Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I Resolve Not to Make Resolutions!

Funny how as New Years approaches you take a sudden look at long forgotten goals for 2010. I resisted making resolutions in 2010 and instead I set goals.(Somewhat nebulous ones in some cases!) The word resolutions has, for me, negative connotations of years gone by. Good Intentions. Great starts. Long forgotten by year end. That makes me normal, I think. There are too many expectations tied up in the term "resolution". So this year, I resolve not to make resolutions again.

When I set goals, I make plans to achieve them. I think that is the difference between resolutions and goals. Resolutions feel wishful. Goals have a plan. Semantics? Maybe, but it works for me.

My goals for 2010 were to get the business started. That goal is one that will never end. I need to constantly breathe life into that one to keep it alive. This one is definitely still on the list for this year 2011. The execution plan is more expansive so I definitely made progress in 2010.

Another goal I had in 2010 was to change things up in my work life. Still on the list for 2011. I made progress once again but I am not ready to make the leap just yet. I think the rest of my goals last year were too nebulous to determine if I have made progress. How do you really evaluate if you have slowed down. I think i have but it is hard to be objective. Life still feels busy. How do you evaluate if you are living more authentically. Hmmmm...

Robin Sharma (a favorite as you know) suggests picking your top 5. The five things that if you achieved them you would say, I had a great year! I like that approach too.

I took out a new notebook last night and came up with my Top 6. When I was finished I evaluated them this way. If I achieved each one, am I closer to my goal? Are they measurable? Sounds a little corporate but at the end of the year you have to be able to say that you either achieved it or you didn't. I was pretty excited about the list. Then I put a next step on each of them so I can begin right away.

No resolutions but lots of resolve. Funny how inspiring a life with goals ahead can be. The reverse is also true. How melancholy a life without goals can feel. So clarify your goals and burst ahead into the New Year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

25 Things that Make Me Feel Happy

1. Try New Things. Keep things fresh and new. Keep your brain in overdrive. It makes you feel invigorated to have tried something you have never experienced before.

2. Sit alone in a quiet place that inspires you. Is it in nature? By a fire? Yesterday I sat on an indoor pool deck which was closed. The air was warm and the lights were dim. The water was calm and peaceful. It was a wonderful opportunity to check in with me and see if everything was on track.

3. Help someone. Give someone your time and or money. Give them a step up in whatever they need to move forward. Volunteer at the food bank with your friends.

4. Go for a long walk in the woods. Where we are the snow is on the ground and as you walk it crunches underfoot. The cold air is exhilarating.

5. Hang out with a pet and really give him your attention for a few minutes. As with people there is a big difference between a passing pat and a real touch.

6. Cook a dish that you have never made before. Create it from scratch, buying the individual ingredients, create it with love and and when it is finished bring some to share with a friend.

7. Go swimming. The feeling of cutting through the warm water and feeling your body stretch and contract is amazing for your body and your mind. Sometimes I like to just float on my back and watch the sky go by.

8. Choose a day when you have a couple of hours to read. Curl up with a new book or magazine and get lost in it.

9. Make someones day. Call a long distance friend that you have not spoken to. Find out what has been happening in their lives.

10. Get a massage. For mind and body there is no better therapy. Gets everything moving and feeling great again.

11. Do Yoga. Like a massage but even better. Always concentrate on you with no comparisons to those around you.

12. Spend an hour with a child and let him/her lead the way on what to do and where to go. You will feel like a child again when you are with them.

13. Really focus and savour the taste of a food that you love. Whether it is you first taste of morning coffee or a square of extraordinary chocolate or a complex Thai dish, savour it and really be in the moment.

14. Go to a place where you can watch the sun go down. There is a sense that all is right with the world when you watch the sun go down and when it finally sinks below the horizon, the feeling of inner peace is unmatched.

15. Choose one thing on your bucket list and create a plan to make it happen. Choose the date and write the action countdown to that date.

16. Put your bare feet in a river or a lake. Feel the coldness of the water and splash around like a child would.

17. Go to a travel website and find out your new next favorite destination. Or go to Google Images and put your destination into the browser and check out all the beautiful pictures associated with your destination.

18. I get inspired from watching a UTUBE Jack Canfield video or a Robin Sharma video. They get me to a place where I can see that anything is possible.

19. Go to a coffee shop with a friend who really gets you. A friend who knows who you really are and loves you for it.

20. Turn on the music in your house really loud and dance. Remember the adage to dance like there is nobody watching. Do that.

21. Do something creative. Try your hand at pottery or painting or any creative endeavor. Don't try to be great. Just be creative. Frame your piece or put it in a place where you can see it every day.

22. Write a short passage or blog and then rewrite it until it is something you are quite proud of. Some days, after I have finished writing this blog, I go back and read some of the earlier entries and I feel quite proud if some of the entries.

23. Spend a day wandering through a small town that has shops and restaurants. Buy or don't buy but just browse and have coffee and people watch. Do it with a friend or do it alone. It can be amazing to your happiness either way.

24. Eating things that feed my body makes me happy. When I am on my game and exercising and eating right, I get a harmony with my place in the world and it makes me happy.

25. Listening to your favorite music can transport you to another place. Listening to some great beats can lift you up before your workout and get you in the mood to workout. Listening to some great jazz while you are driving can give you a feeling of peace and contentment.

These are the things that make me happy. Surprising how simple and inexpensive most of them are isn't it? That is food for thought. What makes you feel happy?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wave Surfing and Life

Trying new things even on a small scale can be likened to diving through waves. When you stand in the shallow water and face out to sea and watch the waves roll in. If you stand just shallow of where the waves break you can watch them break from a safe distance. You sit safely bobbing in the swirl that happens after the wave breaks untouched by the ferocity of the breaking wave.

If you happen to stand right near where the wave breaks, the water crashes over you, tearing at your clothing and slamming you toward the sandy bottom. You come back up breathless and disoriented. Here is the secret though. To pass through a breaking wave you have to dive into it. When you do you smoothly emerge on the other side. You see the obvious analogy. Right now I am standing in the shallows watching the wave break. Feeling the need to dive in.

I have chosen three things that I can do right now. Climb Kilimanjaro. Register at the University to get my Masters (and then do I dare hope a PhD?) and go to my first Yoga class at my gym. Those are three things that I can incorporate into my life NOW. I have a willing friend to climb with. We just need to book the trip. I have already contacted the University for registration and all I have to do to start my yoga class is drive to the gym. Done. Many of the people I have read about, who had made their midlife changes, had chosen to do something inspiring and that changed their path completely. To a more fulfilling one. I see a big wave coming.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Wishful Thinking and Entrepreneurship

I read a column from an entrepreneur coach and he says when you are starting out, most days are bad ones, where you wear multiple hats and are required to do ten different tasks, only two of which you actually know how to do. And he says some days you want to throw in the towel and other days the sky is the limit. He's right. Most days entrepreneurship is just one small task after another. Nothing glorious. Expenses still exceeding income. Moments of glory but the rest is just a series of tasks that hopefully move toward the goal.

Some days I think I Can Do This and there is no end to my optimistic view of the future. Then other days when I wonder what the heck am I doing anyway! Whatever made me think this could work? And then something small happens...some small bit of success that sends me rocketing back to optimism. A roller coaster ride to the finish.

It is interesting that if I had not invested the original money into the project, I may have quit by now. Not because the idea would not fly but because it is difficult and slow. I had expectations that this would happen faster than it has. T. Harvey Eker says to plan on paying twice as much as you budgeted and take 3 times as long as you thought it would. He was right although I did not know it at the heady launch time when I read the article.

It is still fun though and in the end that is what counts. Add in the fact that it continues to grow, despite that it grows slower than I would like it. Budgets would indicate that over time I will make money too. I still look at the product and get a little flip in my heart. Random, unsolicited, unmotivated feedback still says Thumbs Up. Still a reason to go forward. On Dragons Den they say not to expect to make any money until year 4. I am thinking year 2 or 3 but maybe that is wishful thinking....

Saturday, December 4, 2010

10 Reasons Retirement Makes You Feel Younger - On Retirement (

10 Reasons Retirement Makes You Feel Younger - On Retirement (

10 Reasons Retirement Makes You Feel Younger
By Sydney Lagier

Posted: June 15, 2010

Retirement gets a bad rap. It conjures images of white hair, rocking chairs, and forgetting where you left your teeth. It reminds you of that man driving ten miles an hour under the speed limit with the turn signal still blinking after a lane change six miles ago. Retirement is just another word for getting old, right?

Wrong. Retirement is actually the fountain of youth. Ok, maybe you won’t literally start aging backwards, but it will feel like you are. Think back to your childhood, to the last day of school before summer break. Remember the thrill of having all those months to do anything you wanted? Well, in retirement you have the whole rest of your life. Here’s why retirement will shave years off your attitude.

No more ties. Only grown-ups wear ties. When you put on that suit each morning, it transforms you. You become a professional, an adult, and let’s face it, old. When you wake up the first day of retirement and find yourself still in your pajamas two hours later, you’ll feel like a kid on Christmas morning, just waiting to unwrap the rest of your life.

Pedaling instead of commuting. Yes, you rode your bike when you were still working, but that was merely for exercise. Now it’s for fun or even to get somewhere. Pedaling through the neighborhood with the wind in your hair transports you back to your youth.

Movies in the middle of the day. Like that kid on summer break, you can catch the bargain matinee on a weekday, except now you can see the R-rated ones without your mom.

Playing just for the sake of playing. Now you can play golf solely for the fun of it, without discussing the latest sales figures with your client. Whether it’s tennis or piano or Sudoku, retirement lets you play purely because you want to, even though it isn’t productive. Productive is a grown-up word. You’re too busy frolicking to care about that.

Taking electives. Kids finger paint to create, not to sell paintings. You’ll join a class just because you want to draw or sing or write. It doesn’t have to further your career or your degree, you have time to learn simply because you’re interested.

Fewer responsibilities. Ever wonder why the president’s hair turns gray within a year of taking office? It’s all that responsibility. Without your job you’ll have a lot less of it. Your gray hairs won’t turn back to black, but you’ll probably slow down on accumulating new ones.

Ditto with stress.

Energy. After a long day at work, you pretty much have the energy to eat dinner and then park yourself in front of the TV for a few hours before going to bed and starting all over again the next day. Without that job to exhaust you, you’ll actually have energy, like when you were young.

Sleep. Part of that energy is because you are no longer operating on six hours of sleep. You’ll sleep in like a teenager until you’re absolutely ready to join the waking world.

Social networking. When you were working you didn’t have time to figure out Facebook or Twitter or texting. You had more important things to do. You don’t anymore. So when you hang with the cool kids on laptops at the coffeehouse, you’ll also be checking for new comments on your most recent blog post.

You’d think that since retirement comes toward the end of your life it would make you feel older, not younger. But it’s not the end of the road. Retirement is the beginning of a new road leading to years of slurping from the fountain of youth.

Sydney Lagier is a former certified public accountant. Since retiring in 2008 at the age of 44, she has been writing about the transition from productive member of society to gal of leisure at her blog, Retirement: A Full-Time Job.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...