Here to the New Year in Good Cheer – Take Your Time

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When I lived in Santa Fe, I used to housesit and dogsit for people. When a friend’s mother  passed away, she asked if I would stay at her mother’s house until she and her sister decided what to do with it.

This was no ordinary house. This was a gorgeous ranch with a guest house in one of my favorite places on earth. I was sure everyone was mistaken and I was really the one who had died because this was my idea of heaven. The days I got to spend in that home among so many beautiful things were unforgettable.

My friend’s mother was a remarkable woman who had crafted an astonishingly elegant life for herself and the friends, family, horses, and canines that kept her company.

One evening as I sat on the porch watching a spectacular sunset the idea occurred to me that I couldn’t hang on to this place or this experience any more than my friend’s mother could. The only thing I could do was fully appreciate the time I had there.

This is why I’m so protective of this time at the end of the year and seem obsessed with making sense of the year coming to a close.  I’m acutely aware that, as the classic Seals and Croft song goes, “We may never pass this way again.”

So I want to make sure I’m present for it. That I don’t rush through it in my desire to move on to bigger, better, faster, or flashier. I want to take my time and give it the attention a full year of my life deserves. I hope you’ll do the same with yours.

With that said, I’ll take you through the rest of the Year in Review template and tomorrow I’ll give you a different one to look at the year ahead.

What were the products that rocked your world? Every year there is at least one thing I wonder how I ever lived without. Usually it’s an upgrade or improvement to something I use every day. It could be as simple as a new electric toothbrush, slim velvet hangers, a new skincare product, or an app that reminds me to meditate, move, or feed the fish. What are those things for you?

Who were the people who rocked your world? Just as there are products you can’t live without, there are people who make it all worthwhile. It could be your yoga teacher, your rabbi, a rock star, a writer, your next door neighbor, Alexander Hamilton, or the dog-treat-dispensing bank teller. I was inspired by so many people that this will have to be a separate blog post for me.

What books, blogs, movies, music, concerts, conversations, or workshop/seminars/coaching programs/retreats changed the way you think and feel? The thing I like to remember is I am only one thought away from a new perspective and a few dance moves or dog walk away from a better mood. As much as I like to think about things, I don’t act on them until I feel something. Often times I need a nudge in the form of reading material, listening material, phoning a friend, or giving in to the unbridled enthusiasm of two dogs who think they are going for a w-a-l-k.

How did your relationships change or shift this year? Did you get engaged, married, divorced, have a baby, lose a loved one, start a business, hire a coach, fire someone, rekindle a romance, move to a new neighborhood, or retire from your job? When your circumstances change, usually your relations shift as well.

What health, fitness, food, or spiritual practices did you try, tweak, test out, or keep up this year? Maybe you took up archery or turned into a total foodie, much to your surprise and delight. Maybe you started a hip hop class or became a Buddhist. Maybe you did a 21-day cleanse or tried acupuncture. Or maybe you suffered a debilitating illness that turned your world upside down and forced you to do everything differently. How have these new practices defined you or allowed you to reinvent yourself?

What is the smallest change you made that had the biggest impact? Did you start meditating for 5 minutes in the morning or stop drinking soda? Did you start leaving love notes in your spouse’s lunchbox? Did you take up taekwondo with your kid? Did you give up lattes for Lent and never looked back?

And finally, what were your greatest contributions this year? Maybe you spent a Saturday afternoon being a bell-ringer for the Salvation Army. Maybe you took 3 carloads of career ready clothes to Dressed for Success. Maybe you sponsored a child, saved yourself and your children and left an abusive relationship, or fed some local families during the holidays. Whatever you did, make a note of it. It mattered.

Tomorrow I’ll look at what you want to call in for 2017.  But for today, take your time and tell me about your year in the comments below.

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Here to the New Year in Good Cheer – Plan “S”

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Skipping to the front line of the Here to the New Year in Good Cheer challenge is the letter “S”, stacking one stone upon another in seasonal style.

There are several “s” words and ideas that strive to serve you. I could shower you with strategies that leave you staggering with a sprawling spread of spirited suggestions, but sticking to something more subtle suits us better.

You don’t need a series of solutions to get through the day. All that scheming, scripting, scouting, and scheduling may sacrifice your sanity. Where’s the satisfaction in that?

So without further speculating I shall spill the beans and sow the seeds of what I hope will be a shared sentiment.

Slowly succumb to the sights and sounds of your sacred space. If you can’t physically be there, go there in your mind. Soften your sharp edges. Seize the opportunity to shimmy, shake, shine, shout, or seek shelter in this place sanctioned solely for the spectacular surrendering of your stress.

It may seem silly or sound self-indulgent and you may be tempted to shrug it off.  Do it anyway. It will soothe your soul, sweet pea. Splurge. Savor. Soak it up.

You deserve some serious stress relief. And I’m here to see that you shift your sights slightly sideways so you might be seduced by a shameless sashay into a silent night – or seconds if that’s all you can sequester – to sleep, shop, or shovel snow in heavenly peace.

Score some stickers or snag a sassy Resolve to Evolve mini journal  by sharing your “S” stories in the comments below.  I never sell the information on my list so your secrets and your emails are safe with me.

P.S.  Here’s a bonus book recommendation for Plan “S”.  Start With Why from Simon Sinek. If you prefer watching TED talks to books, catch his sensational talk here. (Thanks, Tom, for sending the book to me in the (saint) nick of time for Plan “S”.)

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Here to the New Year in Good Cheer – Plan “R”

 

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Plan “R” is ready to report in for duty in the Here to the New Year in Good Cheer challenge.

Although there are many “R” words in the running for today’s top tip like relax, rejuvenate, roam, radiate, read, renew, receive,  reveal, respect, restore, represent, reflect, reign, and shake-rattle-and-roll, one of the revolutionary principles I like to coach people on is resolving to evolve.

Although I have written Reasonably Radical Resolutions to Redefine Your Reality in response to regular resolutions that tend to last as long Rocky Road ice-cream on a ridiculously hot day, resolving to evolve means you repeatedly return to the place where you get to rewrite, re-do, or reinvent yourself as a result of your most recent reach for something outside your comfort zone.

This quote by Rumi sums it up.

Respond to every call that excites your spirit.”

The reward for risking everything is that you reveal who you really are and this reminds you of what is possible for you.

Instead of removing yourself from any chance encounter with a roly-poly bearded guy and his flying reindeer, see if you can recapture a bit of the Christmas magic by reclaiming your  own superpowers and rising to the challenge of realizing your potential.

I know you may resist and possibly resent me for requesting this of you at this time of year, but I want you to ride this year out on a wave of remarkable moments made possible by your commitment to reigniting your rousing curiosity and rejoicing with the totally righteous dudes and dudettes who recognize your rebellion as your resurrection into right livelihood or reassurance that you’re already rollicking along the right track with no regrets.

And one more thing.

Release the need to ricochet or rush around. It will rob you of any peace of mind you may have recovered while reciting riddles in a padded room. Rely on your own rhythm to move at the pace of grace this holiday season.

What rings true for you?  Report in and recall your reasons why you rock and your Plan “R” rules below in the comments.

Right on. Or write on, as I like to say.

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P.S. I almost forgot… more Good Cheer here! Remember I told you there would be goodies? Well, I’ve got goodies galore!

If you would like Resolve to Evolve or Here to the New Year in Good Cheer stickers to put on packages or love letters, or a mini Resolve to Evolve journal, respond in the comments below. Please leave your contact info below so I know where to ship your goodies.

It’s my way of rewarding you for reading and responding. (And don’t worry, your privacy is a big deal to me. I don’t let anyone have access to the information you share with me.)

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Stop, Drop, and Roll

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It’s Day 10 of the Get Stuff Done 1×31 Challenge and today’s challenge is a variation on stop, drop, and roll.

I learned this fire safety drill early on in my relationship with Fireman Bob. I believe it was the first time I offered to cook him a meal.

“Should your clothes catch on fire,” he warned as soon as he witnessed my wizardry with the gas stove,“your response is to stop, drop, and roll.”

Of course this is no longer a threat now that I’m banned from the kitchen. But, the lesson stuck with me and today I’d like to adapt the stop, drop, and roll theory to our Get Stuff Done 1×31 Challenge.

I’d love for you stop for 5-15 minutes today and review your progress so far. We’re about 1/3 of the way through our challenge. Nothing builds on the excitement of a movement like momentum.

So grab your lists and let’s review your to do’s-to be’s- to have’s , listen to a couple of your playlists, take a peek at those pics you took to post your progress, and gather your evidence that the world is basically good.

What are the biggest and smallest items you’ve been able to accomplish in 10 days? Would you have done these things had you not been doing the 1×31 challenge?

You are inching forward, are you not? You’ve earned bragging rights so go ahead a tell someone or share with the rest of us in the comments below.

Yesterday I took some work clothes to Dress for Success, which was a big item on my list. On Day 5, with the help of Fireman Bob, I got the pantry organized. (The pantry is not off limits. No fire hazards there.)

Okay, this is where I’m taking creative license with the Stop, Drop, and Roll drill and changing Drop and Roll to Rock and Roll. I think you know where this is heading. That’s right. Dance party.

Remember on Day 7 when I asked you to do something for the health of it?  Just in case you didn’t get around to that, here is your chance. As they say, dance like no one’s watching. Play air guitar. Break out the roller skates/blades. Or do the hokey -pokey and turn yourself around.

Just do some small physical thing (like throw your arms up in a victory pose as I did  when my feet touched this exquisite red sand near Zion National Park) to celebrate your success so far. If that happens to be drop and roll, so be it.  Otherwise, rock on!

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Okay, here’s your playlist to accompany today’s post:

Celebrate Good Times – Kool and the Gang

Rock On – David Essex – or if you prefer the Midnight Special edition, click here.

Stop, Drop, and Roll – Safety Safety Song for Kids- This is fabulous… a stop, drop, and roll song! These kids are amazing and their dance moves are awesome.

It’s Still Rock N Roll to Me – Billy Joel

Rock Me Gently – Andy Kim – One of my all time favorite songs:)

Wagon Wheel – Darius Rucker

Rock Me Amadeus – Falco

Roll With It – Steve Winwood

Only Rock and Roll – The Rolling Stones

  • The fascinating thing with compiling these playlists is I’ve never watched any of the videos until now.  I usually just searched for the music on iTunes. It’s been quite entertaining to actually watch the videos. Hope you enjoy them as well. 🙂

 

Your suggestions are welcome in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

Baby, You’re a Firework

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In addition to everything else that today may be, July 4th is also Day 4 of Get Stuff Done 1×31.

There is a lot of picnicking, parading, and playing patriotic music in the USA today. In sticking with this celebratory theme, today’s task is to create an anthem.

We all need an anthem, a fight song, a Get Stuff Done 1×31 battle cry.

If cleaning the pantry and putting up deck lights are on your list (oh, right, that’s my list), you may want to create an iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, Google Play, Tidal, or Apple Music playlist to get your through the tasks at hand.

Just as the soundtrack to a movie is essential to evoking the emotions necessary to move the action along, having a playlist for your project, party, or potential road trip helps you sustain your momentum. The music also anchors the event in your memory.

I’ve been making “mixed tapes” and playlists since I taught aerobics in the 80s. Trust me, it’s never been easier or more exciting to mix music than it is today.  If you have yet to discover the sonic sanctuary that awaits you at any of the above streaming music sources, take 5-15 minutes and check it out today. (Be warned, it may turn into an hour or all afternoon adventure.)

I know you’ve got the music in you. Tap into its power to propel you forward.

Here’s a little patriotic music in case you aren’t one of the 7 million people who have viewed this video. https://www.facebook.com/AnthemLights/videos/1434597926565706/

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Share your ideas or recommend your favorite playlists and artists in the comments below.