Monday, December 31, 2012

Done

Today I completed my 100 books challenge using Good Reads to record my progress. While I certainly enjoyed the variety of books, I think I will set my challenge for 2013 to be 75 books. I also want to add in about 5 more books from the BBC list.

What are your reading plans for 2013?


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Almost There

I have been on a reading challenge this past year - To Read 100 books. I am happy to say I am at 99 books and I have the final one almost half done. This reading challenge has been enlightening in so many ways.

I have always been a reader and reading is something I love. So this made this challenge fun. I did try a variety of different books from my normal choices. At times I read anything that had an interesting looking cover, other times I looked for comfortable sized books to read in between some supper long books to rest my hands. I did read a few books electronically and started one audio book (not yet finished) on my IPhone.

Getting near the deadline is exciting. Getting done for the deadline is special. I will keep you updated on my progress.

Now is the time to choose a challenge for 2013. Do you have any challenge ideas for yourself or maybe you have a suggestion for me?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Ahead or Behind?

There are days when we think we are "ahead" and days when we are falling "behind". On the best of days we are right where we are suppose to be.

Here are some strategies to help you: 

When you are Ahead

First, mentally acknowledge yourself for being at the "ahead" stage rather than the "behind" phase. Second, take some time to build in a well earned break. Third, review the elements of your success. Sometimes we have developed new skills that have allowed us to move forward. Glean these as takeaways for the future.


When you are Behind

First take a deep breath, acknowledge where you are. Realize that this will not be forever.Second, spend some time working on strategies. How you might speed up, or move your project along? Sometimes we have to pull out of other unnecessary or less important activities to reach a project goal.Third, seek help. Many times we fall behind because we fail to enlist help. Sometimes that is what we need to move forward.

This is a best of post from 2010.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Resizing Your World

When in transition we often shrink our daily contacts down to the less stressful, more peaceful ones. We do this for self protection and to also help make our days calmer. Going through transition takes peace, quiet and often solitude.

Transition is a time to try new things and acquaint ourselves with new people and new ideas. Finding new people isn't always that easy but often times this is when we go back to our roots and seek out those who meant something to us in terms of friendship and personal and professional development. This needs to be done selectively and carefully. Missteps are abound here if you don't set personal boundaries with yourself on this adventure.

Resizing your world takes time and careful thought. Sometimes it time to shrink the contact list and other times it is time to grow and expand the list.

Whatever time it is for you, take it careful and slow. Remember Rome wasn't built in a day.

This is a best of post from 2007.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Smile More

Smiles are contagious. They can help you maintain a sunny disposition and also have the effect of making people respond to you in a positive rather than negative way.

We may forget to smile when we are in a hurry or at the end of the day when we are tired. It is hard to smile when we are sad, but when dealing with strangers and other people, a smile may help brighten the day and provide us a friendlier environment in which to communicate or work in. 

This is a best of post.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Transition Your Thinking

We often have more time for reflection as Autumn sets in. Your thinking determines your mood, attitude and your choices. How are you thinking today?


Cloudy or Clear Thinking


Thinking Outside the Box

Bottom Up Vs. Top Down

Non Thinking as a Strategy

Under thinking


Over thinking



For more thoughts on thinking visit Terry's Thinking - A blog about thinking.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Look at "Shoulds" and "Coulds"

Are you failing to listen to the should and the could's in your life? By transforming our shoulds into "do's" and "will"s we may accomplish many things.  However, sometimes our should and coulds are things we might want to avoid doing entirely.

1. Take a look at your shoulds and coulds

Spend some time over the next few days listening to your inner talk and your external communications. Take note of the number of times you express or think the word "Should" or "Could". If you have a high frequency of shoulds or coulds, (Perhaps 5+ a day) you may want to spend some "thinking, development and planning" time around them.


2. Delve into the shoulds and coulds

After you have listened to yourself over the last few days, you may find some frequent shoulds and coulds. Take time to jot them down in sentence form.

I should get more sleep at night
I wish I could keep my desk clear
We could buy a new car



3. Analyze your should and could's for future work and change.

Let's say you want to get more sleep. How can you go about making it come to fruition? By brainstorming you may come to some possilble solutions.

For example:  

I should get more sleep -  To get more sleep, go to bed earlier or stay in bed longer. The should becomes a will when you decide to go to sleep earlier or set your alarm for a later morning wake up.

We could buy a new car - Deciding to buy a new or different car, is a process and project. You may choose to get a new car when your current car reaches a certain mileage, or if maintenance fees exceed the cost of a monthly payment. Your new car might be more advantageous when you have to start driving to your new company's office (which is further away) to keep fuel costs down. A new car might make more sense after you have paid off other debts or saved a certain dollar amount. The could becomes more of a strategy and plan development when you look at the when and why components.


4. Transform your should and could's to wills, when's, why's or later decisions. If you formalize and bring these shoulds and coulds  to the next phase you will allow more space for things to happen.

5. Erase your negative should and could's from your mental and verbal vocabulary.  Sometimes we have stuck should and could's which can not be easily transformed into action or do not warrant further thought about.

For Example:

I should have said  ..... instead of ......
I could have read the directions three times and caught my mistake (after improperly assembling a complex piece of furniture)


Spend some time working on your should and could's and you will likely transform your life.


This is a best of post from 2009.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Rightsize Your Life

There is always a lot of talk about downsizing and rightsizing. Let's look at thiese concepts in a small immediate way. How can you rightsize your day? Let the day starting tomorrow be your practice day. First let's define rightsize. Rightsize means creating a day with enough hours to do the desired tasks at hand, a day with some form of joy and laughter, healthy eating and physical activity. We can plan our day by getting our "to do" list planned ahead of time, making sure we have the ingredients for healthy eating and include some form of physical activity.  We can also work to connect with loved ones, friends and acquaintances. Some of you may also want to include some spiritual or meditation time.

Here are six elements of  rightsizing  your day!

1) Select tasks that suit the day
When I say a day with enough hours to do the desired tasks at hand, I mean creating a productive and effective "to do" list. One that is doable for the hours we have available, leaving some wiggle room for unexpected issues.
2) Plan to eat right
Create a menu from what you have on hand, or figure out what you need to order to have a healthy kitchen. Make sure you have plenty of water to drink, as water will help energize you and keep you hydrated. Avoid overindulgence. Make good food choices throughout the day and evening.
3) Include daily exercise
Every day needs some form of exercise. Make sure this is part of your day.
4) Cherish your relationships
Work to connect with the ones you love or care about.
5) Include joy and laughter
We all need some fun in our daily life. This can be having a good conversation, or watching a situational comedy to get our laugh on. We can also find joy in nature. Just take some time to enjoy your environment.
6) Work in some spiritual time or meditation
Whatever your beliefs, having some time spent on spiritual devotions or using some time to meditate will serve you well.

Keep the six elements in mind when planning your tomorrow and every day after. Rightsizing your day is the foundation of rightsizing your life.

This is a post from my other blog - Terry's Thinking.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Get Ready To Change

Sometimes we want to make changes but we are not quite ready. A technique that can help you in this process is "noticing".

Notice when you are doing the habit or behavior that you want to change. By noticing we can gather all sorts of data and information that will help us make potential steps towards the change.

For instance: take the habit of oversleeping. Take note of the days you tend to do this? What type of activities do you have planned on that day? Does the planned anxiety of the day cause you stress and start the oversleeping process? Do you start sabotaging your sleep by staying up late, eating foods that cause you indigestion?

Noticing is a great tool for making changes. What can you notice?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Changing Your Mind

There are times in life when we find ourselves changing our minds about certain things. These changes can mean we have found new insights or ways of dealing with things or feelings.

A change of mind can be because you have comprehended a different perspective, felt more aware or differently about something.

When have you changed your mind about something?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Going Forward

Researching and learning new things takes time. Often it is two steps forward and one step back. We learn in little bits and pieces.

Being willing to learn is the first step. Being willing to fail is also an important piece of learning new things.
Remember a journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step.

What one step can you take to begin your new journey?

This is a best of post from 2009

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Conference Craziness

I have recently had the opportunity to view a variety of conferences while staying at a hotel, while my spouse attended an industry conference. While each conference is unique, it is interesting to see the range of differences between them. There are the serious ones, the "gigglers", the big "ah hah" and the "drained and strained ones".

Two recent movies that present conferences or conventions come to mind; Cedar Rapids (2011) and Up In The Air (2009). The first movie depict an insurance association and it's various events over a few days. Up In The Air shows more of a motivational reward "party" session.

Conferences are a great time to catch up with familiar colleagues, as well as make introductions to newcomers and network all around. Regardless of the type of conference you are attending, a smile helps convey energy and interest. Help yourself and others by spreading smiles.  





Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Look at the Un's in Your Life

Let’s take  a moment to think about the “Un’s” in our lives? Here is a list of some “Un’s”:

Unfinished

Unused

Unresolved

Undecided

Misunderstood


How would it be if we had a day each week to look at the “Un’s” and work on them? What day would you choose?

To balance this exercise out you may also want to look at the "Done's" in your life. This can help bring you some extra encouragement.  


This is a modified post from my Terry's Thinking Blog

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Challenge Yourself

September is all about learning. It is the traditional back to school season. This is a great time to think about self improvement. Be brave and think about what areas you are in need of improvement. Make a list and then plan to work on making some improvements, by consciously contemplating what might help you gain forward motion. This could involve taking some classes in the near future, reading or researching the subject. It can also mean using a coach to help hold you accountable to making this happen.  

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Change Your Attitude

Change and transition's are generally difficult. If you have been involuntarily made to change, a change of attitude may make a big difference.

Three ways to change or transition your attitude:


  1. Try looking at things with a perspective outside of yourself.
     
  2. Visualize a good outcome and rethink strategically how to get to that place.
     
  3. Be grateful you have to experience this discomfort and appreciate the insightful lesson's you will learn.

Growth comes from change. Start with changing your attitude. You will enjoy the journey much more.

This is a best of post.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Winds of Change - Fall is Around The Corner

Does the upcoming change of season get you excited or anxious? Seasonal change can be viewed as a happy event or one of dread. Seasonal change means preparation for new weather, events and activities. For me Autumn is my time of learning and creativity. Summer to me is my time of rest and rejuvenation.  Winter is my celebration and reflection time. Spring brings me energy and excitement. 

How do you view the seasonal changes?

Maybe it is time to work with a life coach. Contact Terry when you are ready to make a transition in your life.  

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Get Your Creativity Cooking!

Creativity is not always at hand when we need it most. This is especially true when we are cooking up a transition in our lives. Sometimes we need to try to be extra creative, so we can get some new ideas that set us on our way.

The secret to being creative is trying to simply "be". Being isn't easy. It takes time. This time includes practice, persistence and above all, patience.

Here are six "be" concepts which can be done or not done. These ideas are in no particular order.


  1. Be still
  2. Be moving around
  3. Be aware of your senses
  4. Be willing to temporarily close out some of our senses
  5. Be in a different environment
  6. Be in our normal environment by just hanging in there with a different frame of mind


Let's think of creativity as a salad for those in the Northern hemisphere, and a soup, for those in the Southern hemisphere. It takes a few good ingredients to make a soup or salad special. Try a mixture of the ideas from numbers 1 - 6.

Let me know if you cook up any new ideas. You will be well on your way to preparing something good before long.

This is a best of post from 2009

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Strategies to Get Unstuck

Guest Post By Fred Beiderbecke

When you are about to hit the wall, or feel trapped, the odds of proceeding usually seem insurmountable. Here are some suggestions and strategies:

1) Begin by reframing the situation. Make the whole situation less threatening, friendlier and in terms that make more sense to you. 2) Assume the worst so that you no longer worry, and then proceed as if the worst had already happened. 3) Get back to the basic principles you're operating under for guidance. 4) Trust in a higher power because it is beyond your ability to cope.  5) Enjoy yourself through some diversion, thus taking better care of yourself, and then return to the problem. 6) Use the Serenity Prayer so that the past does not unduly bog you down.  Each moment is a new beginning. 7) Persevere. Remember that good things happen to those who wait.

In these ways, you can go around, over, or create an opened door (as was described in the earlier post Hitting the Wall.) 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hitting the Wall

Every once in a while we hit a wall in our life. Hitting the wall means we have reached an impasse without a "door" or "window". This is when we have to backtrack, change our attitude or stay within the confines of our current situation. However, staying within the confines of our restricted space for a prolonged time may not be beneficial for our mental health.

We can hit the wall due to employment limitations, current circle of friends, relationship changes, or even environmental limitations. Think people, places, or things! All of these three categories can contribute to hitting the wall.

Acknowledging that you have hit the wall is the first step. Being patience with yourself is critical at this time. Looking for alternative solutions may take longer than you hoped for. It may also be not the choice you want to choose, but one that is the best for you in the long run. Most importantly remember change takes time and is a challenge.

This is a best of post from 2010.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Opening the Door

One of my readers, recently commented privately to me, that "sometimes you need to open the door when you hit the wall".

"Opening the Door" means looking out at new options and opportunities. It can also mean taking a look outside for awhile and then deciding to step back to where you feel comfortable and at home. Sometimes it is nothing ventured, nothing gained. Then again, it can be a useful exercise to review and analyze where you are now.

Check out my post on Hitting the Wall.

This is a best of post from 2010.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Brevity

Brevity is defined by Merriam-Webster's online dictionary as shortness of duration, shortness or conciseness of expression.

Keeping things short is the way of the future. No longer are we seeking Dickens, three comma sentences. Think or read Bleak House for a real understanding. We have too much to read, or visually stimulate us each day at least during the working hours.

Whether it be written or verbal communications, keeping things short, is the way to go for the business world.

However, at my leisure I truly enjoy a long and lengthy book. I just reread Edward Rutherford's epic novel "London". If you haven't yet read it and have room to read, I highly recommend all 800 pages of it.

This is a revised post from 2007

Monday, July 9, 2012

Choose to Be Happy

There are days when choosing to be happy is difficult. Major or minor irritations may abound and you may be wondering why you are even bothering to get out of bed. These days are the times when choosing to be happy is a better alternative than choosing to be sad. Abraham Lincoln said "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." So make a choice to be happy!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Shallow or Deep End?



Are you in the deep or shallow end of life this year? Are you trying new things (as in being in the deep end ) or staying in the shallows (sticking to the safe part of the pool)? Sometimes we need to take a plunge in to the deep end to make a change.

Taking the plunge or diving into the deep end is hard and puts us out of our comfort zone. However we don't have to do it alone. Having an accountability and transition coach can make the experience a supported one.

Terry Prince provides life and transition coaching.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ahead or Behind?

There are days when we think we are "ahead" and days when we are falling "behind". On the best of days we are right where we are suppose to be.

Here are some strategies to help you: 

When you are Ahead

First, mentally acknowledge yourself for being at the "ahead" stage rather than the "behind" phase. Second, take some time to build in a well earned break. Third, review the elements of your success. Sometimes we have developed new skills that have allowed us to move forward. Glean these as takeaways for the future.


When you are Behind

First take a deep breath, acknowledge where you are. Realize that this will not be forever.Second, spend some time working on strategies. How you might speed up, or move your project along? Sometimes we have to pull out of other unnecessary or less important activities to reach a project goal.Third, seek help. Many times we fall behind because we fail to enlist help. Sometimes that is what we need to move forward.

This is a best of post from 2011

Monday, June 25, 2012

Owl or Lark?

Are you an owl or a lark? Knowing and accepting your natural tendencies can help you be more productive. Owls are night creatures and larks are those who take advantage of the early day and mornings. We are usually one or the other.


  • Observe who you are - a lark or owl. Accept it and delight in your being. 

  • Work to schedule your activities and tasks around your natural tendencies. Don't create unnecessary work for yourself by planning against your nature. 

  • Understand and acknowledge the owl or lark tendencies of your friends and family members. Don't expect deep conversation from an owl early in the day, or late night discussions with a lark later in the day. Accept the morning or evening tendencies of your friends, co-workers and family. Learn to work with them by their style instead of trying to make them someone they are not.


By working with your true nature as well as others, you will be more incline to be the productive and accepting person you want to be.

This is a best of post from 2010. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Short Desk Vacation

Here are some escapes for you to try. Think of these as a desk vacation.  This first video is a nice colorful escape. Look for the action to begin at about the 38 second mark.

Extreme Sticky Note Experiments


For some of the previous escapes I've featured - here are some fun links:

Type City

A Tour Worth Taking

Music and Clips Worth Watching


This is a best of post from 2007.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Listen to Grow

Change is hard, listening may be even harder. When we are changing we may find ourselves having to find more time to listen. Listening takes energy.

Finding the right people to listen to is not easy. Missteps are usually found along this path. The best method for selecting good "listening" is to go with your intuition. Listening to a person who is soothing might be good, yet they can lull us into a stasis, state of complacency or even a paralysis of indecision. Listening to someone who causes us major anxiety may not be a good choice either. However, sometimes the individual's who causes us minor anxiety and inner turmoil are helping us develop new thoughts, thinking patterns and helping us change.

Listen to learn, listen to grow. Change will come.

Who do you plan on listening to?

This is a best of post. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What's Most Important to You?

Do you take time out to think about what is most important to you? Do you take life as it comes or do you make life what you want it to be? There may be no right or wrong answers to these two questions, however those who fail to plan, often find their life results less than they desire.

I have found taking “formal planned  time” to focus on what is most important to you is key to creating the life you want.Taking time out from your day-to-day activities can be tricky and complicated, especially if you lead a busy life. However, if you are a busy person, then taking time out is as easy as making an appointment or two with yourself. A few hours will likely be enough for you to create a clearer understanding of where you want to go.

Individuals who are focused can pre-plan their “future vision session” .  They can do this by creating a list of questions to consider during the session.  This will allow a more focused and directed time. However, if you are a person who has trouble focusing, working with a life coach for a few sessions might be the key to creating the life you want. The life coach can help you by asking great questions, and then you can find your own answers.

Terry now provides life coaching services. Check out her website for more details.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Playing Catch Up

For the past few weeks, I have been busy with some extensive family responsibilities. This of course left little time to do some of the routine and day to day things in my schedule, let alone some of the other projects I had planned for this time period.

Playing catch up is never easy. But when it is the game of life, one has to work on moving forward to reach normality. The first step when in "catch up mode" is to admit where you are. Next have an inner conversation with yourself to plan how to get back on track. It helps to identify what needs to be done, and what can remain undone for a period of time. Finally practice saying no to extra activities and keep your life as simple as it can be for a period of time.

Being in constant "catch up mode" is exhausting. Sometimes working with a coach can help you maintain and move forward in your personal or professional accountability. You don't have to go it alone.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Choose Happiness Over Stuff


A special guest post from Going Forward author MoreenTorpy. 

 

Why is it that as a society, we seem to have tumbled into the mindset that to have an abundance of stuff ensures happiness?

I wonder what other holes in our hearts we’re trying to fill by accumulating more than we really need. Did we lack something as children that we’re trying to compensate for now? Or are we trying to protect ourselves against future lack?

Or, are we thinking we're not "enough" without "stuff"? A wise person said that to not want something is as good as having it. What an amazing concept!

Can we actually be losing ourselves by adding more “stuff” to our lives? Material goods require maintenance which takes time away from important activities such as spending time with our friends and families. Over time, by neglecting what is of real value—people, they're gone because we’ve pushed them away. When acquiring and holding onto "stuff" becomes more important than people, we're in trouble!

Once we realize that abundance does not have to be material possessions, we can appreciate and enjoy what we do have. Health, family, friends, having enough to eat, something to look forward to in life, and much more to be grateful for that bring happiness.

So let’s make room for real happiness in our lives that includes more people and less stuff.


© 2012 Moreen Torpy. You may reprint this article. If you do, please include the resource tagline below with the hyperlinks intact.


Moreen Torpy is the De-Clutter Coach, a Trained Professional Organizer, Author, and Speaker. Her new book is Going Forward: Downsizing, Moving and Settling In. See www.goforwarddownsize.com for more about the book including where and how to purchase it. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Gift of Full Attention

In today's world of technology we often slide into the slippery slope of too much multitasking,  not enough granting of our full attention. Paying attention means consciously making good choices to focus solely on the task at hand.

Being a single-tasker can bring lots of pleasure to your day as well as prevent accidents, misunderstandings and mistakes.

Here is a list of things to consider not doing:
  • Driving and talking on the cell phone
  • Reading email and eating
  • Playing with your children and talking on the phone
  • Working with a client or on an assignment and checking email or text messages
  • Reading emails while we are on the phone (other than while being "on hold" or collaborating on the e-mail)
  • Walking the dog and talking on the cell phone
Being fully present in many of your daily actions is a gift. Give your gift of full attention to the things that count.


This is an earlier post from my other blog - Terrys Thinking. You might also enjoy my last post - Enjoy the Present!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Enjoy the Present
















The present is today. Every day, find a way to enjoy something in each day. By focusing on the now, not the past or the future, you will be truly living.

Look at what is working.
Explore what makes you comfortable.
Examine and reflect on what is working in your life.
Remember what makes you smile.
Don't forget to laugh.

Enjoy your present. It's the best!


Monday, April 9, 2012

Change takes Courage

Change is hard, change is never easy. The only thing constant of course is CHANGE.

Charles Kettering who was an American electrical engineer and manufacturer in the late 1900's said "The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress".

Goethe, the German poet and dramatist said "Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for change".

Given the insight of the ages, it is helpful to understand the steps involved in change. First step is problem recognition. Sometimes problems just arrive and hit us on the head. Other times, a nagging feeling gives us a sense of things to come.

The second thing to do when examining change is to identify the causes. What exactly caused this? Sometimes the cause is simple, other times a complex series of events created the change. The third step is going through the change. Change, when possible, is most often most comfortable when we implement it ourselves. Often case this is not what happens. Change happens then we change. Finally we need to evaluate the changes we have undertaken.

Change is a laboratory for self and organizational growth. Although we may fear it, it is best to embrace it and learn from it. Change is hard, change takes work but in the end we grow.

This is a best of post from 2007

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Muddled and Stuck?

Sometimes we are just stuck. Like stuck in the mire of things. We don't know which way to go. Just like in nature, it can happen within ourselves.

Being "muddled in the middle" is uncomfortable and irritating. It makes us cranky and confused. After all, being muddled, is not a nice place to be.

Getting unstuck takes time. Sometimes it takes getting a new attitude or perspective.

Here are some strategies:

Strategy 1 - Realize it takes time to get unstuck, time has to pass.

Strategy 2 - Forgive yourself for being in the middle. Stop fussing and just be.

Strategy 3 - Watch out for procrastination distractions. Know what your usual procrastination activities are and limit them. Too much time spent procrastinating will prolong your muddled time.

Strategy 4 - Make time for fun. Muddled time requires "funouts" - a "funout" is like a timeout but instead of being a time of punishment it is time spent having fun.

Strategy 5 - Don't go it alone. Talk to a trusted friend or your coach about being in the middle. Just the act of talking about it may help you pass well though this stage of life.

If you are in the middle of the muddle, what advice do you have to share?

This is a best of post from 2009

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Restore Yourself

What do you do to do solo rest and rejuvenate yourself? For me I rejuvenate by reading a book, talking a walk, looking out my windows at nature (be it at the sky or in the tree's). I also work on taking a break - such as going to a cafe for a cup of coffee, or even enjoy taking a  stroll in the produce section of the grocery store.

In my mid twenties, one of my favorite breaks was driving to a country nursery and wondering around the plants and indoor greenhouse. In my college years, I went to the Dewitt Mall and ordered chocolate cake, sitting solo with my thought. On a good weather day I would go up the hill to the Johnson Museum and observe the art on display. If I was short of time I would go to the snack bar on my own campus and order a bagel and cream cheese.

When I worked in New York City in the early 80's, I would, weather permitting, go to the park with the waterfall wall and eat a sandwich at lunchtime. In the rainier or cooler times I would go into the then Citibank atrium and enjoy the chatter of fellow restaurant and cafe patrons and savor a cup of coffee.The reason for me telling these tales is to get you to think about what you do, primarily in solitude, to restore yourself.


These days, I look out my window at the large oak trees and pines that surround the house, enjoy a cup of tea or coffee in my favorite chair. I also walk my dog or spend time petting him and watch my cares go away.

So what do you do to restore yourself? Knowing some of the activities you can choose, helps you to select your options.A rest break, short or long,  can bring you energy and revitalize the rest of your day. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Getting To Where We Want To Go

To make headway is to go forward or towards our desired destination.  Getting towards our destination is usually reached by doing physical activities and actions. Yet, getting to where we want to go, often starts in the mind or "head". Thus to make headway, we may often need to first think or use our head as much as taking our physical steps.

I recently came across this quote attributed to Henry David Thoreau.

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.

So, to make headway start with your mind, your steps are likely to follow.

This is a best of post from 2010

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Roadblocks

What do you do when you reach a roadblock? You can stay put and not go anywhere for a while. You can mumble and complain. Eventually you can choose to take the detour. Detours are usually complicated and confusing. Sometimes detours can even make you want to delay your journey and go back home. Detours do take more time, but eventually you get to where you intended to go, if you persevere.

Every day life is abound with roadblocks. While they can be frustrating, especially if they are unexpected, they can offer a chance to try a new route, see different thinks and have a unique experience.

How have you experienced detours in your life?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Three Ways to Change Your Attitude

Change and transition's are generally difficult. If you have been involuntarily made to change, a change of attitude may make a big difference.

Three ways to change or transition your attitude:
  1. Try looking at things with a perspective outside of yourself.
  2. Visualize a good outcome and rethink strategically how to get to that place.
  3. Be grateful you have to experience this discomfort and appreciate the insightful lesson's you will learn.
Growth comes from change. Start with changing your attitude. You will enjoy the journey much more.

This is a Best of Post from 2009

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Look to Learn


What does looking elsewhere have to do with transition? Sometimes we focus too much on inner selves that we neglect to take a good look at the environment and people around us.

Here is a reminder: 

Look at People

Who are the people who make your day special? They can be your family members, friends, neighbors and of course your pets. People can also be the providers of service we routinely count on. By focusing on them instead of our "self" we can change our attitude, learn new things and move forward.   


Look at Places

Take some time to observe where you are. Look at the buildings, trees and sky. Our visual senses can bring us great relief from every day sameness. Look with new "eyes" and really see where you are.

Look at Things

Spend some time looking at your surroundings with deeper vision. Really look at the mug on your desk. Observe the stapler. Contemplate your phone. When we look with intent we often see things in a brand new light.

Looking elsewhere is one of the ways to make a transition in your thoughts, attitude and  mindset. Another method is by listening. You may find this previous post about sound helpful. Stillness and Silence.


Let me know how some of these exercises go in transitioning your mind.

This is a best of post.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Know Your Daily Patterns

We all have patterns and routines within our day. These patterns can be effective and productive or they can squander our time.

Many people have beginning of the day routines, after meal routines and end of day routines. Within our work life we also have beginnings and endings.We can also have before we turn on the computer, while it shuts down and right after using the computer.Knowing these available transition times, can be helpful in developing good patterns.

First take some time to look at the patterns that are working. Let's call these the Your Effective Transition Times. These are often well entrenched and serve us well. For instance every night before I go to bed, I set up my coffee maker to run. My current model does not have a timer, but when I press the button, this gives me time to unload the dishwasher which I run in the evening. I have been following this pattern for over 20 years and it works well for me. Recently I have also added in taking my vitamins and drinking 6 ounces of water before I drink my coffee.  These are tiny habit* patterns I am currently working on. They are not firmly entrenched into my life, but I have begun. It will take a while for it to become routine, but when linked with other routines I have found better success.  

Next look at potential transition times you are not using. These we will call Your Potential Transition Times. For instance I don't have any habits placed in my after computer or while my computer shuts down. These are two times I can add in some productive habits. To get a habit established, find the "natural breaks" to make it more effective.

Think about these available times when you want to make a productive change in your life. Can you use these Potential Transition Times or add to your most Effective Transition Times (the ones already in use). As a cautionary measure do not overload your effective transition times. I suggest having no more that 6 items in your "habit string".

Another factor to consider is your usual daily energy level to perform tasks. If you are a morning person (lark), load up in your AM routines, but lighten up in the evening. If you are a night own, by all means make your evening routines larger.

By knowing and understanding your daily patterns you will be well on your way to make transitions in your life. 

 
* BJ Fogg, a professor at Stamford University is working on the Tiny Habit project. Read more about it here. I would like to thank my colleague Margaret Lukens for her insight into this program.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Get Creative

This is a great video: 29 Ways to Stay Creative.




What do you do to stay creative?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What is it all about? Time to Review!

If you are a new viewer here at Transition Your Life, you may be wondering what this blog is all about.

This blog is about change and making transition. It is here to serve as a mental prompt or idea generator for you, when you are experiencing a life transition.  This means you could also be starting on a change, in the middle of a change,  or even just pondering change. 

Change is what we all do. The only thing constant is change. Change is seldom easy.

When I started my blog in August of 2007, I wrote:

This Site is for testing ideas and thoughts before setting out on your next journey, whether it be a career change, new family, or even post retirement.

The goal of my site is to keep it simple, keep it short -- occasional postings under 300 words. 

 
So I think I have been keeping up with the concept. Keep reading.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Three ways to Transition your Attitude

Change and transition's are generally difficult. If you have been involuntarily made to change, a change of attitude may make a big difference.

Three ways to change or transition your attitude:
  1. Try looking at things with a perspective outside of yourself.
  2. Visualize a good outcome and rethink strategically how to get to that place.
  3. Be grateful you have to experience this discomfort and appreciate the insightful lesson's you will learn.
Growth comes from change. Start with changing your attitude. You will enjoy the journey much more.

This is a best of post from 2009

Friday, January 20, 2012

Do Two More

 This guest post is by Michelle Peralta of The Run-Down

Two more minutes reading, two more sheets to fold, two more reps at the gym, two more minutes on the phone with an old  friend, two more minutes on yourself.

Apply this wherever you see fit. I started at the gym.  Just two more squats, two more minutes running, two more push-ups. It kind of revs you up a bit, because you really want to finish strong and make it worth it. You eventually see and feel results; physically and mentally. Where do you think can you apply Two More?


Michelle Peralta is an Arizona Blogger who enjoys writing about fitness, food and finding balance. Visit her blog at  The Run-Down 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Coping with the Unexpected


Are you in troubled waters? Has life thrown you a curve ball? Both of these are metaphors for unplanned and unexpected changes and pending life transitions.

Here are four ways to help you cope with the unexpected.

1)  Acknowledge you are going through a tough time.

2) Make a resolve to take care of your physical self. Eat well, continue or step up the exercise. Get plenty of sleep.

3) Be aware of your mental and emotional health. When times are tough we usually experience stress on an extreme level. This causes us to experience more emotions and creates more mental anxiety. Be willing to seek the advise of physical and mental health professionals to help you get you through theses trying times if you find you are not coping well.

4) Don't go it alone. Seek out friends and family to confide and communicate with. A transition coach can also be part of the assistance you may need to help you through this time. 



Thursday, January 5, 2012

Take the First Steps

At the beginning of the new year, resolutions abound. To keep yourself going, ask yourself "What are the first steps I need to take to begin working on my resolution?". Take for example, the resolution of eating healthy in 2012 - Your first step might be to create a weekly menu and post it on your refrigerator. If exercise is going to be one of your resolutions, putting on your exercise shoes at some point in your day will be a first step component each time you start your exercise regime.

Knowing your first steps is important in making a transition. These first steps may be elusive for some resolutions, but take some time to think them out and you will have a key component of making a change.

What are some of your first steps for your resolutions?