Terri's Take... » Health /blog Living a Proverbs 31 Life in a Romans 1 World... Sat, 12 Jul 2014 08:30:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 How to Actually Write That Book! /blog/2014/01/how-to-actually-write-that-book/ /blog/2014/01/how-to-actually-write-that-book/#comments Thu, 02 Jan 2014 23:53:25 +0000 /blog/?p=1726 Follow along and I’ll show you how!

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It’s a new year and time for a new project. I am ready to write a new book!

Do you have a book rolling around in your brain that you would like to get out onto paper this year? Follow along with me on my journey and by this time next year, you should have in your hands (or more likely, on your computer) a complete manuscript ready for publication. Sound like fun? It is, but it’s also hard work. But you can do it!

Let’s get started… (ready? then roll up your sleeves!)

The first thing we need to get out of the way is scheduling a time to write. I mean, let’s face it, if you are like me, you have many demands on your time, several people that need you all day long, a house that doesn’t clean itself and cupboards that continually need to be refilled with trips to the grocery store.

And no, we are not going to write in the bathroom with the door locked and the shower running!

It’s time to take a hard look at your schedule. What do you spend time doing that doesn’t really need to be done? Um, Candy Crush? Exactly, those little time-suckers are the kinds of things I am talking about… the modern, young to middle-aged woman’s acceptable addiction. This is going to sound cruel, but trust me, I’m doing you a favor… Delete those addictive apps from your device! Just do it now while you are feeling strong. Besides these are the kinds of games (as fun as they are) that take more time than you want to give and more money than you want to spend. Get rid of Candy Crush! Or Facebook. Or Pinterest (ouch). Or whatever your little habit may be.

Second, look at how you spend your evenings and your mornings. I’d like to make a case that the ABSOLUTE BEST time to write is between the lovely hours of 5 and 7… AM! I’m serious and this is coming from a very NON-morning person. Read my 2-part blog posts on how I became a morning person last year after being a NIGHT person for 45 YEARS!

Becoming a Morning Person, Part 1

Becoming a Morning Person, Part 2

Okay, I think this is enough to think about for now. Here’s your assignment for the week:

1. Work hard at retiring early so that 5am feels wonderful, not dreadful.

2. Start writing during the early morning hours. Don’t worry about organization just yet. Write down what you want to write about. Write down what you think you know and what you think will require some research.

Next week, we are going to break down our projects into bite-sized chunks and begin tackling this project in earnest. For now, just get used to some new routines. If the blank page is intimidating you, then spend your lovely, lonely morning hours reading the Bible (or an extra chapter or two than you usually do) and praying/meditating. Write out a short to-do list for the day, brew up a pot of coffee for you and your hubby, or pick up that book that you wanted to read last night, but didn’t because you determined to go to bed early.

And I’ll see you back here next week as we break down your book idea into manageable parts to tackle in earnest.

Question: Are you ready to join me and say to the world next year that YOU ARE AN AUTHOR?

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Lessons from Coffee… /blog/2013/04/lessons-from-coffee/ /blog/2013/04/lessons-from-coffee/#comments Tue, 30 Apr 2013 08:58:42 +0000 /blog/?p=1226

(An espresso enjoyed along the shores of Lake Bled, Slovenia)

I have learned that ordering a large (venti) coffee “to go” from a drive-through window is a uniquely American concept. I did not realize this until I stepped outside of my own culture and entered another. Three things make this activity uniquely American and they are:

  1. 1. Driving to a coffee shop to buy your coffee.
  2. 2. Ordering coffee to take with you “on the go.”
  3. 3. Drinking more than 8oz of coffee at a time.

Since visiting Italy and Slovenia, I have come to understand that “going for coffee” is not just about the coffee. It includes three elements and they are…

  1. 1. Exercise – Europeans walk to the coffee shop! Truly, they walk everywhere they can and save the car (or train) for longer excursions.
  2. 2. Relationship – “Coffee” isn’t just about the coffee. It’s about the friendship and the conversation that takes place over coffee. It is a foreign concept to order coffee “to go.” It is expected that you will sit down and enjoy it in a real cup along with some good conversation. If you didn’t come to the coffee shop with a friend, then you would stand at the counter and drink your coffee from a ceramic cup at the counter and chat with the barista.
  3. 3. Experience – Coffee is meant to be savored, not slammed. The flavors should be enjoyed slowly, especially since the amount is so much smaller than what we are used to here in America. Europeans order either an espresso (1 inch of strong syrupy coffee in a tiny cup) or cappuccino (that same amount of espresso with steamed foamy milk incorporated into it). While an espresso or cappuccino can be slammed back rather quickly by a busy person, it is meant to be sipped and savored.

(We found a tiny coffee shop along a side alley in Venice and ordered espresso!)

(In Florence, they add flair to their cappuccinos with foamed milk designs.)

What have I learned about “coffee” from my visit to Italy and Slovenia?

  • * Walk, if it is possible. If my destination is less than 2 miles, then I should default to walking rather than driving. It is just plain good for me.
  • * Don’t be in such a hurry! Plan my time better and make wise choices. If I don’t waste my time with TV or internet, then I have more time for the people I love.
  • * Don’t be a glutton. Often less is better than more. Appreciate what you have. I need to appreciate and savor what is right here in front of me, rather than trying to get (buy or consume) as much as possible.

(The espresso served on the Vernazza harbor overlooking the Ligurian Sea was simple, yet divine!)

Here’s a funny story in conclusion…

My daughter and I needed to catch a 9:30am train in order to make our two other train connections and then a flight out of Italy to Crete. After hurriedly packing, we stopped in at our favorite breakfast place in Vernazza, Italy about 9am. We asked if it was possible to take our cappuccinos and pastries to go. One of the Sicilian twins who owned the establishment asked if we would rather sit down and enjoy our breakfast.

We replied that no, we needed to catch our train in half an hour. He cocked his head to one side and said, “Well then, why did you not come by earlier?”

I was stumped. I thought about it for a moment and all I could say was, “poor time management.”

He replied, “Ah, that is too bad! Yes, I will pack up your breakfast to take to the train.” Then with a wink, he added, “would you take my brother with you too? I am weary of him!”

Question: How can you slow down and savor the sweet moments of your life?

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Becoming a Morning Person, Part 2 /blog/2013/02/becoming-a-morning-person-part-2-2/ /blog/2013/02/becoming-a-morning-person-part-2-2/#comments Tue, 26 Feb 2013 23:14:17 +0000 /blog/?p=1122 (Read part 1 here)
I have become a morning person. I didn’t think that was possible after 45 years of NOT being a morning person. And you know what I have discovered? I actually like it.

Rising with the sun allows me to…

  • Write and review my goals for the day.
  • Read my Bible passage for the day while it is quiet.
  • Meditate on my priorities and my plan of attack.
  • Write a blog post, journal entry or a few pages in my next book.
  • Have a full conversation with my husband without interruptions.
  • Make breakfast for the family (okay, I still don’t do this very often).

Early morning is also a great time to exercise, but I don’t. I’m a walker and I prefer my 30 minutes outdoors when the sun is up and the air has warmed a bit. You can take the girl out of California, but you can’t take California out of the girl.

Here is how I became a morning person:

In my last post, I mentioned how I have struggled with basic sleep over the past 4+ years. I was getting so tired of being tired. I knew I needed to make a change and up until Christmas of 2012, I had not been willing. But I reached a point of utter exhaustion, physically and emotionally. I didn’t like who I was becoming, the mom that was tired and often had a headache.

I gave up 3 things:

  1. 1. coffee after 4pm
  2. 2. TV after dinner
  3. 3. late nights

These are separate things in and of themselves and yet part of one single thing – a desire to spend time with my teens. When my teens became teens, I wanted to find something that we could do together. They liked to watch late-night TV (usually detective shows or period dramas). This was something we enjoyed together.

But I wanted to be a better me, so I gave these things up. I replaced them with:

  1. 1. very little beverage consumption after dinner
  2. 2. extra reading with my younger children before bed and extra reading for me
  3. 3. earlier bedtime for me

After reading to my younger children, I do get extremely tired. I decided this was my body’s way of telling me that I was ready for sleep. After tucking my kids into bed, I head for bed myself. My goal is to be in bed by 9:30pm and then read until I am ready to drop off to sleep, usually around 10:00. I am finding that if I do not force myself to stay awake through this sleepy time, my body follows its natural rhythm and actually stays asleep all night.

Here are things that I had tried before that didn’t really work for me:

  • GABA (it’s supposed to calm down your brain for those of us that worry)
  • Melatonin (it works for some people, but I didn’t notice a difference)
  • Camomile tea (this just makes me have to get up in the middle of the night to go)

I have experienced some pleasant side effects in addition to sleeping most nights all the way through from 10pm to 5 or 6am. My teens are coming into my room and sitting on the bed to talk to me before I go to bed. Sometimes I stay awake longer than my body tells me I should, but these are priceless moments and I wouldn’t trade them for sleep. And this time is way more quality than watching TV together.

The Lord has been good to me in giving me something better than the thing that I was not wanting to give up. Besides, I think that late night TV watching is a stimulus for over-active brain activity as your mind tries to sort through all of the images and ideas that were presented to it just before bedtime.

Well, this is my journey to becoming a morning person. In a future post, I will go into even greater detail about what I have come to love about the hours between 5 and 7am. These are magical hours. And sunrises are just as nice as sunsets… so I have found out!

Question: Are you a morning person? What do you love about morning?

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Becoming a Morning Person /blog/2013/02/becoming-a-morning-person/ /blog/2013/02/becoming-a-morning-person/#comments Fri, 22 Feb 2013 15:13:52 +0000 /blog/?p=1111 For most of my life, I have craved sleep.

I cannot remember a time when I have sprung out of bed.

When I was a teen, I can remember my mother dragging my feet out of bed, so that I was half-on the bed and half-off. I could continue to sleep that way just fine.

When we were newlyweds, my husband would try to kiss me awake. My mouth would try to say leave me alone and let me sleep, but my groggy head and limp body continued to doze on. Sometimes the smell of fresh coffee would bring me to my senses. Then the kisses were welcome and exchanged.

As a young mother, I never rose before my children. I always waited until I had to get up. That was usually when my husband Todd was leaving for work and the kids were up and raring to go. I simply couldn’t stay in bed any longer.


Then something changed.

I turned 40.

I couldn’t sleep well any more.My sleep pattern changed. I began staying up later to spend time with my teens, who were busy most of the day. We watched detective shows or period dramas on TV together. I began staying up until 11 or 12, hoping I would be tired by the time my head hit the pillow.

I could usually fall asleep alright (unless the show was sad or disturbing). But then I would be wide awake at 3am and my mind wouldn’t begin to settle back into sleep until 6am, as the sun was beginning to peek over the horizon and through the window.

Exhausted, I would fall back to sleep while Todd took over my morning duties with the family, as he now worked from home. I would sleep until 8:30 or 9:00, stumble out of my room exhausted and cranky and do my best to be a good mom and teacher as we began our school day.

This has been my sleep life for 4+ years.

Then something changed.

I became a morning person.

I am now getting 7-8 hours of good, solid sleep each night, waking refreshed and getting a whole lot more accomplished before I even see a child’s head peek around the corner. It feels great! I’ll tell you all about it in my next post.

Question: Are you a morning person or a night owl and do you like it that way?

 

(Click here to read part 2!)

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Why Sleep is Important /blog/2013/01/why-sleep-is-important/ /blog/2013/01/why-sleep-is-important/#comments Fri, 25 Jan 2013 21:52:51 +0000 /blog/?p=1003 I have struggled with sleep issues for the past 4-5 years and only in these last few weeks, since around the beginning of the year, have I been getting regular, consistent sleep. However, I did have a bad night with just 4 hours of sleep last night and because of this, I can more easily identify how sleep deprivation affects my thinking and my judgment. (In fact, I should wait 24 hours before posting this just in case it makes absolutely no sense!).

Since I am now getting used to 7-8 hours of sleep each night, I understand why good sleep is so important, when contrasted with a night of about 4 hours.

Here’s what I have noticed:

  1. More likely to be grouchy. In fact, I might even snap in a burst of anger if the noise level goes to high, or the bickering continues on and on.
  2. Work in slow motion. I notice that my brain is slow and so is my body.
  3. Poor food choices. For some strange reason, it is so much easier to grab the box of cereal, than it is to make eggs or oatmeal. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich looks way more appealing at lunch than a salad.
  4. No desire to exercise. None. Not one sliver.
  5. Thoughtless. I don’t take the time to carefully measure my words before they come spilling out of my mouth.

Those are my top 5 reasons as of 1:00pm. I’m sure I will come across several more before the end of the day.

Here’s what I have been doing to improve my odds of getting a good night’s rest:

1. I have stopped watching TV in the evening. It’s mostly a time-waster anyway. I still like to watch an occasional movie with my family, but earlier in the day is better. I won’t rule it out entirely, but I do try to make sure that the flick will be over by 10pm or I don’t get sucked in.

2. I take GABA and melatonin before bedtime.

3. I read for about 15-30 minutes before I turn off the lights.

4. I am trying to be asleep by 10:30pm at the latest. This gives me 7-8 hours before I need to be up again.

5. I feel better if I rise a little earlier and go to bed a little earlier. My natural tendency is to stay up late and sleep in. I’m a night owl by default. I am working against this and it seems to be helping my ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.

6. I try not to drink too much after 8:00pm.

I hope these tips are helpful for you.

Question: What are your habits, routines or helpful tips to help ensure a good night’s sleep for you?

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The Lazy Person’s Way to Weight Loss /blog/2013/01/the-lazy-persons-way-to-weight-loss/ /blog/2013/01/the-lazy-persons-way-to-weight-loss/#comments Mon, 21 Jan 2013 03:44:35 +0000 /blog/?p=984 When it comes right down to it, I’m a rather lazy person. My dad informed me of this many times during my childhood and I have internalized it. My husband tells me this isn’t true, but I do enjoy a lazy day reading in front of a roaring fire in the winter or lounging around the pool in the summer. I don’t know whether I am truly lazy or not, but I do know that I don’t like exercise or once a month cooking. Too much effort.

This is a “how I did it” post since so many people have asked me about this topic. Last year, I lost 30 pounds. I lost this weight between March and July. I had been struggling with an extra 20-30 pounds for about 8 years. Sometimes I would lose some of the weight, but then I would gain it back, along with an extra pound or two while I was at it.

It felt hopeless, but I believe that I finally cracked the code to successful weight loss and maintenance last spring. Here’s what I did. You can do this too!

Here are Terri’s 7 secrets to weight loss or maintenance (since it really does have to be a permanent life style change):


1. Eat more often. That’s right. Instead of eating 3 big meals at day, I started eating 6 smaller meals throughout the day. I enjoyed breakfast within 30 minutes of waking. Then I continued to eat during the day every 2-3 hours. As long as I ate meals this frequently, I didn’t feel hungry.

2. Limit calorie intake. I restrict 5 of my meals to 150 calories each. Here are just a few of my delicious choices – 2 pancakes with sugar free syrup (recipe below); egg beaters (or egg whites) with chopped tomatoes, peppers, spinach, etc.; smoothies with frozen banana, berries, almond milk, protein powder; lettuce wraps with leftover chicken or rice and beans; salad with lo-cal dressing; cottage cheese and blueberries; dried fruit and nut energy bars; and more. It does take forethought and dedication to keep your caloric intact low, but it doesn’t have to be misery. It can be downright delicious. (*Note: I did Take Shape for Life’s 5&1 plan for the first 2 months and lost 18lb. I switched to my own modified plan for the next 2 months and lost the remaining 12lb.)

3. Eat a balanced dinner, whether at noontime or early evening. This meal consists of lean protein and carbohydrates, i.e. meat and veggies. Usually, I eat chicken and salad, but it might also be a stew or soup, or roast beef and asparagus. I might have a small amount of starch while maintaining my weight, but I didn’t while I was trying to lose weight. I just skipped the mashed potatoes, pasta or rice.

4. Use a smaller plate. Do you have salad plates in your cabinet? Those are the ones that you should use all the time. Get rid of the big dinner plates or save them for Thanksgiving. Fill half of your smaller salad plate with healthy veggies and a quarter or slightly more with lean protein. Keep the remainder empty until you’ve lost your weight. Then, when you are maintaining, fill that small area with a starch, such as sweet potato or whole grain bread.

5. Have dessert about 2 hours after dinner. Fresh fruit makes a good evening snack. Sometimes, I fix sugar-free pudding; other times I will make a no-sugar cobbler. Skinny Cow makes some great low-calorie, low-sugar treats. You can find them in the freezer section of your grocery store. One of my go-to snacks is Jolly Time Healthy Pop microwave popcorn. I love the kettle corn. It’s rather addictive.

6. Walk 30 minutes a day. Yes, every day. That adds up to 3.5 hours of exercise per week. That makes a big difference. But definitely pick something you enjoy. That’s the key. Why suffer through something miserable (my husband strongly disagrees with me on this one. He says we need to just practice discipline and SIU – “suck it up”).

7. Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. During the winter, this often takes the form of tea because cold water makes me cold. I like the Good Earth sweet & spicy blend. I can get 2 or 3 cups out of 1 tea bag. That’s economy right there. :)

So, the big question is… did I keep it off? I did for several months, then after a very stressful autumn, I put a few pounds back on. I’m working on getting those back off, because I don’t want to start over again. For me, the key is to remember these 7 keys to weight loss success. They work. That’s why I wrote them down… for you… and for me!

Here’s the recipe I promised – Pancakes for One:

1/4 cup whole grain flour (I like spelt)

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch salt

1 tbsp egg beaters

1/4 almond milk

drop of vanilla extract

Whisk ingredients together with a fork. Spray a nonstick pan with cooking spray and pour batter into two pancake circles. Cook for a couple minutes on each side and serve with sugar free maple syrup. This makes 1 serving and is approximately 135 calories. Quick and satisfying.

Question: What’s holding you back from being your ideal weight?

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Habits and Routines – the Addiction to Good Things /blog/2013/01/habits-and-routines-the-addiction-to-good-things/ /blog/2013/01/habits-and-routines-the-addiction-to-good-things/#comments Sat, 19 Jan 2013 19:08:19 +0000 /blog/?p=975 We are all creatures of habit. I have decided that I must have an addictive personality. I drink coffee every morning, play Words with Friends every night and have watched every episode of Monk… yes, all 125 of them.

My kids laugh when they see the latest “game” I’ve become interested in and it can be rather ridiculous, I do agree. Truly, what can be more wasteful than spending an hour popping bubbles or lining up bricks on an iPad screen.

I think the key to personal fulfillment is becoming “addicted” to the things that really matter. Here are 5 of my best addictions:

1. Reading the Bible every day. Robert Emmitt of Community Bible Church in San Antonio, TX says, “Read the Bible and Do What it Says.” He also encourages everyone in his congregation to read the Bible for just 5 minutes a day. That is a great place to start. I read my Bible for about 10 minutes a day. It’s not a lot, but it is a great way to start the day.

2. School every weekday. My children don’t need to ask if we will “do” school, because we always do. This routine has saved us a good amount of hassle and persuasion. School is just what we do. It’s a big surprise if I announce that we are taking a day off to go sledding or take a field trip.

3. I walk every day. I used to go to the gym for a 1 hour class 2-3 times a week. That totals 2 or 3 hours of exercise a week (duh!). However, I spent about the same amount of time getting ready to go, driving to and fro, showering, etc. I hated it too. I decided last year to make a change. Now, I walk for 30 minutes a day, every day, out on the nursery roads behind our home. I get 3.5 hours of exercise in each week, with no prep, no commute and no sweat! I love it! It’s become a wonderful time for me to think clearly and pray regularly too.

4. I take one child out on a date every Saturday. Yes, I spend time with each of my kids every day, but always amid the chaos of an 8 person home. This time away gives me a chance to focus in on that ONE child, finding out his/her latest struggles, joys, etc. Thankfully, I am finding that they don’t have a whole bunch of “new” stuff to tell me (because they talk to me all the time), but they do love the captive audience I am able to give them. And if they have anything “private” to share, they know they have my undivided attention.

5. We eat dinner together every night. We may not always dine together for breakfast or lunch as we are a busy family coming and going all day long, but we have a family dinner together every evening. There are a reasons why someone might miss dinner (work schedules, special event), but for the most part, all 8 of us gather around the family table to eat together and enjoy conversation.

Question: What are your best addictions, habits or routines?

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Beautifully and Wonderfully Made! /blog/2013/01/beautifully-and-wonderfully-made/ /blog/2013/01/beautifully-and-wonderfully-made/#comments Tue, 08 Jan 2013 01:45:31 +0000 /blog/?p=918 While I may have sounded down on New Year’s resolutions, I am truly not a negative person at all when it comes to implementing change in our lives. It is one of the cornerstones of being human. We have been created with the ability to control and improve ourselves. This is a powerful force in our lives!

What is the difference between someone with a good attitude and someone with a bad attitude? It’s a state of mind, correct? Do we all have the ability to choose a good attitude vs. a bad attitude? Absolutely! We actually have the ability to control our thoughts (yes, we do!) and use them to create positive change in our moments, our days, our very lives.

These positive thoughts can be translated into powerful habits for our good.

Habits can make us or break us. I should know. I have some really good habits and some pretty poor ones. But, by focusing on one at a time, I can change those poor habits into good ones. Do you have a new habit you would like to implement?

Here are 3 ways to implement positive change in your life:

1. Pick One! Don’t decide to change everything at once. You will become overwhelmed, discouraged and will probably fail. Pick one. Choose to put your clothes away after you take them off. Decide to walk for 10 minutes after breakfast. Read your Bible for 5 minutes before going to bed or when you arise. Buy fruit instead of cookies. But whatever you do, just pick one!

2. Write it down! Last year, of those who made New Year resolutions and didn’t write them down, only 4% were successful. However, of those who wrote them down, nearly 50% were successful. That is over 1000% difference! Would you like a much greater chance of being successful? Write it down!

3. Read it over! Read over your goal every day. Think about it before you get up in the morning. Review will cement and solidify your goals. It will make them real to you. You will be able to visualize yourself doing it and will therefore be more likely to do it.

After 21 days of success with your new habit, rinse and repeat. In other words, pick another one and do it again. This is both not that hard and really, really hard at the same time.

What will it be? What is your first new good habit that you will implement into your life?

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3 Keys to Unlocking Real Change /blog/2013/01/3-keys-to-unlocking-real-change/ /blog/2013/01/3-keys-to-unlocking-real-change/#comments Thu, 03 Jan 2013 19:37:49 +0000 /blog/?p=913 While yesterday’s post was rather negative, it is true that 9 out of 10 New Year’s resolutions are doomed to failure. There is a science explaining this phenomena that you can read about here on Buffer. This is a fascinating blog post, so I hope that you will read it.

Am I advocating that we do not attempt change in our lives? No! Certainly not! Striving for improvement is part of being human. We crave success in our work, finances and relationships. We fall prey to sadness or depression when we do not succeed in these areas. Check out this info-graphic on what traits and habits contribute to our success:

However, while odds may be terribly against New Year’s resolutions, the fact remains that 10% of those that resolve to make a change are successful, whether it is intentional or accidental. Let’s examine what makes a resolution stick.

3 Keys to Unlocking Real Change:

1. Be specific. Your desired change must be one that can be measured and tracked. “Eat healthier” and “lose weight” are not specific goals. Neither is “read the Bible more.” You will need to convert these vague aspirations to something concrete, such as “eat banana instead of pop-tart each morning”, “walk for 10 minutes a day” or “read the Bible for 5 minutes while drinking morning coffee.” These goals are measurable and specific and possible to accomplish.

2. Start small. As you can see from the above examples of measurable goals, they are also small. Small changes are much more likely to be followed each day. If you decide that you want to start journaling, commit to writing one sentence per day before turning in for the night. If want to pray more, commit to the Lord that you will thank Him for 3 things each day before you get out of bed in the morning. Then, as you find success, you can add to it. I started with walking 10 minutes a day, then raised it to 20 and then finally 30-40. This progression lasted about 2 months as I added to my walking time after about 2-3 weeks of success.

3. Write it down. Pray about it. Writing down a goal is a powerful first step. Write it down. Go ahead, do it now. Then, put it in a place where you will see it – the bathroom mirror, the coffee pot, the refrigerator, for heaven’s sake! Don’t feel embarrassed about it; your family will be proud of you and can help. Reviewing your goal daily will allow you to internalize it and keep it at the forefront of your mind. But this is only part 1 of this step. The second part is equally or perhaps more important. Pray about it. When we seek God’s help, we acknowledge that change hard, but that it is doable. When we pray, we tap into a strength greater than our own.

Would you like to be among the 10% who are successful with their New Year resolutions? Of course you do! Follow these 3 steps for lasting and satisfying change in your life.

What are your small and specific goals for this new year? (Hint: write them down in the comments section below!)

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3 Ways to Implement Lasting Change In Your Life, Part 1 /blog/2013/01/3-ways-to-implement-lasting-change-in-your-life-part-1/ /blog/2013/01/3-ways-to-implement-lasting-change-in-your-life-part-1/#comments Wed, 02 Jan 2013 16:52:33 +0000 /blog/?p=906 I hate to break this to you… New Year’s resolutions don’t work. That’s just a fact. Over 90% of New Year’s resolutions will be abandoned in 3 weeks from now. Why is this true? And if it is, where is our hope of making real, lasting changes in our lives? First, let me explain why a typical resolution is doomed to fail. Then, I will give you 3 ways that you can smash through these barriers and create lasting changes in your life.

Why resolutions don’t work:

1. Our brains are hard-wired against change. Usually, the only time your brain gets fired up enough to suggest that you make a change to your daily life is when it is confronted with a situation it doesn’t like, such as a year in review… or a number on a scale… visible surfaces covered in clutter… or dust found on a Bible. Then your brain gets anxious and resolves to fix the situation. However, as soon as the urgency is gone, your brain relaxes, gets comfortable and you begin to do what you have always done.

2. The older we become, the more set in our ways. If you are anything like me, you have years behind you where you have done things the same way. Do you still eat the same foods for breakfast now that you did 10 years ago? Do you still use a chair to pile your clothes at the end of the day, something you started doing as a young adult (because let’s face it, when we were kids, we just threw them on the floor, right!)? Do you brush your teeth at the same time everyday? Drive to work using the same roads? Check Facebook at regular intervals? We are creatures of habit. Habit is a powerful force in our lives and not easily changed, especially as we age. But an old dog can learn new tricks!

3. They say it takes 3 weeks to create a habit. This is the absolute minimum, in my opinion. For me, it takes closer to 6 months to create a lasting habit in my life, something I no longer need to think about; I just do it. Habits take a long time to become easy and automatic. New habits require determination, especially on the first day of week 4.

But does this mean that you are stuck doing the same things you have done for the rest of your life? No! The human spirit is an amazing thing! We have something within us that we call “drive” that can battle and push back the unwanted habits that we have created in our lives and create new ones.

I know this is unkind, but tomorrow I will finish this post with 3 powerful ways to create lasting change in your life. They work. I’ve done them. And I will post them tomorrow.

What are your resolutions for this New Year that you would like to see continue longer than 21 days?

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