New Year, New Bod

December 31, 2008

Exercise bike

Originally uploaded by personaltrainer9

Another year and another list of New Years Resolutions. I know that I’m not alone in my desire to lose weight. This is not the first time I’ve wanted to lose weight, in fact it has been on the list for the last three years (at least). So what! I was not successful last year, but this year will be different. I know, I know they all say that. The difference this year is that I have a strong motivation, I think my weight affects my fertility. Also I have stopped blaming my husband, just cause he buys a donut for me does not mean I have to eat it. I also I have decided to revisit one of my first love, dancing. I use to love going to them gym, walking for hours at time and doing sit-ups just for the fun. I don’t enjoy those things anymore but I will always love dancing and I know that I can look at that activity as a treat and not as a punishment. But the one major change is that I will be honest with myself and set realistic goals. Losing one- two pounds a week is realistic, losing 30 ponds every month is not. Dancing 15 minutes a day is realistic, exercising four hours a day is not.

Earnie Lawson came of with a list of pointers that will help you keep any resolution.

1) Congratulate yourself for even trying: Think how many people didn’t even make the effort to put goals out in front of themselves! You cared enough to do so. Reaching some goal or making a change in your life that would make it and you better mattered enough for you to make the effort. So, clap yourself on the back.

2) A goal w/o a plan is sure to fail: Goals are where you want to end up. The question is HOW do you get to that end point? Make a plan of HOW you are going o reach your goal. What are the steps? What are the target dates for achieving each step? If you goal doesn’t come with a plan it is like an electric appliance with no cord. There is no way to plug it in!

3) Make it do-able: Although a person never knows that they can do until they try, still some goals are clearly impossible. Impossible goals are planned failures. That’s why it is important to have short term goals and plans to reach them. If the small steps are not realistic then neither is the long range goal.

4) What is your motivation? Keep it close: If change were easy there would be no need for New Year’s Resolutions. That’s why it is helpful to keep the MOTIVATION for making the change up close and personal. If it is a new house, put a picture of what the house may look like where you can daily see it. If it is a new body shape, again, put a picture of it on the fridge. If it is to make and keep new friends in the new year journal everyday – or at least often – WHY you want more and new friends. Write out what you gain if you do – and what you lose if you don’t.

5) Support and Accountability: No one makes significant life changes alone. A huge step in making your goal a true goal and not just a wish is when you share your plan with someone else. Ask them to help you. Set out your short range goals, including the time frame, as ask them to hold you accountable for doing the daily footwork to achieve them. No one makes change alone.

6) Celebrate small successes. Making life change is a major achievement. The more you celebrate your success (each short term goal achieved is a success) the more motivated you will be to “push on through” to the finish line. Treat yourself for a job well done. The more you believe you deserve the rewards of your achieved goal the more power you have in making it a reality.


New Year Resolutions

December 31, 2008

So how ‘bout those 2008 New Year’s Resolutions? Have you achieved them all? If the answer is yes, congrats, you got my respect. Did you let a few get away from you? No worries, that is still impressive. Or are you like me don’t even know where that piece of paper is? Well I’m going to change how I do things this year. First I will not put off tomorrow what I can do today. Second I will follow the advice of all those goal achievement gurus and come up with a well balanced plan. And since we are all friends here I would love to share: my goals, my starts, my plan, and my journey.the_journey____by_commanderdex
The first Step is a little soul searching exercise. Get out a piece of paper, better yet a new journal to keep track, and divide it in four sections by drawing one line down the middle width and for the length. The first section I want you to label your Passions, the second your Talents, the third your Values and the fourth your Problems. Now when you have a minute I want you to sit and fill out each section. Your goal is to write at least ten different items for each section, but write as many as you can think of or will fit in the space allotted. Start with your passions: what are the things that you love to do, what are things that you would do for free, what are the activities that make you come alive, what things that once you start you have to pull yourself away (losing track of time)? When finished with that move on to your talents: what are you a natural at, what is have you practiced or studied, when people ask you for help or advice do you notice a pattern, what do people say that you are good at? Next what do you value: who are the most important people in the world to you, what would you die to protect, when you go against the popular majority what convictions are you upholding, where do you get your sense of morals, if you were going to die soon what would you need to accomplish? And finally let’s move on to your problems: what are the major stumbling blocks to attaining your dreams, what are the mistakes you keep repeating, what are you keeps you afraid, anxious, idle, depressed or angry?the_anxious_clown_by_fb101
This fun right?!? Next I want you to look at each section, and rank each item’s important by number, one being the most important. When you’re finished with one section, move on to the next until you complete all of them. Next, draw the table, four sections with the titles, on a new sheet of paper. Take the items ranked one through seven and rewrite them on your new table. You have just completed step one. It should look something like this.


1. Blogging- about my life and sharing things I’ve learned
2. Laughing- with my husband, family and friends
3. Making New Friends- gives me an opportunity to be myself
4. Talking to Kids- it would be number one on the list if I did not get sad afterwards
5. Psychology- reading, learning or talking about psychology
6. Learning New Things – and figuring a practical application of it my life
7. Giving Advice- makes me feel useful

1. Encouragement- I’m good at seeing people’s true essence, its good
2. Talking to God- I usually have an easy time talking, hard for me listen
3. Customer Service-I’m great at calming down irate people
4. Writing- I’m a little rusty, but I am ready and equipped
5. Document Creation- A newly discovered one (I avoided office work)
6. Music Knowledge- I love music and know a lot of songs
7. Finance- I like crreating spending plans


1.Freedom- to be your true self and gain acceptance and respect
2. Emotional Intelligence- principals or morals that enable harmony among people
3. Becoming a Parent- I want a successful pregnancy and to learn quality parenting
4. Family Pride- I desperately want my loved ones to be proud of me
5. Leaving a Loving Legacy- I want to help create a social service before I die
6. Simple Living- Want everyone to live within their means, to enjoy life not things
7. Education- Let this debt not be in vain, but let me earn a lambskin, AMEN


1. I lack confidence and tend to assume people think the worst of me.
2. I have no income.
3. I’m in debt.
4. My family is hurt by my absence.
5. I’m overweight.
6. I think I will have a lot of difficulty getting pregnant.
7. My house is a mess.

Please share some of your resolutions.

I was looking at Country Contemplative and I came upon this presentation byJohn Kabat-Zinn. Just to warn you the video is 1 hour and 12 minute long presentation.  If you are interested in mindfulness and meditation I think it is a great begining.  I am new to theses practices but I believe that what has been missing in my life, so I’m eager to learn.

Gifts That Give Back

December 19, 2008

Peaceful Christmas Playlist

It is common, especially this is the time of the year, for people feel grateful for the many blessing in their life and want to share their wealth with others. On the view today was segment on creative ways to help those in need. The section below was copied from The View’s website.view2_07_cast_240


Concierge Michael Fazio showed us the gifts that give back to people who are in need this holiday season. Here are some of the gift giving trends he’s seeing among his clients:


My Slowcooker Santa

December 9, 2008


Voila! Bill with Slowcooker

Originally uploaded by bmann

Christmas is not only the season for giving. It takes work to be a good sport and I believe there is an art to recieving gifts that you would not have preferred. So what are you supposed to do when you get a gift that keeps on giving you strife. I use to preach the importance of gratitude to my sister-in-law but I feel humbled when I fall short. What do you do when you don’t trust the motives of the gift giver? I mean seriously what do you, if you know the answer please leave it in a comment.

I really enjoyed the movie Father of the Bride with Steve Martin. You get to watch the father struggle as he tries his best to supportive to his daughter: first he’s flabbergasted that his baby girl is getting married to a man he does not know, to trying to reason with his wife in order to keep the wedding cost down, to feeling proud when he gives his daughter away. It is a touching but funny father daughter movie. I love the scene where Anne called of the wedding.

Thank God that I learned the lesson before my first Christmas with my husband. We did not have a lot of money and I sincerely grateful for the thought. So when my husband reach under the tree and pulled out a bug box I thought, ” Wow, you shouldn’t have”. As I unwrapped it I noticed my hubbies eyes filled with pride and excitement as I discovered a nice size slowcooker. That movie prepared me so that I could give a sincere, “Thank you honey”. I was okay with it until he brought up the slow cooker a few weeks later. He wanted to know when I was going to start cooking in it and what would be the first meal. I felt a welling up of anger and ingratitude and I knew that I had to come clean with my feelings or this could get ugly.

I explained to him that I appreciated the gift but that I did not think that the gift was just for me but for the whole family. I told him that any gift that has a chore attached to it should not be wrapped but instead should be a household purchase. I knew that the gift was thoughtful but it would help me to know that gifts given to me were just for my enjoyment. He got it and he made a point to try to wow me from that point on. Maybe I should have worded my request better than that but I knew that gratitude would not come easy if next year he surprised me with a deep fryer so I figured honesty was the best policy.

Did you ever receive a that made your blood boil?

Mindfulness Affirmation

December 8, 2008

I think that I am naturally drawn to spititual studies. For 8 years I studied the bible faithfully. About a couple a years ago I felt the need to refresh my spirit and take a bible break, so to speak. I found that, even though the bible talks about the importance of meditation somehow I was still missing the meaning and purpose. One night, after my husband went to sleep I cried out to God. I apologized for not doing the things I use to do and begged him to show me how to change and what was missing in my life.The next day I watched Oprah’s show and she recommended A New earth by Eckhart Tolle. I did not understand what the book was about but I felt a strong pull to purchase it. I think I went to the book store the next day and started reading it that night. The first chapter was a dozy. It seemed overly meta and mystical, or should I say far out. Though my mind made fun of it my heart had confidence that this might become an answered prayer. A couple a pages into chapter two I started to fall in love with the concept of mindfulness and disassociating myself from what Tolle calls the ego.I am very new to mediation and I have lacked discipline, but when I do commit to mediation and studying mindfulness I feel aware and joyful. I don’t know if you have picked up on my mood shifts in my writing yet; if you have trust me I am aware of that. I don’t personally mind it but I know that I can scare people away. Meditation is a way of grounding me so that I can see the world around me and it put me in a constant state of learning and enjoying and kills my flakiness. Mindfulness is like bring an art museum to work, experiencing a concert when the neighbors are noisy; in other being able to see the beauty in everything and appreciating everyone. Mindfulness is a muscle that has to be developed. I am new to it and lack a teacher and community but I am enjoying this new pursuit.

Has anybody else practiced meditation or study mindfulness? Please share your experiences and tips for beginner it was successful. Even if you hate the concept all together share why, I’d love to know.

Christmas Gift Ideas

December 4, 2008

It is hard to ignore the holiday season. Even during a financial crisis people can’t help to get excited about the Christmas shopping season. If your anything like me times are tough and a new way of thinking can be adopted. I remember when I was a child I LOVED CHRISTMAS; Christmas Eve left me emotionally torn between the adernale rushing through my tiny vein that made me invincible to Sandman and the fear of Santa skipping over my house because I was still awake. I loved the sounds of my parents wrapping and assembling presents, the smell of pine and sugar cookies, the twinlke of the christmas lights glowing and sparkingling thourgh the night, the softens of my blanket that hugged me tight and help ease the anticipation, and the cruch of the sweet candy canes that had the rainbow strips (so much better than the pepermint). Although tempted to wake my parents at 3am, 4am, 5am, 5:30am, 6:00am, 6:15am, etc… I usaed all the will power I could muster to wait until 7am to charge into my parents bedroom and jump loudly on their bed, tyring to avoid my sisters metthod of prying their eyes open and spraying them with her loving,”Wake up! Merry Christmas”. My parents would force themselves out of bed, gracious enough to ignore the fact that they only got 2-4 hours of sleep, and put begin our families tradtions: the kids had to wait upstairs until they went down to turn on the Christmas lights and put on a Christmas album on the record player, when we heard the music it was our cue to come down stairs and let are eyes feast on the miraclcous tree that at lsat glance only bore a red shirt, now it was bursting with presents galore from family, parents and that magical man Santa, we took turns disturbing gifts according to the labels and tore the beautful wrapping to shredds as the peson toting the black garabe bags struggled to keep up.


Oh how I loved Christmas as a kid, and I still do but in a completely different way. When I was 22 I meet the love of my life. It was the bible and through it I got to know God and Jesus in a new way. Though Christmas is manmade, I love any excuse to think about the Lord and his love for the world. Thank God I have that to hold on to because with my lack of income the commercial X-mas that I have grown to love can turn me into a Grinch in a matter of seconds. X-mas can be a beautiful thing, giving meaningful gifts to people who would not or could not give to themselves. For many years I resented the finical pressure of trying wow people who have more money than me, worried that the wrong gift would give a false impression of lack of love on my part. I tried to ignore the profound meaning of gift giving; I know understand it is one love language that is powerful and prominent to a lot of people. I love a lot of people and don’t want them to be short changed this year. So I found some helpful links that give a list of tips and gifts for people who want to express their love without depleting their finances.




The Amazing Frugal Christmas Savings Spectacular!

 Frugal Fiction