Reach Your Goals Like An Olympic Champion: Winning is a team effort!

It was fun to watch the Olympics! I know most people were getting tired of watching swimming, but swimming is a sport I love, so I enjoyed every minute of it! While watching swimming, it can appear that the athlete is a “one-man-team”, however, when we see the interviews after the race, the athlete is surrounded by a team of individuals who have coached, mentored and supported them and helped them become their best. Why is it, as we are trying to live our best, that we feel we need to go at it alone? We feel as though we have failed if we have to ask for help, when the opposite is the truth. Asking for and receiving help can propel us forward and speed up our growth and desired change.

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I frequently use examples from my experience with learning how to play the upright bass. It truly has been one of the hardest things I have taken on, and one that requires perseverance. Recently, I was working on learning a new song. I had been struggling for some time with motivation and excitement for playing. As I was practicing, I became extremely frustrated because my brain would not “get it!” I realized I was hitting a wall.

As I looked back over the past few months, I realized I had hit that same wall time and time again. This time, it truly gave me a headache! As I stood holding my instrument, resisting the urge to smash it on the ground, like the cool musicians do, I realized “I need help!” I needed someone to help me over this wall that I was hitting. I needed to get help from someone knowledgeable, who has been in my shoes, and who would encourage me to keep pressing forward. That is exactly what I did. I met with my music instructor. From his years of experience, he knew exactly what encouragement I needed and what steps I need to take in order to move forward. I walked out of my session almost in tears because I was so thankful for his help and much needed encouragement!

How about you? Do you have any areas of your life that you feel like you have hit a wall and you can’t seem to move past it? Have you been trying to take off those pounds and not finding results? Have you been trying to eliminate pain, physical or emotional, and it won’t go away? Are you ready to move forward and make progress? Here are some wonderful benefits of “asking for help!”

  1. Other individuals have knowledge that we don’t. Do you know what mixolydian mode is in music? I had never heard of such a thing until my music instructor taught it to me. This one concept made a huge difference in the song I was learning. He has knowledge of big and small things that will make a huge difference in how I learn and move forward. Someone knowledgeable in your areas of desired change can do the same for you.
  2. Other individuals have experience we can learn from. I love listening to other people’s stories. There is so much to learn as we listen to others and how they were able to accomplish great things and move past their areas of frustration. Their life may be very different from mine, but I find there is always something I can pick up just by listening to the experiences of others.
  3. Other individuals have perspectives we need to hear. This can also come as a “kick in the butt” too! In my frustration, I asked my bass instructor “how can you hear that? No matter what I do, I can’t hear what I am supposed to be playing!” He looked me straight in the eyes and asked me “how long have you been playing music?” I sighed “under three years.” He said “Exactly!” He helped me realize that I am still very new at this and all of these skills will come over time, if I persevere. I needed that perspective!
  4. Other individuals have encouragement that will help us move forward! We all need encouragement! That encouragement looks different for each of us, but we all need it. My personal trainer had learned that if he tries to encourage me with “RAH RAH” cheers, all it motivates me to do is roll my eyes at him. He has learned how to encourage me and keep me moving forward. We all need encouragement in our lives!

So what is your next step? Is there an area in your life where you feel you need help? Who can you ask? Do you see how it will help you get over the wall you keep banging your head against? Remember, winning is a team effort. We don’t need to go at it alone!

Here’s to no more wall banging headaches!

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To Amazing Individuals Who Want to Make Their 2016 Resolutions a Reality

We are 232 days into 2016. Is there something you wanted to tackle this year but keep putting off? It happens easily because most of the things we want to work on or tackle are really hard and take a good amount of effort. If you are like me, you may have tried to get started, but fizzled out over a few weeks’ time. Let’s tie up our shoe laces, focus on one small baby step at a time, and move steadily towards accomplishing what we set out to accomplish at the beginning of 2016!

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For the past few years I have been learning to play the upright bass. I enjoy the fun, uplifting sound of bluegrass music and wanted to have some fun learning a new instrument. I had been going strong with my lessons and learning until 2016 hit. Then I fizzled out. I have had times where I have done okay, but overall It has not been “all about the bass” for me this year! Now it is time to get going again.

There is great news for all of us! We still have 134 days in 2016 to move forward on our dreams. Here are four things that will help you get moving in the right direction.

  1. Focus on ONE. Focus on one thing you want to work towards for the rest of this year. If you are like me, you have a laundry list of things you want to improve. Let’s focus on quality over quantity. Focus on one thing so that you can give it your all!
  2. Focus on ONE. Ask yourself today “what is the one small baby step that I can work on today?” If you read much of my writing you have heard this concept before, and you will hear it again and again. I believe focusing on one baby step at a time is key to our success. I have created the habit of taking time in the morning, because I am a morning person, to enjoy some coffee, breakfast, and inspiration reading. Before I get up from my kitchen table, I think about my baby step for the day. If I accomplished my last baby step, I have to decide on the next step. If I am still working on my current baby step, I take that time to remind myself and recommit to it.
  3. Inspire Motivation. I really wanted to keep going with the theme of “Focus on One”, but my creativity fizzled out! Hee, Hee! Sorry to disappoint! SQUIRREL! Anyway, back to the topic at hand! When I struggle with motivation I have found that filling my mind with the subject matter builds my motivation. For example, I eat a pretty strict diet because I have many intolerances to food. Because of this I have had to limit my sugar intake. I LOVE sweets, so this is an area I tend to falter in. When I find myself starting to crave sweets, I try to jump back into my books and magazines that remind me why eliminating sugar is so important to my health. I do the same thing with my bass. All I have to do is listen to my favorite bluegrass tunes and I find new inspiration. Think about your goal and ask yourself “What could I utilize to learn and inspire me as I move forward the rest of this year?”
  4. Write down WHY. Why do you want to make this improvement in your life? Our “why” is the heart of our resolution. As you think about this, get specific. Go beyond “I want to be healthy.” Why do you want to be healthy? Do you feel like you lack energy to live the life you want to live? Do you experience pain and don’t want to live with it the rest of your life? Do you want to have more fun in your life? Dig deep and answer the question “why?” Your “why” will be vital on the days you want to give up. That is when you pull it out and remind yourself what your heart desires.

What one resolution are you going to focus on for the rest of 2016? Why? How are you going to learn about it to inspire your motivation? What one baby step are you going to take today to move forward?

I would love to hear about your plans and your journey and so would my other readers! Please comment below and start the conversation. We are working hard to live our best together!
Here’s to an amazing journey and to the 134 wonderful days left in 2016!

How To Get Rid Of The Blahs

It is my desire for you to feel your best. There are many different ways we can work towards feeling great. The one that always seems backwards, but fills me with so much joy, is giving my time to lend a helping hand. We get so much back when we give our best at the right place and right time.

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I was raised in a house where my parents set an example of serving others. To this day, I go visit my parents, who are now in their 80’s, and they invite me to go down to the local nursing home to take care of the needs of the residents. None of our lives are perfect, but my life growing up was filled with joy because helping others was just as normal as breathing.

But sometimes the busyness of life gets in the way. Before we know it, it is all we can do to keep up with our own tasks much less take on those of others. I know when this is the case for me, I start to feel drained and down. If this is how you feel today, take a look at your calendar for the next few weeks and block out time now to lend a helping hand. It will bring you energy and joy in these four amazing ways.

  1. It reminds us that we have special gifts to contribute. I don’t know about you, but our world can be draining. It always wants more and more is not good enough. Sometimes it feels like we have nothing special to offer, but that is not true. When we give our time in an area we are passionate about, our love, strengths and unique abilities shine. Each one of us is amazing and has so much to contribute!
  2. It gets our mind off of our problems. When we share our time with others, and focus on their needs, it gives our mind a short break from our dreaded “ToDo” list, or issues that are on our mind. Joyce Meyers once shared that the best way to get something off of your mind is to fill your mind with something else. Filling it with caring for others is a great way to do it.
  3. It gives us perspective. I enjoy volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. In fact, a friend of mine just recently organized a work day that I was able to be a part of. I had the opportunity to help build a home for someone who was in dire need of a safe, reliable place to live and raise their family. As I worked on screwing in drywall, I was reminded of all the blessings I have in my life that I simply take for granted. Helping in areas of need help to bring perspective to our lives.
  4. We receive a gift that cannot be explained. I was challenged once, when I was down in the dumps, to get off my rear-end, get out of my house and go help a friend. It was the LAST THING I felt like doing, but I did it. As I drove home that night, I felt great. The load that was on my shoulders earlier did not feel as heavy. Some people call it karma, some say “you reap what you sow”, others “what goes around, comes around.” I don’t care what you call it, it works. It truly is greater to give than receive!

Has the busyness of your life gotten in the way of helping others in need? What gifts and talents do you have that would be a blessing to others. What baby step can you put in place today to move forward on helping others? You will get so much in return!

Here’s to feeling great and making a wonderful difference in the world we live!

Yep, We Can!

Doesn’t it feel great accomplishing something? To say that I love to check things off of my “To Do” list is an understatement. There have been times in my life that I have bordered on addiction when it comes to getting a “high” off of accomplishing things. But how, when life is incredibly busy, can we keep moving forward? How can we keep accomplishing the things that are most important to us when we can barely keep our head above water?

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I recently attended a profession conference, and like most conferences, I drank from the firehose for three days straight. It was great, but there is not enough room on one sheet of paper to include all of the “To Dos” that were added to my list during that time. During the hours of traveling home, thirteen to be exact, I continued to ask myself “How am I going to move forward on all of this stuff?”

Is there an area in your life where you would like to accomplish something or reach a goal? Does it feel too big to tackle? And because of that, is difficult to get started? Here are three essentials that help me continue to move forward in the most important areas of my life.

  1. Believe you can do it. This sounds simple, but, if deep down you do not believe you will succeed, it will continue to hold you back. Believing you can accomplish your goal produces action in your life. If you tell yourself you can cut back on your sugar intake (an example from my own life), you will start to look for ways to do it. Thinking “I can” produces action! Repeat “I can” over and over in your mind, and you will find a way to move forward.
  2. Focus on the next small step. I love to think BIG in my life, but with that comes big ideas that can be overwhelming. I probably have three million steps to take between where I am today and what I want to accomplish in my life. I get heart palpitations when I think of all that I have left to do. The same might be true for you as you think of all it is going to take to accomplish your goal. Let’s ask ourselves and focus on the next baby step, then take just that one step. Then ask and focus on the next step, and the next, and the next. Before we know it, we will look back and be amazed at how far we have come.
  3. Make a commitment. Life is incredibly busy and it can pull us in many different directions. If we are not intentional about staying on course, we will be detoured. Make a commitment to yourself and to your loved ones that you will stay focused on this most important area of your life.

Are you ready to tackle that important task or goal in your life? What is your first baby step? Let’s move forward, one step at a time knowing without a doubt that we can do it!

Here’s to a “Can Do” attitude and our next baby step!