Author Archive for lorimercer

Life Stands Still

For the next 5 days, every single event, task or appointment that was scheduled in our busy family of 6 has been cancelled or postponed. No blog posts, emails, sales transactions, meetings, workshops, coaching sessions, dentist appointments, boyscouts, dance, school, work, Saturday morning chores and laundry, birthday parties, church, reading and sorting mail, homework, bible study or conference calls. Essentially our life as we know it is coming to a stand still to honor another life that has come to a stand still. My husbands grandfather has passed away. In his 80′s and battling some serious medical conditions for the past few years, we knew the day would arrive sooner than later.Death is cause for much reflection on the life of the deceased as well as your own life.

Is my life really coming to a stand still because we are heading out of town, unexpectedly for 5 days to a really remote area of upstate New York without reliable cell phone access and no internet coverage?

No way! It is so sad to me that those thoughts even cross my mind in this moment of our life when we take time to reflect and honor the life of a loved one. It is at these junctures that life really continues to grow and blossom and move forward and we find new meaning in the menial tasks that fill each of our days.

Life is about the people, the relationships, the emotions we share, the blessings we give and the blessings we receive. Yes, many times in today’s day and age these things happen over email and blogposts and conference calls and text messages. But even without those convenient tools at our disposal, life does not stand still. Love doesn’t stop. Grieving doesn’t stop. Anger doesn’t stop. And life certainly doesn’t stop because all the events we had planned for the next 5 days will happen without us.

It is during these next 5 days that we do the most important and purposeful job here on this earth. We strengthen our family bonds and instill core values into our children as we reflect on the life of Grandpa. He exhibited a strong work ethic. Providing for your family. Humor. The importance of lifelong friendships. Surviving long, dangerous snowbelt winters with 72 inches of snow. Leaving a legacy for his children’s children. We honor, commemorate, grieve and rejoice the blessing he was to his family, employees, co-workers, friends and anyone who crossed his path. And certainly we will all chuckle and reflect on some of those moments when the firey Scottish redhead, who’s name is known all over the small county in the middle of nowhere New York that he lived his life, was not always the ‘blessing’ we wanted to receive

Grandpa’s life has come to a stand still. And I trust that he is now at peace and rejoicing with Grandma and reflecting on 80+ years of a life that truly did leave an impact.

If you do not wake from your sleep tomorrow, what impact has your life left on this earth? Have you left the legacy you want to leave for your children’s children? Have you fully exhausted your God-given talents and glorified the Lord with your daily tasks? Are you doing what you want to do with your life?

I think it’s said best in the words of this Rascal Flatts song (http://www.metrolyrics.com/my-wish-lyrics-rascal-flatts.html):

My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
and while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.

Or maybe said in another way from the song “Legacy” by Nicole Nordemann:

Not well traveled, not well read, not well-to-do or well bred
Just want to hear instead, “Well Done” good and faithful one…

I want to leave a legacy
How will they remember me?
Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
To make a mark on things?
I want to leave an offering
A child of mercy and grace who
blessed your name unapologetically
And leave that kind of legacy

Remember Grandpa “Red” McGregor and let his passing be an opportunity for you to reflect on your life.

Are you living the life you dream of? Are you going after goals that will make this world a better place? There’s a reason those burdens were placed on YOUR heart, you know. Because you were designed with the ability to accomplish them.
Are you taking steps towards those goals? It can all be taken away tomorrow, at God’s discretion and will you be able to face Him and hear him say “Well done”?

Do You Believe in You?

There are 2 magazines that I take the guilty pleasure of reading cover to cover each month. This is the sum total of my entertainment reading. They are Working Mother and Family Fun magazines.

Yesterday, I was forced to slow down and focus entirely on my daughter who was not feeling well. It’s always great to have an excuse to just take it easy and turn off all the other work, and at the same time, sad that these are the kinds of occasions for which we take time to do so. So as I sat in my comfy chair resting with her, I poured through my newest issue of Working Mother.

In the article, Score Your Dream Job, I found a paragraph that was so very applicable to all of our lives. Now, I am nowhere near looking for a new job. I like the corporate job I have and at the same time, I’m working part time on one of the greatest business opportunities that may ever cross my path in my lifetime. But this excerpt from the article is true of so many women I know. Women who are intelligent and witty and great relationship builders and networkers and creative and all the things that go into being successful. Yet they are so unsure of themselves! So I’m going to stop here and let this article do the talking.

Read this if you are trying to make the next sale, trying to build your direct sales team, aiming for a promotion, looking for a new job, or just feeling like you’re not being effective in your current job.

Amp up your ego
If you want people to believe in you, first you have to believe in yourself. Pour yourself a cup of tea (or a martini), get comfortable and write down all your accomplishments. Seeing right there in black and white how capable you are just might motivate you to take the leap, whether that means making a strategic move in the same industry or jumping to another field entirely. A teacher, for example, may have excellent managerial skills from years of keeping a room full of first graders on task. A marketing manager may have what it takes to run a nonprofit because she can raise funds by highlighting the organization’s strengths.

Focus on what you have to offer, not on what you don’t.
Include any volunteer or community work you’ve been doing— or even the coordination it takes to get everyone in the family where they’re going on a tight schedule.To get the job you want, you need to conquer your insecurities, transform your thinking, tailor your behavior and demand the professional recognition you deserve, says Rebecca Shambaugh, author of It’s Not a Glass Ceiling, It’s a Sticky Floor. “It’s incumbent on women to look beneath their own feet to see what behaviors, assumptions or beliefs they have that may be self-limiting or keeping them from achieving their own career goals,” she says. Gaps in your skills set? Fill them in. Take courses at a local college or online university and immerse yourself in the world you want to join. Attend conferences; speak with others in the field; check the Web and read trade journals. Find a mentor who’s doing a job similar to what you’d like to do, suggests Shambaugh. “If you want to be CFO of your organization and you’re not quite there, find a mentor and ask her what she did to get there,” she says. “Set up an action plan. You’ll be shocked by how empowered you feel.”

If you’ve been out of the workforce for a while caring for your children, don’t apologize. “Recognize yourself as a competent professional instead of wasting time explaining an absence from work,” says Michelle Tillis Lederman, founder of Executive Essentials in New York City, which provides executive and career coaching. “If you come from a place of insecurity, it translates that way.”

Upgrade your identity
Now that you’re brimming with confidence, you have to visualize yourself in your new job. For instance, if you’re in the No. 2 slot aiming for the No. 1 position, you have to start thinking and acting like a leader so that the world starts seeing you differently as well.

“There are parts of your identity you’ve just accepted from childhood and take into adulthood,” says Mary Lynne Heldmann, an executive and team coach and author of When Words Hurt: How to Keep Criticism from Undermining Your Self-Esteem. “Identity becomes destiny if you keep looking at yourself that way.” Take an inventory of everything you believe about yourself—both good and bad. It’s likely that many of those beliefs are limiting, such as I am not very organized or I could never be the CEO of a successful business. “You need to challenge each and every item on the list,” says Heldmann. “Limiting beliefs aren’t reality. They’re just something that we make up. So why not change that to beliefs that work for us?”

While you need to ground your intentions in reality, you don’t want to limit your goals or become tied to a specific outcome. Your new way of thinking may lead you into something completely different from what you’d originally envisioned—but just as rewarding. “As you get clearer and clearer about the future you intend and you keep connecting to it,” Heldmann says, “you actually move closer and closer to its becoming a reality. I’ve seen so many lives change for the better simply because people created a new belief system.”

I believe in YOU. Me, Lori Mercer. I may not even know you personally. Do you know why I believe in you? Because you are taking the time to read this blog post. It’s not “the man keeping you down!” as some people like to quote. Look inside. What is it in ourselves that’s holding us back? And when is the last time you heard someone say they believe in you? I’d love to hear your feedback and I’d love to be the person in your life who believes in you.

Mind Mappin’ Mama

I have a Mindmap for practically everything. Sometimes it is a mindmap I make and manage for a long period of time – like my personal scheduler. Other times it’s a quick throw away mindmap that helps me think through a difficult conversation.

What is a mindmap?
Here’s the official definition from our generations “Encyclopedia Brittanica” AKA Wikipedia:

A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks or other items linked to and arranged radially around a central key word or idea. It is used to generate, visualize, structure and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, decision making, and writing.It is an image-centered diagram that represents semantic or other connections between portions of information. By presenting these connections in a radial, non-linear graphical manner, it encourages a brainstorming approach to any given organizational task, eliminating the hurdle of initially establishing an intrinsically appropriate or relevant conceptual framework to work within.A mind map is similar to a semantic network or cognitive map but there are no formal restrictions on the kinds of links used.

The elements are arranged intuitively according to the importance of the concepts and they are organized into groupings, branches, or areas. The uniform graphic formulation of the semantic structure of information on the method of gathering knowledge, may aid recall of existing memories.

Here is an example of a hand drawn mindmap:

And one that is generated with a computer:

All the way back to Junior High School, my class notes looked like a mindmap. There’s just something about this format with multiple colors and lots of arrows and boxes that helps me really process information more quickly, not dwindle on decisions and be most productive and effective.

Here’s just a short list of how I’ve used Mindmaps recently:

  • My personal organizer mindmap I use at least 3-4 times a day. It tracks my meetings appointments, goals, tasks, idea brainstorms, bible verse to memorize, personal journaling, notes from meetings, you name it. It is like command central for me.
  • Brainstormed a website layout
  • Organized my thoughts for writing an eBook
  • Focused myself for a difficult conversation
  • Created a meeting agenda
  • Picked apart ideas for a marketing plan
  • Took notes during a phone conference
  • Put together a presentation outline before moving it into Powerpoint

Why I like Mindmaps:

  • It’s fast and easy to add items. Mindmapping actually keeps up with the pace of the thoughts pouring through my brain!
  • The levels, branches, legs make it easy to separate and differentiate ideas
  • There is no wrong or right way to organize! You can start quick and get your thoughts out then very easily drag and drop to move your ideas around

Mindmapping allows you to be more efficient in organizing your thoughts. You can focus on the outcomes you are trying to achieve and not be distracted when your brain runs in another direction. I can spend 5 minutes mindmapping in preparation for a difficult conversation that will lead me to a better outcome in a shorter period of time.

My personal favorite Mindmap Software is by Mindjet. There are also a variety of free mindmapping applications but I do not use them so I can’t give a personal recommendation. But I do suggest you visit Mindjet’s website to understand the potential of how it can used.

Would you pay $5 per voicemail to have someone return messages for you?

Time or Money.
It’s always a trade off. Or is it? Spend more money. Save more time. Save money. Spend more time. Here are the typical examples that come to mind:

- Paint your own house or pay someone to do it
- Spend 6 hours bargain shopping around town and coupon clippling or 30 minutes dashing into the department store….or even better, paying a personal shopper
- Making your own scrapbooks or paying someone to do it for you
- Cooking from scratch dinners with fresh veggies and meat and bread bought daily or buying “Meals Made Easy” that must be heated up within 2 weeks of putting them in your fridge.
- Clean your own house or hire a cleaning service

We are always having to decide where is the most effective place to spend our time because there are simply not enough hours in the day. For me personally, I chose to short cut the bargain shopping, the home made meals and pay a housecleaner. But it is because I have been blessed with a profession that allows us those luxuries so I can spend my precious free time with my children. It also means I have to spend a lot of time working. And most entrepreneurs trying to start their own business don’t have much of either – time or money – and must chose very wisely how to spend both for the first couple years of their business.

Think about how this applies to your business and your own strengths and skills. What tasks should you outsource versus those you should spend your time and talents on? Where are you going to get the most bang for the buck? Here are some things to consider outsourcing:
- Writing the content for your website or marketing materials
- Website design and development
- Logo creation, graphic design and branding
- accounting and tax preparation

There is a website called eLance.com that allows you to find freelancers who will do practically ANYTHING for you. This includes things for crazy busy people like “listen to my voicemails and transcribe them into emails for me daily so I can chose how to respond”. Can you imagine being so busy that you have to outsource your voicemail answering???? Now there’s either a business that is really exploding or someone who has set the wrong priorities and is not being productive enough. Either way it’s proof that you can outsource anything.

No matter what you decide to outsource remember YOU ARE IN CHARGE. Be sure that you have a well-planned and scoped project to be outsourced so you get what you want. Think ahead about the outcome you are looking for and definitely spend the time interviewing and finding the right person for the job. Even if you get a personal referral for someone local, be sure you fully know and understand everything you are getting.

Of course there are so many things money can’t buy and time is all you have. And for those, we need to hold tight. My 3-year-old son this morning. Shaking his finger at me and looking me straight in the eye and saying “You promise you will stay home and have breakfast with us tomorrow?” It’s priceless. And THAT, is exactly why I am burning the candle at both ends. Working full time at the corporate job and part time on my dream that will allow me to be home more and be the influence I want to be on my children….before someone or something else takes that role.

Time or money trade off? Personally I want both. I want to have it all. With both you can make a HUGE difference in the world. Think big and you will find a way.

Finding time to exercise

There are a million barriers to exercise when you’re a mom, no matter how many children you have and if you work or stay home.

  • During nap time, you are either exhausted and napping too or you have other tasks to finish before the baby wakes up.
  • In the early morning, just when you find the willpower to get on the treadmill at 6 am, the baby changes their routine and starts waking up earlier.
  • You find a spare moment but can’t go get your workout clothes on cause the 3 year old is sleeping in your bedroom.

As a mom, we have to take exercise whenever and however we can get it. Here are some of the best ways I’ve found to burn a couple extra calories when I can:

  • Change into work out clothes right when I get home for work. That way, when I find 10 minutes that the kids are quietly playing, I can squeeze in 50 sit ups or squats or a short run on the treadmill.
  • Dance and play with your kids. Playing Wii sports (boxing especially!). Doing Bella Dancerella with your 3 year old (and tightening those abs and buttocks in good form while you do!). Practicing your child’s dance routine with them. Running around the house playing chase. Pushing the stroller fast like you’re in a car race.
  • When carrying them upstairs, go fast and make it fun.
  • Go for a walk everyday with the kids in the stroller. Make it a fast paced walk with hills where possible. Even on cold days – bundle up and get some fresh air and sunshine.
  • Just walk around and sit tall with your stomach muscles tightened. Every little bit counts!!!

The latest fitness craze I’ve tried (thanks to my husband and his good friend Dru) is called Crossfit. Crossfit is about strengthening your core body strength and recommends basic, simple exercises to do so. Pull ups, dips, sit ups, etc. The results I’ve seen from people doing crossfit is unbelievable…..including my husband who lost 16 pounds sadly enough before I even noticed!

I like crossfit because it maximizes the results for the time you put into it. A lot of days, the exercises can be completed in 15 minutes. But I must warn you, they are an intense 15 minutes which is why it works. And just having done a couple of days worth of exercises, I can tell that I am already stronger, walking taller, feeling healthier, closer to fitting into my skinny jeans again I wanted to share this with all you working moms because even doing this 2 or 3 times a week, you will see amazing results.

How do you start your day?

Think about it. When you hear that alarm clock, what goes through your head? Maybe not the first instant because if you’re like me, it takes a few minutes to clear the fog. But once I realize its the alarm clock and not some facet of a dream I can’t recall, my mind first thinks – What is today? What do I have to do? Is it a work day? Is there something fun? Something scary? Something that worries me?

Then I feel my warm sheets and blankets, give it a good stretch, rub my eyes and peak at the amount (or lack of) sunshine coming through my shades and just enjoy that moment of peace and comfort before I heave myself into the day.

For me, its the shower that gets me engaged. I think through all that I have to do. All the people I will interact with. The important decisions that need to be made. The time I need to carve out for important tasks. What my children need from me today. What my husband is doing that day. And anyone else who comes to my mind and my heart. I take those signs as someone who needs some prayer that day. Maybe it was someone I met with the previous day who seemed unhappy and stressed. Maybe its a stranger I don’t even know whom I saw yelling at her child in the grocery. Maybe its my grandma or another relative or friend whom is sick. Maybe its my babysitter whom is a saint for spending her days entertaining the kids while I go to work.

Some mornings I have an audience outside the shower waiting for me. My 8 or 5 or 3 year old wakes up and sits on the floor half asleep listening to the drone of the water. And on really crazy mornings, its one of them playing with the baby on the bathroom floor as I race through a shower with one eye on them at all times.

By the time I’m at the end of my shower, I always hear a song in my heart. Typically its a worship song. And I never try to think of a particular song. Something just comes to me. And when it does, that’s what I know I should pay attention to that day. “Jesus be the center. Be my hope. Be my guide.” “Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.” “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart, be pleasing to you oh God.” “We stand and lift up our hands. For the joy of the Lord is our strength.” “My chains are gone. I’ve been set free. My God my Savior, has ransomed me.”

Then, as I finish my morning routine with hair, make up, etc, sometimes I even feel called to kneel down and humble myself before God and pray for grace because I am not worthy of all that He has given to me.

This is not always how I started my day. I didn’t even do a ’21 days to a new habit’ routine to get here. This daily ritual evolved as I grew as a person and realized that I can’t handle it all myself. That rushing into my day by myself is stressful and overwhelming. That I owe everything I have to God and without his intervention, I will not be able to proceed. It’s an evolution that has brought me more peace and tranquility and fullness of joy than I can even describe. Those who feel it themselves know what I’m talking about.

The routine isn’t identical for everyone. Some people respond quicker or slower in their morning routing. Some of us need a cup of coffee before the juices start flowing. Some of us need until lunch Some of us read something inspiring. Some of us exercise. Whatever your routine is, do you start your day in a positive, energizing way?

If this is not how you start your day, I challenge you to ask yourself why not. If you get out of bed with dread and regret and no energy. And only negative thoughts come to mind. Re-think it. Be cognizant of your thoughts. What gets in your way? Work a little each day to move it out of your mind and you too will be set free.

3 things that will make a mom never want to work another day her entire life

#1 Holding your newborn baby in your arms.
It does not matter how career driven and focused you are. That precious newborn that just sprung forth from your womb needs Y-O-U. 100%. 24/7. She is priority #1. In your hormone induced opinion, there is not a single other qualified person on the planet who is capable of caring for that child. Daddy gets his chance to bond of course. And depending on how close you are to your mom or sisters or girlfriends, they can be briefly entrusted with the care of your newborn so you can escape for a shower or a meal. Sometimes this feeling lasts for 2 days, sometimes it lasts for 2 weeks or 6 weeks or even longer. By the time I was due with my 4th child, I knew it was coming. I thought about my career and how to manage my job while on maternity leave and I fully expected to have that window of time where all I wanted to do was hold that baby and gaze lovingly upon her and watch her breath as if she needed my moral support for every single inhale………..and swear I’d never go back to work for another day until I ushered this little creation through her high school graduation. But this time, I saved myself the emotional agony of wrestling with the guilty working mom decision again. I told myself it was coming, to enjoy that time period where I was allowed to sit and do nothing but love on her. It would quickly pass. And before long, this little bundle of feathers would be rosy cheeked and vibrant and ‘durable’ enough that I’d entrust her to a caregiver. And even sooner, she’d be a strong-willed, temper-tantruming 3 year old whom I’d gladly handle over to the authorities for fear of ringing her little neck! To all those expectant moms out there…..you too will feel this way. It’s our hormonal natural animal instinct. My advice: don’t make any rash decisions with raging post-partum hormones

The #2 reason you swear to never work another day in your life: Not having trustworthy, reliable childcare
As soon as you discover that your childcare provider is throwing lunchables in front of your kids everyday for lunch instead of a well balanced meal with apples, cheese sticks and chicken soup. Or doesn’t greet you at the door with a smile. Or talks on the phone incessantly (in front of you!) in a depressing tone to her friends. Or doesn’t stand up for your child when he’s being picked on at the daycare center. Or, or, or, or. The list goes on and on. To some of you, these may not sound like big things. But for that delicately balanced teeter totter of guilt, it only takes one small item to tip things the other way. You are already sacrificing time away from your children for a career you feel called to or that is required to make ends meet. But never, under any circumstance, would you do that if it meant your children were not happy and satisfied during the day. I always say we’d move to a trailer in the boondocks before we’d sacrifice the well-being of our children. You’ll cancel the most important meeting under the sun (or call in a very difficult favor!) if you felt that the childcare situation was compromising your child’s well-being.

Reason #3: Having a sick child
Even if you have the best Mary Poppins nanny who stays at your house to watch your kids, when babies are sick, they want their mommies. My brain completely turns off as I snuggle in my feverish, stuffy nose, red cheeked babies from 6 am to 3 pm. I’ll let work know not to expect me and put all my focus on them until I feel they are safely out of the woods and I see nourishment and a smile cross their lips. This works for the occasional virus or flu bug. But there are children who are really, really sick with a life threatening illness. I experienced this with my first child who was born 10 weeks early and weighed only 3 pounds. He spent the first 30 days in the hospital and the first 6 months on various medications and monitors that taught me more about the medical field than I care to know. During that time, my full focus was on him and his well being. He recovered and so did I and went back to my career. But that is the one scenario in which I can’t imagine trying to be a working mom. Thank the Lord I have been blessed with healthy children and have not had to make this a consideration. But should that be the case, then I know exactly what will be required of me. At that point, my purpose in life becomes nurturing my babies. And for those moms out there who have done this, you are amazing and strong. More than you even know and way more than you are probably told. For those individuals and those seasons of our lives, I leave this thought which was shared with me by the attending physician when my son was born 10 weeks early: God does not give you more than you can handle!

So on this journey of being a working mom, there are peaks and valleys, bumps and turns, and lots of crossroads where we must re-evaluate our decision. Keep in mind these 3 scenarios and realize it is only for a season and make your decision when standing on a firm foundation and not in the midst of turmoil and change.

100 emails a day and a fear of deletion

I came home from the office today looking like a zombie. My husband kept asking me what was wrong and it took me a second to figure it out. I was tired. I went straight to making dinner, cutting up bite size pieces of chicken for everyone 5 and under (that’s 3 people!), dishing out the appropriate portions of peas and carrots, buttering dinner rolls and pouring milk. I couldn’t even force a smile across my lips. Because I was worn out from my day and not able to enjoy my family! That is clearly NOT having it all!

So I thought and thought what the heck was wrong with me and came to this conclusion. I was mentally and emotionally spent from my day at work. Not all days are like this but today was exceptionally challenging with some high intensity meetings and emotional co-workers over projects gone way bad and……..over 100 emails! Yes, that’s how many I received today. Starting at 12:35 AM actually and ending, well, do they ever really end? There’s one from Australia popping in as I write this.

So, that’s just my ‘corporate job’ email. My personal pictureyourlife email is equally overwhelming. Because I manage my own website, I control the size of my mailbox. That has led me to frequently increase the capacity instead of deleting. Most people would have a panic attack to know that I have now 2099 emails in my inbox Friends and family I haven’t touched base with in forever, the obligatory 3 or 4 jokes a day (thank goodness there were none chiding my alma mater Ohio State Buckeyes after last nights no show at the BCS Championship game!). And of course the spam. Do I care that Kohl’s is having Super Saturday AGAIN? Do they really think I’m going to spend one of my only sleep in days to be there for the doorbusters at 6 AM? Why am I still subscribed to this stuff?

How do I get a handle on this? DELETE, DELETE, DELETE and UNSUBSCRIBE! We all need to get this excess noise out of our lives and focus on what is really important and necessary. In comparison to what I received, I only sent 14 emails today. And to the credit of some of my thoughtful teammates, a few emails were eliminated by a quick trip to my desk to shore up some strategy. How about that? We actually spoke to each other face to face!

Ultimately, I think I am my own worst culprit. The email overload is so bad that I’ve gone into survival mode. I don’t delete! Our company policy is 200 MB and 60 days. So I just manage from the top of the stack and let the system weed out the old. So far so good on that method. I haven’t lost anything important with this approach (which makes me wonder, if nothing important happened over 60 days ago, does what I’m doing right now really matter at all??) But even as I process through emails while I’m reading, I just can’t bring myself to deletion. I have this false sense that I will go back and check something, forget a date, want to log that person’s email address, maybe do something about that sale, etc, etc. But it really rarely happens.

On the positive side, the quantity of email I receive is in direct proportion to the number of people in my own circle of influence. Let me tell you, before email, I wasn’t receiving 100 phone calls or letters a day! Thank God for this technology that helps keep us all connected!

So here is a new resolution for the year……read and process, read and process, read and process!

Read your email and do one of the following:

  1. If it requires only a short reply (< 30 seconds), do it right away then delete the original
  2. If it will take some time, effort, research to reply to, tag it as a task and add it to your task list so it does not get lost in the shuffle
  3. Have a system in place to capture email addresses so you can feel comfortable deleting one from somebody new (if in doubt, keep an email address. you never know!)
  4. Just delete it and don’t feel guilty! You’ll forget about it by tomorrow anyhow

Happy deleting!

Why I Love My Husband

Just one of the many reasons…..

…..because our idea of a date night is a good cup of coffee and browsing the business section at Barnes & Noble. Then spending 15 minutes each night after the kids go to bed re-listening to Tony Robbins “Awaken the Giant Within” book on CD.

I’d have to say that without a fully supportive spouse, being a working parent is nearly impossible. Unless you are both hooked up to the same dream wagon, it is constant tension between priorities of time and money.

Although we may not always agree to the details of how we’re going to get where we’re going, being able to critique and debate with each other is essential to the best decision making.

Being fully supportive of the decision made is irreplaceable.

What’s holding you back from your happiness?

Only 3 days are left in 2007. And only 4 days left on holiday break before most of us head back to the routine, normal, work / school schedule. I get so reflective this time of year. Maybe its because I declutter and the clean desk and clean email make space in my cluttered mind. Now I’m actually able to have clarity and focus and think to myself

Are you really doing the right things with your life?Am I serving God in the best way possible with the talents he’s given me? Have I found the “sweet spot” that Max Lucado talks about?

Am I doing everything possible to insure I’m being the best mom to my kids and the best wife to my husband?

In 5, 10, 15 years, will I have any regrets about how I’m spending my precious minutes today?

First of all, everything in my life I owe to the grace of God. He has blessed me to be a blessing. We will never be sure we are absolutely doing the right thing. That’s where faith comes in. God gives and God takes away. However, you know if you are in ‘the sweet spot’ or if you have those nagging feelings in your heart and those nagging thoughts in your mind.

If you can’t answer the questions above with a positive, happy, heart and trust and faith that you are on the right path, then stop and think about it.

What’s holding you back?
A dead end job. An unstable, demanding boss. An unhealthy relationship. Letting other people’s emotional roller coasters take you for a ride. Financial worries.

Here is a file to stimulate some thinking for you. It’s from a website I like called successnet.org. This is a list of 101 questions to ask yourself as you reflect on 2007 and plan for 2008.

101 Best Year-End and 101 Best New Year Questions.The file is an MS Word document and you may download
your workbook with this link.
http://SNIfiles.com/docs/101Questions.doc

Take this. Take your bible. And talk this through with someone you trust. If you don’t have that person, email me and I’ll be glad to be a listening ear for you.

If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there.

We all deserve to be happy! Make it your year!