same--a world you did not create. Where you start may not be your fault, but the course you run is still your choosing.


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5/24/10 10:23 A

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Investing time and energy in others!

People usually talk of "spending" energy and time on others as if once it's used, it's gone. In reality, that effort is a powerful investment because you'll get more in return. When a match lights a candle, the match's flame doesn't shrink--if anything, it grows. In the same way, you'll be even more inspired and successful by building others up. The bonus is that they'll also be better equipped to return the favor. Take action today to make someone's life a little better. Come up with just one nice thing to do for each of the important people in your life, one little thing that can make all the difference. After all, what good does it do to improve your health or your life if you're not going to do anything with it?


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5/23/10 11:34 A

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Everyone can teach you something!

Possible mentors and teachers can be found everywhere and anywhere. Everyone you've met today has something they could teach you--a skill, a bit of wisdom, or a personal secret to success. All you have to do is look for it and ask plenty of questions. Most of all, respect the fact that each person has something of value to offer. If you can't find one "feather" to pluck from someone, you're not looking hard enough. Yet, in the end, you still have to think for yourself. It's still your job to take the knowledge you gain and turn it into your own value system for solid decision-making. It's still up to you to use your skills to carve a unique path in the world. So when night comes, those feathers can make a nice soft pillow that lets you rest your head in peace.


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5/22/10 9:41 A

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Believing in yourself no matter what!

On July 24, 2004, there was a 0% chance of rain in Cincinnati. No way was it going to rain, according to the people who should know best. You know what? Despite millions of dollars worth of sensors, computers, and forecasting systems, the weather experts were wrong. It rained, against all odds. This is not a criticism of weather people. It's just a reminder of all the people who were given 0% chance of making it by the "experts," but who succeeded anyway. Whenever accomplishments are on the line, there are always voices whispering, preaching--even shouting--that it can't be done. Sometimes, that voice is coming from inside our own heads. If you're having doubts about your abilities, just remember: How many times have the naysayers been proven wrong? No matter what anyone says--no matter what you might believe--it can be done. The nut can become a tree. There's always a chance of rain.


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5/16/10 10:33 A

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OVERCOMING OBSTACLES ONE AT A TIME!

Your goals may not come easy. There is no accomplishment without work, and no "win" without something to beat. It's easy to get discouraged when roadblocks appear--in fact, it's only natural. You've invested time and emotion into creating the perfect plan, and then something has to come along and muck it all up. Sometimes, though, all you have to do to beat that barrier is to get back up and move forward again. Obstacles are like the Wizard behind the curtain--they're a lot less intimidating once you see them up close. Next time you take a step back, don't let guilt pile it on top of your previous "stumbles." Just take two steps forward and you're still farther along than you were before. It doesn't matter how many walls you face. You only have to get the better of that last one.


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5/14/10 10:40 A

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Gaining the energy to face the day!

Every day you have the choice to be a hero or to take the easy way out. Sounds like an easy decision. After all, who wants to let their goals down? The thing is, courage takes energy. To step up to the plate, you first need the strength to carry the bat. Sleep has far reaching effects on your mood and outlook, in ways you may not even realize. Success starts with a belief that it can happen. Sleep debt can kill that optimism faster than an iceberg can sink a ship. It can also make you more vulnerable to the low-down blues that ruin productivity. Most of all, sleep debt crashes your energy level into a wall. Who feels like staring down a challenge when you can't even keep your eyes open?


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5/2/10 11:40 A

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What do you take a stand for?

Courage comes in many forms. In Hollywood, courage involves evildoers and daring deeds. In real life, rescue workers, police, and the military have the courage to lie their lives on the line for someone else or a cause. Even for those of us who live life on a much smaller stage, courage is no less important. The world and the future can be scary. Fear of failure, fear of change, and fear of taking a chance can be enough to keep us in bed all day if we let them. Do you live bravely or do you often look for the easy way out? Next time you're faced with two choices, choose the bolder. As this becomes more natural, you can be sure that you'll do the right thing when called upon. Stand up for your values. Stand up for your goals. Stand.

**I believe I “stand” for my beliefs and I always follow my heart! If something is directed unjustly toward me, I’ve learn to do just that – “stand” and be happy with who I am!


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4/30/10 8:01 A

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Are You Neglecting Your Body?

If you crave chocolate as much as Aunt Marge does, you know that nothing else could possibly come first. Her tastes aside, food can actually be more of a foundation than a passion. To have an enriching & healthy life, fitness is a must. Good eating can be part of that fitness springboard that makes bigger things possible. The next months and years are filled with hard work that takes energy and action. If you're starving your body, depriving it of what it needs, you're handicapping yourself in the race for your dreams. And if you're filling it with garbage, don't expect much in return. This all may seem obvious, but too many people sabotage themselves by ignoring that simple fact. For so long, we've been hearing so many bad things about different foods, it's almost as if food is our enemy, one that can kill us or ruin our lives. Truth is, food--good food--is the thing that makes everything else possible.


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4/27/10 8:10 A

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Learn From Someone Who's Been There

You can learn a lot from someone who's been sniffing his/her way around the neighborhood for a while. "Experienced" individuals have unique skills and knowledge that come from years of experience. These talents are usually unappreciated and, in many cases, undiscovered. But others can make great teachers, ideal sounding boards, or valuable mentors. They can tell you where potential trouble spots are, how to score extra treats, and who's most likely to scratch you behind your ears. If you're a young pup still learning your way through the world (as we all are), you can use all the wisdom and street smarts you can get. Instead of baying at the moon, try keeping your ears open for older dogs.


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4/24/10 8:48 A

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Appreciation of the Good Things in Life

How many times are we blind to the good in front of us because we're looking past it for something better? It's like watching the railroad track your entire life, waiting for a train to come in and never realizing that you're sitting smack in the middle of the splendid Grand Central Station. Take a second look at your goals. Are they building on the good already in your life? Are you taking full advantage of the strengths you already have? Is it worth giving up what you have for what you might have? In many cases, the answer is yes. To that we say "Go for it!" with all the enthusiasm we can muster. Those are the meaningful goals. If the answer is no, try reworking your goals to include ones that complement your present life rather than substitute for it. Whatever the answer is for you, we could all use a little more appreciation for the pieces of silver in our lives.


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4/22/10 7:54 A

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emoticonSparks' Healthy Reflections!

How Well do You Roll with the Punches?

Change is the natural order of the world. When something tries to stand against the force of change, it's eventually destroyed. Cliffs are eroded, trees are uprooted, granite cracks. People can crack too. For us to grow and live--to flourish--it takes adaptation and learning. Stubborn attachment to a single set of "knowledge" or way of doing things leads to stagnation of the mind and spirit. Remember to keep an open mind to new people and new ideas. Challenge yourself to always be learning something new. Focus on the possibilities of a fresh start, instead of hanging on to old frustrations. Sails are made with cloth for a reason. When they're stiff, winds beat against them until they tear. But if the sails are relaxed and workable, the wind can take you to places you've never been before.


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4/21/10 7:27 A

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Living a Meaningful Life

Looking for meaning? Having trouble figuring out how to make a difference? The answer may be closer and simpler than you think. Ask yourself: If I were gone tomorrow, what will I be most proud of having left behind? The answer will be different for each of us, but it may tell you something about why you're here. Your answer can be as involved as a foundation you helped start, or as simple as a favorite picture that you took. Something will be here when you're gone. What would you like it to be? What one thing would tell the world what you were all about? Maybe it's your child. Maybe you're already working on something that could turn into one of your greatest accomplishments. If so, give it your all. The more of yourself that goes into it now, the more people will be able to see you later on.


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4/20/10 7:14 A

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Taking Responsibility for Your Success

We all need support from other people. Love, encouragement, words of advice and friendship will help you get through the important stages in your life. When people are in your corner, you feel like taking on any challenge. As important as help from others may be, though, it all has to start with you. If you're waiting for someone to solve your problems, or wondering when someone is "going to do something about that," you may be waiting a long time--unless you look to yourself first. Take responsibility for your own situation and think of what concrete steps you'll take today to help it. If you're going to need help, it's only fair that the person with the most at stake (you) is willing to make the most effort. When someone is pulling you out of a hole and has grasped your hand, you still must take the first step to climb out, or you're just going to be hanging there.


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4/19/10 7:54 A

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Giving It Your All

If you can do your best and forget your worst, you've already got a head start on tomorrow. As long as you lay it out there every day, you can relax when yesterday is behind you. Of course, the only way this will happen is if you give yourself permission to forget. You can use this approach in anything: Pick up a problem, do what you can with it, and then put it down. Work your tail off at the office, then leave it there (the work, not your tail). Deal with a personal crisis by finishing off one day at a time. There's a great deal of satisfaction in leaving things be for a moment. There's a great deal of freedom in knowing that you could do no more. And there's a great deal of success awaiting the person who gives it her all, no matter what.


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MOMMA48
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4/18/10 11:39 A

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Surrounding Yourself with the Right People

It's easy to recognize a perfect candidate for your support team. Just look for someone who has a way of making everyone else around them better: someone who succeeds by developing other people and letting them in on the fun; someone who is genuinely happy when other people succeed. That's the person you want on your side. The pages of history are heavy with tales of the misguided who were proven wrong while insisting something couldn't be done. Why put up with that? Believe in your goals enough to know that you shouldn't stomach people who don't. It's okay if you're the only one who believes in your dream. But someone who truly believes in YOU should help you believe that if anyone can do it, you can.


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4/17/10 1:32 A

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emoticonSparks' Healthy Reflections!

How Do You React to Setbacks?

When problems come up, how do you react? Do you look for blame, or do shoulder what you can and try to repair it? Do you throw up your hands and look for an easier way, or do you learn, adapt and keep pushing? There's a lot of talk nowadays about 'personal responsibility'. That's great. But it's usually brought up only in finding fault. It's true that to show 'responsibility' is to own up to your role in the problem's cause. We don't often hear about the other side of responsibility--an obligation to be part of the solution. Even when a hardship is not your fault at all, you can--and should--do what you can to fix it. Your skills and abilities create an obligation that only your character can fulfill.


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4/16/10 8:20 A

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emoticonSparks' Healthy Reflections!

Where Luck Comes From

It's interesting. Successful people generally believe they made their own breaks. Meanwhile, the unsuccessful types tend to think that success is more found than earned--that fortune smiles on some and sneers at others. The truth is somewhere in between. With hard work, more doors open, more opportunities come by. Which opportunities show up can be a matter of chance. If your mom's not Naomi Judd, you may never get the chance to sing in Nashville. But whatever "happens by," you still have to be ready and willing to take advantage of it. It's really a matter of confidence and preparation. Belief in yourself will help you rely less on luck and more in your abilities. And a strong foundation will give you the power to bust that door down when opportunity comes knocking. You, too, can be lucky. You just have to work at it.


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MOMMA48
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4/15/10 7:38 A

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emoticonSparks' Healthy Reflections!
(I think this one is a repeat but Sparks is passing this one along to us today!)

Are You Giving Your Goals Your Best Effort?

Your dreams deserve better than a half-hearted effort. Meet your goals with a weak handshake and they'll soon be waving you goodbye. Since you probably don't want to look back on a life full of "almost made it" memories, it's time for total commitment. Leave it all on the field, don't hold anything back. Is there anything more satisfying than pouring out your entire being, straddling the cliff, reaching your total limit, then looking up and realizing that oh-my-gosh-I-can't-believe-I-really did it! And is there anything more tragic than failing and realizing you could have done more? If you feel "tuned out" of your current life, that's okay. Make your first goal to build a life that you can get "in"-to. Then don't look back. Make every day count and live purposefully, live energetically, live completely.


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MOMMA48
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4/14/10 7:28 P

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Living Within Today

Sometimes it seems like we're always putting off our goals until some vague time in the future called "Once". "Once the New Year rolls around...", "Once I have my new job...", "Once I retire...", "Once the kids are in school...", "Once the kids are OUT of school..." Sound familiar? By waiting for Once to get here, we waste time and frustrate our desire to do what we really want. It's a fact of life that every time one potential distraction disappears, it's quickly replaced with a new one. There will always be something that can stand in your way - if you let it. Ask yourself: are these distractions real reasons, or just good excuses for putting something off? Goals cannot be started in the future. The laws of time and nature dictate that you can only act in the present. You are here, today. So are your goals. The only good time to start is right now.


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4/13/10 7:16 A

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Who Can Help You Reach Your Goals?

It's true. You're surrounded by people who want nothing more than to see you succeed and fulfill your dreams. They're out there watching as you go after your goals, hoping you make the right decisions, silently cheering each victory, wincing at each setback. Some of them may even want to join you on the journey to a particular goal. The kicker is that you don't know for sure where the source of this help may come from. It could be your spouse, a cousin, your dentist--even your mom. The only way to bring help out of the shadows is by talking. Tell people about your goals, and why they're important to you. Let them see your enthusiasm, and ask them to help keep you motivated and accountable (while you do the same for them). Get a goal buddy or a personal coach. You're in the midst of well-wishers. Find out who they are and become part of the conspiracy.


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MOMMA48
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4/12/10 7:18 A

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emoticonSparks' Healthy Reflections!

Give Your Body Quality Fuel

Whenever you get in the car, what's the first thing you do before leaving the driveway? You check your fuel level. Whether you're just going to the corner store or to the four corners of the Earth, you always check it. Every journey needs the right type and right amount of fuel. Your health journey is no exception. To avoid sputtering, stalling and poor performance, make sure your body has what it needs to make the trip. Energy comes from whole grains and other natural foods. Try to have plenty of both on reserve and within easy reach. And avoid putting sugar in your "gas tank." Drive on!


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MOMMA48
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4/11/10 9:34 A

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Are You Giving Your Goals Your Best Effort?

Your dreams deserve better than a half-hearted effort. Meet your goals with a weak handshake and they'll soon be waving you goodbye. Since you probably don't want to look back on a life full of "almost made it" memories, it's time for total commitment. Leave it all on the field, don't hold anything back. Is there anything more satisfying than pouring out your entire being, straddling the cliff, reaching your total limit, then looking up and realizing that oh my gosh - I can't believe I really did it? And is there anything more tragic than failing and realizing you could have done more? If you feel "tuned out" of your current life, that's okay. Make your first goal to build a life that you can get "in"-to. Then don't look back. Make every day count and live purposefully, live energetically, live completely.

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MOMMA48
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4/10/10 7:48 A

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emoticonSparks' Healthy Reflections!

Lighting fires in the cold!

It is very easy to complain about the state of the world and point fingers, especially when you're having a bad day. What is not so easy--and yet desperately needed at times--is for people to step up and make a difference. Don't be intimidated by others, wallow in your own negative feelings, or sit back and assume someone will do it when you are capable yourself! Relating to others around you isn't always easy, but lending a helping hand, extending a hand in friendship, or expressing a word of encouragement can make a big difference to someone. The fate of many has been changed by the actions of just one person who has grown tired of "how it's always been done" and instead turns and does something more positive. The world does not demand of you to give your entire life, but we can all be instruments of positive change. What can you do to make this world better?


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4/8/10 7:10 A

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Are you your own obstacle?

Are you trying to stick to a fitness plan, improve a relationship, eliminate fast food from your diet, or be a better parent? Whatever your goal, was there a time when you thought you couldn't do it? This is a natural reaction when things get tough. It's easier to find ways to justify your actions than to get over the hurdle. This week, eliminate the hurdles and barriers you've created. If you find yourself saying, "I can't" or "I don't have time," then re-analyze your goal. If you really want to achieve it, then make the time or take a different approach (get up earlier, stay organized, learn the skills). Find time for you and your goals.



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4/7/10 7:11 A

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emoticonSparks' Healthy Reflections!

Just Breathe

Breathing is one of the most overlooked aspects of good health. Oxygen is fuel for the brain and the body. Good, clean air boosts your physical and mental performance and helps lower stress. Whatever goal you're working for, proper breathing will help you reach it.



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4/5/10 7:31 A

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There's more to healthy than just not having a fever!

Are you healthy? This may seem like a simple question, but it's more complicated than that. If an outside observer were to look at your daily actions, thoughts and behaviors, would she think you're a healthy person, one who eats nutritious meals, breathes correctly, gets enough sleep, and cares for his body? These are simple things that we take for granted, but they have major impacts on your health. Do you make time to maintain good health? If you do, then you're on the right track--continuous improvement should be your goal. If you don't make health a priority, start TODAY! There's no time like the present to build your foundation of a healthy future.

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4/4/10 10:25 A

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Own all of your choices

The choices you make today will determine the path that your life will take. When you sit back and look at the decisions you've made in your life, are you happy with the route you've paved? If you're not, make a change today. The next time you make a choice, ask yourself if this decision will lead you to the path you want to travel along. Set some new goals that will lead you to your dreams and then plan your course.


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4/3/10 8:30 A

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Expressing everyday gratitude

How often do you remember the people that have made little things possible for you? It's easy to take our privileges for granted. Today, be more aware of your surroundings--everything from your shirt, house, food, and car--and who has made them possible for you. Who has made it possible for you to experience such wonderful things? One way to let someone know that you truly appreciate their efforts is to send them a quick note or return the kindness in your own way.


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4/2/10 10:32 A

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Who do you compete against?

Do you hold yourself to the standards of others, wishing you could be better than the next guy? Maybe it motivates you, but an even better method is trying to be better than yourself. How about pushing yourself each day to eat better or to walk longer after dinner? Goal setting is a great way to compete against yourself. You select the end result that you want and then it's up to you--and only you--to work for those goals. You'll be pushing yourself toward greatness, not creating unnecessary competition against others who can't compare to you.


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4/1/10 7:40 A

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Schedule a personal tune-up

Proper nutrition is part of the foundation of a healthy life. Your car needs the right amount of gas and periodic tune-ups to make it run smoothly and prevent future problems. Your body needs healthy food and periodic check-ups too. Make a goal to start treating your body the right way. Take care of yourself. Eat the right foods and make sure to visit your doctor regularly. If you start maintaining and tracking your progress, you will probably see dramatic positive results in the way your body runs.


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3/29/10 7:21 A

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Taking care of what matters most

Your body is one of the most fragile things you need to care for. All too often we allow sickness, stress, and even other people run our lives. It's tough to consistently pursue your goals when you're laid up or constantly fighting illness. Take a preventive approach to your health. By eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, and dealing with your emotions, you can build and maintain a healthy body that can help you improve other areas of your life


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MOMMA48
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3/28/10 12:56 A

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emoticonSparks' Healthy Reflections!

Never giving up!

Do you ever get frustrated because things are moving too slowly in your life? Many people don't realize that building a foundation for success does not happen overnight. It is a slow process in which you are constantly working and learning. After all, that foundation must remain strong, even in times of failure or crisis. This takes time! You may have to remind yourself that "failing" is only failure if you quit; otherwise it's a learning opportunity. So don't worry if your life seems to be moving in slow motion. Concentrate on building a solid foundation and learning from your back steps.

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MOMMA48
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3/23/10 6:54 P

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March 23rd!

What we can learn from our path to the present!

Often in moments of discouragement or depression, it's easy to feel that your life is going nowhere or that change is impossible. But it's simply not true! Take a minute to think back over your life. Chances are, you'll see a lot of growth in all of your formative areas. From childish playing, to youthful impulsiveness and adult reasoning, life sure has taken you on a rollercoaster hasn't it? When you were young, someone probably asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up. If someone posed that same question to you now, what would you say? Let this reflection be an indicator of your dreams.

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MOMMA48
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3/12/10 2:33 P

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emoticonSparks' Healthy Reflections!

Setting a plan in motion

Short of winning the lottery, the idea of coming into wealth or power overnight is nearly impossible. Not that it is impossible to be successful, but it involves a lot of hard work, time, overcoming of obstacles, and dedication to achieve. You can't expect success to just fall into your lap. Often, you have to pour time and tears into reaching it. Set your goals, formulate a plan for getting from point A to point B (and C, D, E and F), and go for it! Let your perseverance and drive be the foundation for achievement.



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MOMMA48
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3/10/10 6:55 P

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emoticonSparks' Healthy Reflections!

Flexible goal planning

Does change stress you out? Do you feel anxious not knowing what is around the corner in life? It is unreasonable to expect the world to adapt for you; rather you must change to fit the world. Life is without a doubt, unpredictable. While it is natural to desire stability and consistency, life simply doesn't work that way all of the time. People pass away, financial situations change, relationships end--all without our consultation! The best solution is to develop a sense of humor and flexibility. Continue to set long-term goals, but keep your options and means for achieving those goals adaptable, just in case life decides to throw a wrench in your plans.

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MOMMA48
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3/7/10 11:01 A

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emoticonSparks' Healthy Reflections!

What kind of emotional atmosphere are you creating?

Positive people are almost always natural leaders and motivators. People gravitate towards them, just as they avoid individuals who continually mope or complain. Take a look at your own attitude. Is it one that others would want to emulate in their own lives? Instead of jumping to throw in a negative comment, try to think of something good to say instead. By no means hold in your feelings, but remember that no one likes to be surrounded by constant pessimism. Attitudes are contagious so fill your environment with happiness, enthusiasm, and optimism!



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MOMMA48
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2/26/10 9:48 A

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emoticon Sparks' Healthy Reflections!

Reading as brain food

The benefits of a lifelong love of reading are endless. However, these benefits diminish greatly if you neither read productive works nor let the words sink into your mind. Reading the funny papers over a classic novel is almost incomparable. Do the books, papers, and articles you read nourish your mind? Do you reflect on the material you are taking in? Often discussing a passage with a friend or journaling about it on your own can leave a lasting impression on your mind. Make sure that the information you are taking in is not only full of "nutrients" but is also being properly digested.

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MOMMA48
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1/30/10 4:34 P

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emoticon SPARKS’ HEALTHY REFLECTION!

Making the most of your day

Do you often tell others (and yourself) that you just don't have enough time? If you are like most people, this is probably something you think about at least once a day. It seems like our lives continue getting busier but time never grows in proportion. This quote reminds us that great things can (and have been) done with the time that we all have. What will you do with your time today?


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MOMMA48
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1/29/10 11:58 A

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emoticon SPARKS’ HEALTHY REFLECTION!

Leading a successful flock!

Be mindful of who you are following. By no means develop a skeptical temperament towards authority, but consider the quality of the leadership before you. Are you allowing informed consent to be the rule of your actions rather than blindly following? If not, educate yourself, follow your instincts, and speak up! As a parent or friend, you have a great responsibility to lead your family and friends in the right direction. Take the initiative to review the path you're taking your loved ones down and revise it to make the healthiest and most mutually beneficial choices for everyone


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MOMMA48
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1/28/10 7:10 P

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emoticon SPARKS’ HEALTHY REFLECTION!

The value of friendship

We all have a handful of acquaintances--those people with whom we work or see at the store and casually say hello to and move on. But a friend is someone you confide in, bring over for an afternoon cup of coffee, invite to your wedding, or cry with when a loved one passes away. You just feel a sense of safety with a friend. Don't wait until a rainy day to express how much a good friend means to you. Often we are unaware of how much we mean to others until they speak up, and likewise we never know how much another person might truly need to hear such affirmations. An approving, cheerful word of encouragement can thrill a heart. Be sure to always say kind words before you part, show sympathy during hard times and affection during wonderful ones. Life would not be the same without positive friendships. Express your gratitude to someone today who has made a difference in your world!


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MOMMA48
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1/27/10 9:53 P

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emoticon SPARKS’ HEALTHY REFLECTION!

Storing up for the winters of life

One of Aesop's most famous fables is about an encounter between a grasshopper and some ants. All summer long the ants had been toiling away, saving up grain for the long winter. All the while the grasshopper merrily--yet foolishly--squandered his time without a care in the world, without making any provisions for the cold season to come. When winter came, the grasshopper found himself starving and begged the ants for food. They replied, "If you were foolish enough to sing all the summer, you must dance supper-less to bed in the winter." While leisure time is important for rejuvenating an overworked mind, idleness is just a step away from foolishness. Think about the future that you deeply desire for yourself and your family. Chart and take wise steps towards it. There's nothing wrong with stopping to smell the roses, as long as you keep moving along the path.



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MOMMA48
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1/26/10 10:26 P

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emoticon SPARKS’ HEALTHY REFLECTION!

Speak up and take back control!

Many people feel uncomfortable being assertive, which often leads others to take advantage of them. Do you ever feel like you shouldn't say something because you might hurt someone's feelings? Does your spouse shirk their responsibilities around the house and expect you to pick up the slack? While it is important to serve others often, being someone's lackey is unhealthy and it's up to you to break that cycle. Kindly address situations where you think someone is taking advantage of your meekness. Being aggressive is a negative quality that people respond to with hostility. Making your voice heard maturely and positively is a trait that will take you far and build respect among your peers.



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