Wednesday, October 7, 2015
I recently read about a survey (by the University of Chicago) which suggested that those who relish challenge are more likely to live up to 10 years longer than those who spend their lives inhibited by timidity. Trying to realize our ambitions, even if we don't always meet them, is preferable to not having the courage or motivation to take the risk. So not making any resolutions because we fear that we'll break them is having a defeatist attitude, as we allow procrastination to become an insidious habit which stops us from leading more fulfilling lives.
The following offers 10 ways to kick the procrastination habit!
1. Personal values development. Take the time to find out what you really want in life, what your personal values are. Do you want more time, more money, better health, greater self esteem and confidence, more fulfilling relationships, a different career, set up a business? When we procrastinate it's often because what we are planning to do is not really aligned with what we truly want. We may be scared of our skills (or perceived lack of) or fear ridicule from others.
2. Make health a priority. Without good health we are less likely to have the energy and dynamism needed to make positive changes in our lives and it's easier (and necessary if you're very ill) to procrastinate. So ensure that you have a nourishing diet, sleep well, exercise and meditate. Incidentally, it is thought that regular meditation helps delay the worst effects of the ageing process.
3. Visualize your life without procrastination. See and feel the benefits in your life if you didn't procrastinate. What could you do and achieve? Begin to act as if you're not a procrastinator. Write down, draw, imagine your life as a film. Use affirmations to help you.
4. Banish the Gremlin. That little voice which runs on auto in your head - that dismisses any idea that you might have. It says things like "I'm not in the mood" "I don't have time" "I can't do this". Stop running on auto, replace the "should's" "oughts" "have tos" with "want to" "desire". You have a choice. Acknowledge your choices and banish the Gremlin. Again, using affirmations can help you replace the Gremlin with more positive alternatives.
5. Over commitment. Saying "yes" to everything - often leaves you feeling tired and without the energy to focus on what is most important to you. This leads to procrastination as projects and tasks are dropped. Identify what is most important to you and only focus on those areas which will make the biggest difference to your life. It will enhance your focus and motivation.
6. Setting personal professional goals. It's hard to motivate yourself when you don't have a good idea of what you want to accomplish. So when setting goals think about what you want to achieve in the short term and long term. Techniques for doing so include the SMART strategy. S = specific M = measurable A= Action R = Realistic T = Time based. Use goal setting software to help you in goal planning and setting.
7. Prioritize Your Goals. Develop a plan or schedule to help you reach your goals. In doing so you will begin to identify whether some elements need to be included or enhanced or dropped completely. Also remember to be flexible, revisit your goals regularly and modify or drop if appropriate. Just because a goal is written down doesn't mean that it is set in stone!
8. Divide and conquer. Once you've prioritized your goals, divide them into smaller chunks. Sometimes we procrastinate because a project seems really large that the scale of it overwhelms us and puts us into a temporary form of paralysis - you don't know where to start, so you don't start at all! Approach each project - especially large ones - on a step by step basis.
9. Reward yourself. Once you start to complete tasks, reward yourself by giving yourself something that you want. So instead of seeing a film before you complete a task, see it afterwards and make it a reward for you.
10. Just get started. No excuses. Don't wait until you're "in the mood". The mood never comes! It is a clever camouflage and a delaying tactic. What you resist persists! Start with what is easiest, so that you experience immediate success, which will give you the fuel and motivation to upgrade and take on larger projects.
Do any of the above and you'll be well on your way to Kicking the Procrastination Habit. And if you're procrastinating over doing any of the above :.), then remember that life is the biggest deadline of all!
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Monday, October 5, 2015
You can get through the Thanks giving food fest and partake of beloved, savory dishes that grace your family table without overindulging. All you need is a dash of self-control and a pinch of sound planning.
• Do NOT — and this is a big, fat, huge no-no — go hungry all day in anticipation of the Thanksgiving feast. That goes for whether you're scheduled to sit down at noon or 7 p.m. This loony tactic will make you so starved you won't be able to control yourself when you get that first whiff of succulent turkey, stuffing with sausage or whatever other Thanksgiving dish usually turns you into an eating machine.
Eat something light and low-calorie a few hours before the big meal, but make sure you feel full enough to keep your hunger pangs in check. Try a bowl of oatmeal or lean meat on whole-wheat bread.
• Do not wear super loose-fitting clothing. Leave your belt buckled. Don't torture yourself with a waist-binding outfit. But this is no time for your fat pants. You might not be tempted to eat as much if you're feeling slight pressure on your belly from wearing something a little more form-fitting.
• Drink water. Keep drinking it throughout the day to stay hydrated. It's also an easy way to feel full so you don't keep shoveling food into your mouth.
• Rely less on your dominant hand. Try this trick only during the cocktails-and-hors d'oeuvres phase of the meal, since things could get a little sloppy. If you're left-handed, hold your drink of choice in your left hand. Put your drink in your right hand if you're a righty. Then, head for the hors d'oeuvres tray and see how much more difficult it is to pick up food with your weaker hand. The clumsiness of it all could make you eat less — or at least provide some comic relief.
• Don't overdo the booze. One mixed drink will cost you about 250 calories. A glass of wine is worth 120 calories, and a bottle of beer is typically 150 calories. Consider sparkling water, which is calorie-free.
• Eat what you love, just eat a little less of it. Use some portion control. You can easily visualize properly sized portions this way: Try a fist-size helping of your favorite side dishes, such as cranberry sauce, stuffing and potatoes; a serving of meat that's equal in size to a deck of cards and a palm-size serving of pie.
• Serve yourself. This isn't always possible, especially if you have a well-meaning host who never sits down because he or she wants to pile more food onto your plate. By politely assuming temporary control of the serving spoon, you could save tons of calories you don't want or need.
• Take a walk. Exercise allows you to regulate your appetite and make room for more calories. Plus, it gets you away from all that food. A brisk walk is a good choice of exercise, especially if you don't have much time. If you're used to taking a 30-minute walk every day, but you don't think you can do it all at once because of company or cooking, break it up into 10-minute blocks. If it's possible, you can schedule your walks as a family in between courses.
You can also start the day off with a walk — or a bike ride or a run — before you get too busy.
• Pick your battles of the bulge. Get a panoramic view of the smorgasbord that's been spread before you. Decide which dishes you really, really want to eat and which ones you can skip or have just a little of — you don't want to waste calories on foods you can eat any old time.
Keep in mind that a typical Thanksgiving meal can run about 2,000 calories, but your body can only process about 700 calories at once. Your body tends to store the excess calories, which can turn to fat, according to the American Council on Exercise.
Also, you can avoid overeating if you fill up a tad on the lower-calorie stuff first. Try eating your salad before digging into the main course.
• Be strategic with seconds. If you want to go back for more, go ahead but don't do it right away. Give yourself a break for about 10 minutes. You might discover you're not hungry for another helping, after all.
• Mingle. Chatting up your dinner partners will keep too many forkfuls from flying into your mouth.
• Eat something tart. This is a good strategy if you want to limit your intake of sweet desserts. There's nothing like an orange or a pickle to neutralize your urge for sweets.
• Try this if you throw all caution to the winds and stuff yourself silly: Take a mild, over-the-counter antacid and go for a stroll to settle your stomach.
• Don't hate yourself too much if you overdo it Thanksgiving Day. One day isn't going to wreck your waistline. But you can wallop yourself upside the head if you decide to chuck your last vestiges of self-control and spend the next several days eating and eating and eating. That, friends, is the perfect recipe for packing on pounds.
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Sunday, October 4, 2015
We stood in the kitchen talking. I was discussing my upcoming change in lifestyle. I was excited yet hesitant as I talked about it. We set a goal many years ago to change our lifestyle from one of the hectic city life, working to pay the bills… We stood in the kitchen talking. I was discussing my upcoming change in lifestyle. I was excited yet hesitant as I talked about it. We set a goal many years ago to change our lifestyle from one of the hectic city life, working to pay the bills….. to one of a slower country pace, working on our "wanna do's". Yet as I talked to my friend about this, there was hesitation in my voice. Leaving a company where I had worked for over 26 years, leaving friends who have become like family to me, leaving a province where I had lived, raised my children and worked for the last 16 years. I expressed my concerns of leaving a steady paycheck for a much, much lower income. As I talked, that little voice in my head was saying, "what are you doing, will you be able to make it?"
My friend left the room and came back carrying a bag. "This is for you," she said smiling.
I opened the bag and in it was a plaque with the following poem:
Believe In Yourself
And in your dream
things may seem,
Someday, somehow you'll get through to
the goal you have in view.
Mountains fall and
seas divide before
the one who in his stride
Takes a hard road
day by day
sweeping obstacles away.
Believe in yourself
and in your plan.
Say not - I cannot but, I can.
The prizes of life we
fail to win, Because we doubt the
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As I read the poem, my hesitation disappeared, my confidence restored, I knew it would be all right. I did have a dream, and although, at times it appeared impossible, I set my goal and never lost sight of that end goal. Yes, many times as I worked towards that goal I had setbacks, obstacles. However, I never lost focus. I believed I could do it. And, as I reflected on the poem I knew, tomorrow will work out. I have come this far and faced many obstacles, but I overcame them.
I am writing this story on Sunday, and tomorrow, on Monday, June 23rd, the moving truck will arrive. I am leaving Mississauga, ON and moving to the country in New Brunswick. My goal now a reality!
What are your dreams?
Do they seem impossible?
Set your goal, don't give up when you face obstacles, and stay focused, as the power within is truly amazing!!