May Resolution {Learn To Meditate}…

Today is the second day of May!  Oh I am all off my rocker.

Raymond made me invited me to the Wells Fargo Championship Tuesday and Wednesday.  I love hanging out with him and I love golf courses.  Two days of it and I am officially done.  I’m exhausted.  My legs hurt.  I have zero energy to tackle anything.

Not good when you are a business owner.  Not good.  I have stuff to do and no energy to do it with. 🙂

May (almost summer) is the month I vow to learn to meditate.  It is the second day of the month and I have yet to tackle any goals.  I even had a milkshake today.  Not exactly in line with January’s continuing goals. 😉

May Resolutions

  • Take better care of my body
    • It is time to wear sleeveless tops and bathing suits.  Working out and eating clean are important always, but even more so in the warmer months.
  • Get up earlier
    • Moving the wake up time back to 6:45am.
    • I struggled with the consistency of waking up at 7am for the month of April.
    • I think getting in the bed at or before 10:30pm will be vital!
  • Read one new book a month
    • Start new book after I finish my 3 typed and printed book reviews.
    • Made To Stick
    • May book to read: Made To Stick
    • Finish book review for Getting Things Done
    • Type book review for The Circle Maker
  • Make time a priority

A quick Google search led me to this amazing article about why and how to meditate.

How To Meditate Daily

Game plan

  • Start with 2 minutes
  • Meditate in the mornings
    • After reading, devotions, and coffee
    • Before typing my book review chapter and emailing
    • If mornings don’t work (Raymond sometimes gets up earlier than I am expecting), then after dinner and before bed.
  • Sit on a floor pillow.
  • Where to meditate
    • Patio seems like an interesting spot
    • Maybe the dining room/lounge if the patio doesn’t work.
  • Eyes closed or open?
    • I’m going to start with open and looking at the ground with a soft focus.
    • If that seems tough, then I’ll try closed.

Do you meditate?  Any words of advice/wisdom?

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

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Monthly Goals {April Check In}…

There must be something about spring that has me all off.  This was by far the hardest month in keeping with my monthly goals.

April Resolutions

  • January Goals (eat better, drink more water, and exercise on the reg)
    • I craved soda more days than usual during the month of April.  I gave in a few times. :/
    • Eating … relatively consistent.
    • Worked out 11 days.  Better than my previous months.  Maybe that is to balance my increased soda content. 😉
  • February Goals (get up earlier)
    • My average wake up hour was anywhere between 7am and 7:20am.  Not sure why that is considering the sunrise is well before that now.
    • I definitely slept in on the occasional day more so than before.
  • March Goals (read one new book a month)
    • I finished my new book for the month in under 15 days.
    • In keeping with my goal, I didn’t move on to another book.  One.Per.Month.
    • Completed the book review for Rhinoceros Success.  On Chapter 7 of Getting Things Done book review.

April Goals (make time a priority).

Rough month with minimal progress to show for the goal.  True to form, I found my calendar over ran with appointments and commitments that (to be honest) I didn’t really want to participate in.

We all have a life to live that we signed up for.  Commitments that we simply cannot change.  Take for instance my networking group.  I have two monthly commitments (minimum) that I cannot change.  I must work around those.  Other requests must be filtered through my priority funnel before answering.

A few weeks ago I had a long conversation with Dwell by Cheryl about time, appointments, requests, and the like.  She offered some great insight.  I recently read Laura Vanderkam’s new ebook; she also had a great point of view.

We are in charge of our time and no one else.  People will ask for lunches, coffees, meetings, ideas, etc.  Only you can determine if that fits your priority list.

We must be stewards of our own time.  I’m getting much better about this.  But it is very slow progress.  Remember Jennifer, Must.Not.Die a slow death from a thousand opportunities.  Just because someone asked, doesn’t mean you have to say yes.

If I say no to your request, then please don’t take it personally.  I’m just learning to manage my time as it slips away so quickly.  Hello, April 30th!

Until next time…

love-Jennifer

April Resolution {Make Time A Priority}…

April 1st.  I love the first day of a new month.  3 months are in the books for 2013.  🙂

My dear friend Sally commented on my recap post of my March goals.  She mentioned that 2013 seemed to be slipping away and flying by.  I agree with her and always feel the same way.  Where did the time go?  

“If you do not take control of your schedule, it will take control you.  The key is not to prioritize what is on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.”

This was a great quote from my February “To Read” book: Life On the Wire.

Also from the book, “Starting small is easier than starting big.  And starting now is better than waiting.”  

I encourage you to start now.  Commit to a goal — just one goal — for the month of April.  See it through for the next 30 days.  Reevaluate at the end of the month.  How did that commitment make you feel?

I’m a big believer that small is better than never and always easier to commit to than perfect.  If you wait for perfect, then you will wait forever.

New month and new goal.  As I’ve said before, I continue to improve upon my previous month’s goals.  I just add another goal to the mix; I build upon my foundation.  My January goals feel like habit.  February is getting better.  March still requires focus and discipline.

April is the month I resolve to make time a priority.

April Resolutions

I will value my “yes” and my “no”.  I will not die a slow death from a thousand opportunities.   Before answering or committing to anything, I will stop, think, breathe.  Focus.  Streamline. Enjoy.

  • Take better care of myself
    • Continue to drink water, exercise 3 days a week, and eat more fruits and veggies.
  • Get up earlier
    • My wake up time for the month of April is 7am, and it started today.
    • I love my mornings!
  • Read a new book
The Circle Maker Book

Source: Amazon

I worked with Laura Vanderkam, author of 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think, on a time makeover.  More to come on that, but tracking how I spend my hours and days is an eye opening experience   When I feel that my life is out of control with too many “yes”s, I plan to track my time.  I move forward you first need to know where you are.

How do you make time a priority?

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

Monthly Goals {March Check-In}…

Another month in the books … almost!  I think we are all SO ready for spring to arrive and stay that it is making us a little crazy and impatient.  Waking up to 30º weather is less than ideal when the calendar says March 28th. 🙂

Staying true to form for my third month, I’m checking in on my March goals.

My January recap can be read here.  My February recap can be read here.

March Resolutions

I’m consistently focused (and doing well I might add) on my January goals.  Drinking more water, eating more fruits and veggies, and not skipping meals.  All good.

I worked out a total of 12 days (that includes this coming Saturday’s workout which I hope to squeeze in before more thrifting with Cheryl). 🙂

I’m consistently waking up at 7:15am — I plan to move that back to 7am for the month of April.  Life is a marathon not a sprint.  I’m making progress even if it may be slow. 😉

I finished reading Getting Things Done and Rhinoceros Success.  I LOVED Rhinoceros Success and highly recommend the easy and short read to anyone.

I am now slightly obsessed with rhinos. 😉

I finished my book review of Rich Dad, Poor Dad.  I have 3 chapters left in Life on the Wire before that book review is complete.

I did pretty well this month!  I had to focus and force myself to make time for reading and typing up the book reviews.  I tend to do this in the early mornings before I start my day, before I check email, before anything.  If I put it off, then it won’t happen.

Come back next week for my April goals! 🙂

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

March Resolution {Learn}…

It is now March 4th, and I hope that spring is right around the corner.  I woke up Saturday, opened the blinds, scratched my eyes and said, “Is that snow?!”  Yep, it was snow … again.  I’m kinda over it.  Night night old man winter.  😉

Reminder of my 2013 New Year’s Resolutions or what I like to refer to as my Yearly Goals.

Pure & Simple 2013 ResolutionsSo new month which means a new set of goals. 🙂  I love setting goals for myself personally and professionally.  I also love having them broken down by month.  Much easier to swallow and tackle!

To recap, I blogged about my January progress here and February progress here.

March Resolutions

To expand on #2 a little more.  I have moved my wake up time back to 7:15am for the next 2 weeks.  I plan to work my way up to 6:30am … or earlier if I am ambitious. 😉

March is the month to learn! 🙂  I love reading books and I love those “self-improvement” style of books.

January I read “Life on the Wire” and loved it!  February I started “Getting Things Done“.  GTD is a little dated and a harder read.  I’m not flying right through it which is a bummer.

I plan to finish GTD this month and read Rhinoceros Success.

Source: Amazon

Source: Amazon

What is your favorite “self-improvement” book?  I would love to add it to my list!

I’m crazy weird when it comes to reading.  I just have to type up a book review after each book that I read love.  It is the student in me.  😉  I plan to type up book reviews for books that I have read in the past few months and for any new books going forward.

Still to be typed:

Life on the Wire; Rich Dad, Poor Dad; Shed Your Stuff, Change Your Life.

I plan to achieve this goal by reading in the mornings (you know that new found time I have by getting up earlier), and typing out the book reviews at night.  I tend to veg in front of the tv in the evenings.  Typing up a book review doesn’t require silence like reading, so I plan to multi-task.

I have less than 31 days to complete so here I go! 🙂

What are your goals for this month?  Didn’t make any?  Maybe you should!  Spring can revitalize that energy within us all! 🙂

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

February Resolution {Get Up Earlier}…

It is February!  I love February.  It is the month of love.  *smooch*smooch*  A little over the top?  Sorry about that. 😉

Last week I wrote about my January resolution status.  I did okay but plan to keep working on it for February.

So to the January goals I will add, “I resolve to get up earlier”.

Pure & Simple | February Resolutions

I love the “idea” of being an early bird.  I’m just really bad at the follow through.

My general wake up call comes in around 8am — that is if I don’t have an early morning session or meeting.  I wouldn’t consider 8am as the ideal early bird waking hour.

Roadblock?  I stay up way too late.  Raymond is a night owl.  A really annoying one.

My “Why”.  I love the idea of getting more out of a day.  When I wake up late, the day is started off on the wrong foot.  If I sleep until 9:30am, then lunchtime is here before I know it, then 3pm, then bedtime.  Where did the day go.

I’ve recently read 168 Hours and Life on the Wire.  Both books talk about finding out what you want to do with your time and then do it/schedule it.  Getting up earlier will help find that precious time.

I also like this article on why getting up earlier is the smart thing to do along with a few tips on how.  My favorite tip is # 3:  “There is no try.  Don’t think, just do.”  

Ways to achieve this goal:  

1.  Set a bedtime and stick to it.  10:30pm is achievable. No matter what the annoying night owl says, I hit the hay.  😉

2.  Give myself a break.  If I’m in the middle of a good movie or show, I will record the remainder and catch the ending some other time.

3.  Set a wake up time and stick to it.  7am is also achievable.  Ideally I would get up every morning at 6:30am.

4.  To get to 7am on a consistent basis, I will shoot for 7:30am for 2 weeks (starting today), then move it back 15 minutes each week until I reach my ideal time.

5.  Keep it going on the weekends.  Schedule something fun for the mornings on Saturday and Sunday.  Yoga class.  Coffee with a friend.  Estate sale.

6.  Get a move on.  Morning workout or at the very least take Cody for a quick walk.  Get the blood pumping!

——————————–

My February book will be Getting Things Done.  I read this years ago when I worked at Official NASCAR Members Club.  We were required to read it — which I hated having required reading off the job — but I loved the book.  Of course I donated that copy a long time ago so I bought a new copy and plan to reread. 🙂

What is your February resolution? 🙂

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

Resolve to Get Healthier…

Yesterday I shared my 2013 New Year’s Resolutions.  I plan to blog about my January resolution shortly.  You know … the why and how. 🙂

But I also promised that I would blog about ways to keep New Year’s Resolutions.

If you resolved to make 2013 your year of health, then keep reading. 🙂

What does “healthy” mean to you?  Eating better for your body.  Working out and moving more often.  Taking better care of yourself.

One reason this resolution is so easily left by the wayside is the enormity of it.  The responsibility is too large and too vague.  Break it down and define it.

Eat better for your body

When you feed your body what it wants, it thanks you.  When you drink a lot of water, your kidneys are happier.  When you eat fruits and vegetables, then you have more energy than when you eat greasy burgers and fries.

  • Eat less sugar
    • Sugar is a sneaky thing.  A lot like salt.  It is hidden in everything.
    • Virtually all processed foods have sugar
    • A serving of spaghetti sauce can have as much sugar as 2 chocolate chip cookies!
    • The AMA recommends no more than 24 grams of sugar per day for the average American woman.
      • Comes out to roughly 6 teaspoons.
      • That ain’t much!
    • Read labels and eat fresh!
  • Eat what is in season
    • This is a good way to eat those fruits and veggies
    • It is also a great way to try out new dishes and recipes
  • Don’t skip meals
    • Going hungry does nothing for you.
    • I can attest to this.  When I skip breakfast, it is a rough morning for me.  I barely make it to lunch and then when I do … I feel horrible as my body tries to break down the food for nutrients.
  • Pack your lunch

Lose some L.B.s

  • Weigh yourself regularly
    • Knowing your weight could help you manage it.
    • What is that old saying, “You can’t get where you want to go if you don’t know where you are.”
  • Write down what you eat
    • It is all about the accountability
    • When you see … in writing … what you put in your body, then you can know what to change and improve upon.
  • Sweat less
    • 30 minutes is enough time to burn calories and rev metabolism without getting either too hungry or too exhausted to stay active after
    • I try to keep my cardio at 30 minutes.  I do add strength training and stretching before and after, but cardio?  30 minutes! 🙂

Take better care of yourself

  • Sleep will help my mood
    • Do you feel underrested?
    • Most people I would imagine get around 6 hours.
    • Did you know that sleeping can help boost your mood and outtake on life?
    • Give yourself a bedtime every night and wake up call every morning
    • Stick with it!
    • Don’t forget about the weekends either — sleeping in is a no-no.
  • I will be selfish
    • Remember to take care of yourself.
    • You are your top priority.  Not your job.  Not your kids.  Not your husband.
    • Take care of you first!
    • Whatever that might mean — pedicures, massages, spa days, girls night out, some alone time in the morning to read.
    • Get really disciplined about how you handle your stress through exercise
  • Download the life coach app called Bloom
    • Free iPhone app
    • It reminds you to start living better
    • 1st:  Use the app to establish your priorities
      • Drink more water
      • Save for European vacay
    • 2nd: Attach visual motivators like music and pictures
    • Throughout the day, it creates and sends you little pop-up reminders of the things that you are working toward! 🙂 Fun!

Research shows that the keys to keeping resolutions are achievability and specificity.  Can you do it?  What is it that you want to do?

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature