Thursday, January 31, 2008

Stating Your Resolutions

I was thinking I didn't have anything new to write about today and then I realized I don't need something new to write about. Part of making resolutions (some people prefer the term 'intentions') happen is to restate them daily.

I resolve to connect spiritually and feel the strength and peace that comes from that, every day.

I am paying off all my debt in 2008.

I am getting a bit thinner each day and will by the end of 2008 be able to wear any of the clothes hanging in my closet.

My closing thought for the day is best stated in this photo:

That is the Hudson River in the picture. Don't you feel that you could just reach out and touch heaven?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Blogging Every Day

Good thing I didn't make a New Year's Resolution to blog every day or I would have failed already. Or would I? Think about it for a minute. If I had made a New Year's resolution to blog every day, would I have already failed?

Well sure Diana, you missed yesterday. I can see it by the dates.

If you answered yes, I disagree and here's why. Making a resolution is about making a decision about a final outcome that you will achieve, it does not indicate that you won't make a misstep along the way. You WILL make a misstep or two.

If there is one concept that I think held me back in life, it was this notion that getting something wrong was a big deal.

How many did you get wrong on the math test?

"FIVE WRONG? I got them ALL right."

No not me, I wasn't so obnoxious. But other than the fact that the comment was rude, I wouldn't have seen anything wrong with it. After all it was about how many you got right versus how many you got wrong, wasn't it? Isn't it?

The problem with such thinking is that often you choose to not stretch yourself at all. You risk little and feel badly about your "failures" or "missteps" (the word I prefer).

Yesterday I attended a meeting about a program at work where people can make proposals (I'm purposely avoiding the specifics as it would reveal info on the company). I had heard of this program before and had never bothered with it. The payoff is fairly modest for getting a proposal accepted and I didn't have any ideas that I thought were particulary likely to get approved. But then I was stunned by one fact in the presentation. The people who to date have any significant number of proposals approved, only have a 50% approval rating. Despite all their successes and experience, they are still "failing" half the time. But, because they obviously don't mind those rejected proposals, they continue to make new proposals and have enough approved that the payoff actually becomes significant. So no, it isn't always about how many you got right versus how many you got wrong. Sometimes it's just about how many you get right.

So propose something, even to yourself. Got for it. If it doesn't work, who cares. No one is keeping score. If anyone does keep score and remind you of your failings/missteps, tell them to get a life. Or tell them to read about Edison and comment that lucky for all of us who like electric lights, he didn't have anyone in his life pointing out all his missteps, or if he did, he ignored them.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Change Your Life and Everyone In It

  Wow. This book has to make my top 10 books in terms of what I got out of it. I had read one of Michele Weiner Davis's other books, Divorce Busting and thought that was really useful. But it is targeted solely at romantic relationships, primarily marriage.

Change Your Life and Everyone In It on the other hand is about changing any aspect of your life -- work, marriage, your kids, your irritating mother-in-law, you name it..
Weiner Davis will prompt you to create a soluation to your problems. Yes, a big point of the book is that YOU, not some expert, are the one most qualified to figure out the solution to your problems.

But if I knew how to solve my problems, don't you think I would have done so already?

Yeah, I thought that too. But the book takes you down a creative problem-solving path, asking you to think about what part of the current equation you can change. I got a ton of good ideas from this book and will be rereading my copy from time to time to come up with more. In fact it was from this book, that I got the solution to my problem of social dessert eating.

I think this book is most useful when you feel you need advice on how to get unstuck on some aspect of your life. Do you find yourself making the same mistakes over and over again? Having the same arguments with a loved one? Making the same New Year's Resolutions each year? This is the book for you. Grab it now and drink it in slowly, giving the ideas plenty of time to soak in.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Visiting Your Goals

Any book on success talks about visualizing your goals. Today I/we did more than visualizing, we visited. We visited Yale, one of many colleges that my son Matt thinks he might like to go to. It would be a stretch for Matt academically. We live in a primarily blue collar town and about once every 5 years someone goes to an Ivy League school and it is usually Brown or Cornell, not one of THE BIG THREE (Princeton, Yale or Harvard). I was actually a bit surprised he wanted to visit Yale, but pleased that he does have such visions.

Wow, what a school. The facilities, faculty, dormatories, libraries, gyms, programs, and of course the student body itself. A college environment couldn't come any richer. By rich, I mean having an abundant supply, not the price tag associated with it. Yale's new financial aid policy means it could come with a lower price tag for some middle class families, than other private colleges do. But there is a price to be paid. Yale demands both talent and proven accomplishments. I think Matt will be that much more focused in the next year on maximizing what he can offer such a college, building his skills and accomplishments. And I will have Yale (or a school that Matt might like even more) in my mind as I completely change our financial picture.

Yes, a clear picture in mind is important. But if it's possible to actually visit your goal, truly see yourself there, make the trip and be sure to enjoy it.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

No Time to Exercise? Think Again

Okay, I'm making notes because I forget to do these myself. Here are all the ways I've found of burning extra calories without burning any time.

- Run through your chores. By this I mean when possible RUN. Putting laundry away in several rooms? Run from one to another. Need a new roll of paper towels in the kitchen?? Run to the closet.

- Exercise in tiny unused time slices. What do you do while you wait for the shower water to get warm? While waiting for your email to open?? While the coffee is warming up in the microwave?? Walk in place with an exaggerated knees to chest motion, swing your arms at the same time. And you thought waiting 20 seconds for the coffee to warm seemed like a long time before. You may think exercising for that short a time is silly, but your heart rate will remain elevated for much more than 20 seconds, burning more calories than if you had stood idly.

- Move as much as possible while driving easy routes. Tap the steering wheel. Sing out loud (yes, more calories than not doing so). Clench those butt muscles. Squirm like a kid who needs to go to the bathroom. Come on, you remember how. Shrug those shoulders. Push against the floor with your left leg (I said LEFT leg and NOT while you are trying to shift a car with manual transmission). Or tap that left leg, more fun if in time to music, but either way works.

- If you use an elevator or escalator, take the stairs.

Readers, chime in with additional ideas.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Woo Hoo!! One Goal Down

Okay, well I accomplished my very first interim goal today of tucking a shirt into my green&black herringbone pants and wearing it all day at work. I must say that after lunch (why does my stomach expand so even after a small lunch?) I was a trifle uncomfortable, but I decided to fake it until I can make it. At least I can say I took the step, however borderline the accomplishment was.

A couple times I felt slightly ill, but went for a walk which both made me feel better and probably increased the odds that the next time I wear this combo, I'll have some more breathing room.

I am losing weight and getting in shape. With the new haircut I really am feeling good about the improvements.

Gotta go. It's been a long day at the day job!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I LOVE The Amazing Race -- Great Finale!

I love The Amazing Race. If you haven't seen it, hope that they make yet another series of it and if so, watch it. Why do I love it so much? There's a lot to be learned from it. Sometimes you get a flat tire. Sometimes your taxi driver says he knows where you are going, but he doesn't. Isn't that life?

Sometimes a task appears easy for everyone around you while you struggle and get left behind. And how do people cope? Do they turn on their partner? Do they give up or keep trying? Do they keep a sense of humor? Do they tell their friend not to worry about making a mistake. Tell their friend that they love them no matter what. It's an awesome show.

Tonight again a great pair won. I won't post the names, because I understand that it's not broadcast the same time every place and I know as a fan, that I'd be incredibly irritated to see the winner preannounced.

Before I saw the show I was debating whether to check tomorrow morning and see if I had achieved my first goal stated in an earlier post, which was to put on the green and black herringbone dress slacks. be able to tuck a shirt (regardless of how thin) into those pants and wear them to work for the day. I was thinking earlier that if I tried and found I wasn't there yet, that I might be discouraged. But I won't. It will be just like an Amazing Race event, where you run up to the judge on a particular step and say "Is that it? Can I proceed yet?" If the answer is no, all it means is you have more work to be done. That is not a cause for concern. Just keep going! Don't waste time looking around to see where your competition is. Just keep going! Say to yourself, "I can get this. I can do this."

Talk to you tomorrow!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sing, Sing a Song....

Today was a day where staying positive was more of a struggle. I immediately thought of my resolution to stay spiritually connected or grounded, to feel God’s touch, or whatever great spirit in the sky one believes in. As I searched for that feeling, that connection, I went to YouTube to play a song or two from Godspell. Music has an amazing power to affect our moods, doesn’t it?

Some of the YouTube videos had the actual Broadway recording of Godspell, a wonderfully strong, uplifting performance. But there were many other YouTube videos that were high school productions. In some cases the lead singer had a gorgeous voice, but the supporting cast were pretty disconnected, the lead sang almost without backup and I was stuck by the similarity to how I had been feeling that day, singing along without anyone chiming in. I had felt like I was hitting flat notes because of a lack of connection with those I was dealing with. But you just have to keep on singing and isn’t that sometimes the most courageous performance of all, the lone singer giving it their all, hitting the high notes, with the audience in darkness and the singer can’t tell if they are in rapt admiration or bored disdain. Sometime you have to be positive and energetic a lot longer before people join in, sometimes a good mood will spread like wildfire. Either way be sure to let your light shine.

And in terms of my life, I actually think I hear someone, previously silent, has begun to hum faintly.

P.S. Funny, I had this all typed up without connecting to the internet and when I went to post it, I saw the comment by Ready Maid who is blogging about her efforts to live The Best Life. Once again, as you sing, people chime in. So sing, sing a song, make it simple to last your whole life long.

P.P.S I'm assuming that if you don't like corny, you'll find another blog to read!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Millionaire Mind and Play Money

So I did relisten to the 3rd CD of The Millionaire Mindset which seemed to have the most action items in it. When Eker states his recommended division of your money, including the 10% (of post-tax income) for financial freedom account, and mentions people who don't have that much or even any money left over after necessities, he doesn't actually say to borrow a full 10%, he says borrow something more so you have some money to manage. So I thought about how I might apply this to my own life. Currently my income fluctuates and there are months where the bills surpass the income. I do already have 5% of pre-tax money going into a 401K account, because the company I work for matches that 5% contribution. (basically for giving up about 3% of post-tax income, I end up with 10% in a retirement account). But, I don't use any of that to invest in passive income earning ventures except that the account does earn interest. So... this doesn't seem it meets the spirit of the recommendation.

Eker also recommends that you set aside 10% of post-tax income into a play account, feeling that you need to derive enjoyment from your money as motivation and that no one is going to continue without splurging on some extras from time to time. To try and do so sets you up for a yo-yo spending pattern, just like a strict diet can set you up for binge eating. After much consideration I decide to set aside $150 a month for my 'play account' and 'financial freedom' accounts. I think the most important aspect is that the two numbers should be balanced. And my play account is basically anything that is a non-essential -- the haircut (hey, I could still see), the few clothes (again, I was not naked) and the eating out expenses. To manage this, I plan to simply choose an unused credit card and dedicate it to those expenses. Now, the financial freedom account is just a little harder -- after all I'm not supposed to necessarily invest that much into passive income opportunities each month, some of it I could leave in savings (which of course is passive income but a very low yield). Eker recommends setting up a separate account, but that seems to me to complicate my banking. Well I guess that's something to figure out for the drive home. Speaking of which, it's time to go.

Later gator.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I Have a Millionaire Mind

So I finished listening to the audio book version of The Millionaire Mindset by T. Harv Eker. I would have liked it better if I didn't feel like Eker was yelling at me. I think he's just trying to be emphatic and wake you up and make you pay attention "as if your life depended on it." But when you are tired from working and battling traffic, it gets annoying. Okay, I found it annoying. SORT OF LIKE SOMEONE TYPING IN ALL CAPS ALL THE TIME.

Having said that I would still highly recommend the book and plan to listen to the third CD again tomorrow. I felt that it included ideas for immediate changes in one's life that are worth trying. Here is probably the most dramatic, controversial suggestion. Eker recommends putting 10% of your post-tax income into a 'financial freedom' account and putting 10% into a play-and-have-fun account. He said in seminars people say, "well I can't do that, I'm already borrowing money to pay my bills" and he advises "borrow more to set up the account, so that you can immediately begin to manage money even if it's only a dollar."

Eker even comments that many experts would disagree with that particular piece of advice. Obviously the simple math would say -- if I am borrowing money and paying 10% interest, I should only borrow it, if I am confident that my financial freedom account will have a return on investment of greater than 10%. Now, let me clarify, Eker says the rules of the financial freedom account are - it's a savings account that you only make withdrawals from in order to invest in methods of creating passive income. One thing that occurred to me is that if you are borrowing at 10% to put into this account, then that gives you an extra incentive to be sure that your financial freedom account DOES return more than 10% interest.

When I began listening to The Millionaire Mindset, I didn't actually think I had one. After all, my resolution is to pay off all debts and have a few thousand left in my bank account. But, the third CD clarifiies (and actually, this IS the standard definition) a Millionaire is someone whose net worth is a million dollars or more. If I really look at my goal, which only covers 2008, my net worth at the end of that would include the full value of my house (between $200K and $300K), cars (okay no big bucks there) and business ventures. No, that won't be a million dollars, but... it will probably be one third of the way there and one of the reasons that I want to be free of current debts is to make it easier for future investments, such as buying a rental property, so.... could I see myself with a net worth of a million dollars in a few years? Yes. You were right Harv. I have a millionaire mind. (I actually enjoyed the part of the audiobook where each declaration is done with your hand on your heart and followed by touching your head and proclaiming 'I have a millionaire mind.') It's kind of fun and an easy way stay engaged.

I'm going to write about Eker's suggestion that you set aside 10% of your post-tax income for a play account tomorrow after I listen to the 3rd CD again.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Not the Only New Year's Resolution Blog

Well I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I'm not the first person to think of blogging about their New Year's Resolutions. I came across this very cool New Years Resolution blog that looks like it's been going since late 2006. That says something right there.

The creator of the blog allows other authors to register for the site and post about their own resolutions, so if you want to chime in and talk occasionally about your resolutions, but you don't want to carry the whole conversation or set up a blog of your own, there's one place you could do so.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Looking Yourself and No Results in the Eye

Many times when we begin our effort, we don’t see the results we hoped for, whether we are trying to save money, earn money, lose weight, get a room in our house organized, etc. It’s important to realize that there is a difference between no results and slow results. What may appear as no results – perhaps trying to sell something, can still bring eventual results, if we simply learn from every experience. And more often the results are just slower in coming than we’d like.

I have reviewed products online and recommended them (yes, they were genuinely good products), hoping to gain an affiliate commission. In one case in the 3 months after I wrote the review, there was one sale for a $7 commission. Not exactly what I might have hoped for. Now, for a reason unbeknownst to me, I’ve had 3 sales from that same review in the last week. I’m guessing that the product owner is doing some promotion and therefore more people are searching for reviews of it. But my point is, what looked like no results, was simply slow results. Getting discouraged and depressed about what looked like no results would probably have caused me to stop writing reviews and I would have missed out on a small income stream that I’m building.

Similarly with getting in shape and losing weight, it is easy to get discouraged if you have made changes in your life and aren’t seeing results. Give yourself some positive feedback simply by praising your own efforts. Lisa Nichols recommends looking into your own eyes in the mirror and telling yourself how proud you are of your efforts. It may sound dumb, but I think this is worth doing. It is hard to break the inertia of just keeping on with what we’re already doing. If you’ve changed some part of your life, NO MATTER HOW SMALL THE CHANGE, then you should be proud and praise yourself.

One positive change can lead to another even if you can’t measure the progress yet. This last week I ran 10 miles total for the week. Perhaps running 10 miles a week will be enough to help me shed some pounds, but if it isn’t, running 10 miles a week for a few weeks will improve my physical condition to where I can run 12 – 15 miles a week and perhaps that will be enough that I begin losing weight.

So go ahead and look yourself in the eye and say I am so proud of you for deciding to …. and taking that first step of …… . I know that having decided to make this change that great things are coming into your life. Keep it up kid!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Visualizing Goals

Okay, today I don't have any thoughts I wanted to record, instead I'm posting some of the images of my resolutions.

First here is me -- the size that fits into the clothes in my closet. As you can see it's a modest goal, not an emaciated state that I'm trying to achieve. A fit and healthy woman. I am a runner.

Next thoughts of what freedom from past debts and income for the future means, a picture of a college graduation. I am able to provide rich educational opportunities for my children.

And finally the picture of the view from the house on the lake that I plan to buy.

Take a minute to feel your dreams and drink them in, and then begin again on your journey.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A New Resolution

I need another resolution and here is why. In both the The Millionaire Mindset and The Success Principles, the authors suggest that you should consider any negative beliefs you have about wealth or wealthy people. For example, perhaps your parents might have believed that all wealthy people are greedy or corrupt. Or that being rich just makes you a target of envy or crime. Neither of these rang true to me, but I asked myself the question – What negative beliefs do I have about making money or being wealthy? The answer came to me from church, a place I visited regularly as a child.

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24, King James Bible). Note: In more recent translations of the bible, mammon is translated as wealth.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me. [Exodus 20:3]
So what feels wrong with pursuing wealth to me is that it should not be my first consideration.

When I look at my resolutions, it’s hard to believe that earning money is not my highest priority. After all, my first resolution is about money and I left God and spiritual goals completely off the list. I have decided to change this not because I have some huge guilt-trip, or some fear of fire and brimstone or going to hell. No, I am changing it because it represents my true feelings and what will make me happiest.

Last night as I was driving home, I had the words “No man can serve two masters…” echoing in my head. I turned off the tape I was listening to (Millionaire Mind) and asked God, “Heavenly Father, how can I, how should I….” I didn’t speak the words, in fact, I didn’t exactly even find the words to my question. But I was asking, how can I devotedly pursue acquiring money, even when the reason I am doing so is unselfish, and not end up worshiping wealth and violating the precept “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” I held the question in my mind, the only words that came out of my mouth were “Heavenly Father.” And the answer came “…no other gods BEFORE me.” You can be devoted to other pursuits, as long as they are not ahead of God and honoring him and others.

So, I am adding a new resolution, resolution number 1, which is simply to connect once a day spiritually. Now you might think this is vague, but it’s specific enough for me to know whether I've achieved it. I KNOW when I’ve done it. I knew that I had connected last night. And as I did so, I felt a calm and a purposefulness and a strength that made me very happy.

I don’t think this will be a frequent topic of the blog, even as my top resolution, because it is a topic that I find difficult to capture in words. On the other hand, trying, at least some of the time, to capture it in words, like any of my resolutions keeps it focused in my mind.


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Today my post is a review of Court's Internet Marketing School. I'm reviewing it for two reasons.

First, Courtney offers a reciprocal review to anyone reviewing her school of internet marketing blog. Secondly, I found it interesting that Court's most recent post is about visualizing achieving her goal. She writes that each morning she looks at a screen image (that she's created in Photoshop) of her website being the very first result shown when someone Googles 'internet marketing'. And the thing is she is not very far away. As of today, she holds position number 7 for that term. Number 7 out of 109 MILLION results. Pretty impressive.

So, the proof that Court knows what she is talking about is in those results, but that's not the only reason you should read her blog. I would highly recommend the Internet Marketing School blog because
  1. It's free, with extremely few 'buy this' recommendations.
  2. Courtney gives advice in clear, easy-to-follow steps.
  3. It's well-organized. In addition to the usual categories along the side, there are appealing links at the top to: Get Started, Boost Traffic, Earn Money.
  4. There is plenty of enthusiasm, energy and humor sprinkled throughout!!!

So, if any of your resolutions, goals, desires could benefit from some internet marketing (you don't have to be selling online to want to get your name out there on the internet), then stop by Court's Internet Marketing School and have a look around.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Approaching First Goal + Millionaire Mindset

I'm proud to say that I am approaching my first goal (not my first of the two New Year's Resolutions, but the first interim goal that I set in my Weight Loss Resolution, Day After New Year's post, namely wearing a particular pair of pants with a shirt tucked in comfortably. I am wearing the pants. I am comfortable. I do have a shirt tucked in. Now, it's a thin shirt and it's pulled out at the back since this morning (I've got a pullover sweater over top, lest you be picturing me as a total slob). But.... I am approaching my first goal and I will continue to increase the number of clothes available to me to wear in my closet.

Okay, now here is a hot tip for losing weight for women. Men stop reading. I SAID STOP READING. Okay, women -- you know how you can get caught in a vicious cycle where you can only fit into your sweatpants or some baggy clothes or just don't have anything in your closet that makes you feel good about the way you look. So then you feel down about yourself, which perpetuates you not taking care of yourself and possibly overeating. BUT.... you don't really want to go out and buy new pretty clothes two sizes bigger than you used to buy them, because that feels like admitting defeat. What to do?

Here's my solution. Buy some new underwear in hot colors that make you feel attractive - sexy, powerful, pretty - whatever feeling you are looking for. First the stuff stretches -- it's not quite one size fits all, but it's one size fits a lot of different sizes. For me it fits the size I once was through the size I now am. Secondly, underwear is cheap. You can buy enough to put on something that makes you feel good about getting dressed in the morning every day of the week, for the cost of one pair of pants and shirt.

MEN -- YOU CAN BEGIN READING AGAIN and you had better not have been snooping into the girl talk.

So, I said above that this resolution blog would not just be about losing weight, but also making money. I'm listening to the audio book version of The Millionaire Mindset by T. Harv Eker (I assume his friends call him Harv, instead of 'T' or 'Mr T'.) I'll write more about it in another post, but one line jumped out at me this morning. He was talking about how hokey declarations are. Declarations are when you make a purposeful statement out loud. Such as me reciting one of my resolutions out loud. Or something as simple as:

I like myself. (Brian Tracy's favorite)


I am a beautiful, healthy, strong woman.


I am taking care of myself and improving my health.

Eker makes a comment that making declarations about money (his focus) seems hokey. And he comments that when the idea was first mentionned to him, he had the reaction that it sounded kind of hokey and dumb, but he was at that point of being willing to try anything, because what he had been doing wasn't working. Eker summarizes "I'd rather be hokey and rich than cool and broke." I liked that. It's true, I'm choosing hokey and in good shape and financial freedom (my vision of financial freedom) over playing it cool.

Gosh, I thought this was going to be a short post. I do run on, don't I?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Stop Making Excuses and Blaming Other People

Stop Making Excuses and Blaming Other People

It's easier said than done of course. I just realized I was guilty of it in one area of my weight issues. My husband and younger son like to have some kind of desert or sweet and both will ask me what we have or whether I could get them something. No matter how many times I point out that they can get things in the kitchen just as well as I can, and even chase them off to do so, they are back asking the next night. It is faster to go out to the kitchen scoop ice cream into a couple bowls and return to what I was doing than to have the discussion with them.

But.... of course I never completely do that. As a minimum I lick the spoon, most commonly, I'll eat a big final spoonful (proud of myself for not serving myself a whole dish) or occasionally I have a small bowl. I've always resented that they who have commented on my gradual weight creep, bring up sweet fattening food on a nightly basis. So in my mind I partially blamed them for a few of the extra pounds I'm carrying. And then I started thinking, what if I took full responsibility for the fact that I routinely stuff a couple of giant spoonfuls of ice cream or a small brownie into my mouth when I know I don't need it, during this evening ritual. Is there really nothing that I could do differently? And then I remembered how, if I brush my teeth in the morning and rinse with mouth wash, I don't want to taste anything. If I go to work and someone has out food, even if it's something healthy, a bagel, etc, I don't want it for sometime after using mouthwash, unless I am truly hungry. So.... when asked about treats, I am going to say that I need to use the bathroom, go and brush my teeth, do a quick rinse with mouthwash (all of this has the obvious side benefit of improving my dental health) and then return to the kitchen. Who knows.... maybe the extra time will be enough to even make them realize that they really CAN dish food out for themselves and doing so means they don't have to wait. But I'm not counting on that.

This morning I ran with Licorice, our black Lab. She's named that because of her color, sweetness and the fact that she licks a lot. She is also frequently called Licky, Lickety-Split, and Bad Dog. Anyway, I was up early driving my son over to go skiing with friends and it is extra warm here today and I thought both Licorice and I could use more exercise. We went just a bit over a mile at a moderate trot, both breathing heavily. A wonderful start to the day.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Keeping New Year's Resolutions - Unique Solution

This morning I was reading, Change Your Life and Everyone In It: How To: by Michelle Weiner. Weiner writes that the answer of how to change your life is unique for each person. What works for one person doesn't work for another.

I know this is true. When I was home at Christmas, my mom made a comment that, "exercising never worked for me when I wanted to lose weight." I laughed and said "that's funny, because exercise is the ONLY way I ever lose weight. If I try to cut back on what I eat, I feel deprived and hungry and sooner or later, I pig out. Whereas exercise makes me feel better, so I'm not looking to go back to how things were before."

So I know already that my solution to losing weight must include more exercise. But, when?? How to find the time to exercise? Because I am so locked in, so full of resolve that I will lose weight, I'm getting more creative. I don't think I can block out even a half hour to exercise every day. But.... what I can do is take short breaks and exercise just long enough to raise my heart rate. I know that I'll continue to burn extra calories all the while as my heart returns to its resting rate. Last night before I got in the shower, I did 15 (hmm.... not even sure what to call the exercise) repetitions of two different leg exercises. And then jogged in place while I waited for the shower to get warm.

This morning as I drove in (long boring commute) I tapped my left foot and tapped the gear shift. So most likely when I've slimmed down, I'll have an overly large left calf and right forearm. When I got tired of that, I did slight pelvic thrusts. Good thing I don't carpool, or they surely would have deemed me weird or insane. And perhaps, you, the reader are doing so also.

I have resolved to lose weight and I will do so, regardless of what it takes. I'm about to set a clock reminder for once an hour to get up and walk around for a couple minutes, go up the stairs and back down. It's better for my concentration, as well as my metabolism, to get up and move at least once an hour, rather than staying at my desk.

And just in case you are wondering, I will be blogging about my money-making resolution as well, just not today.

Talk to you later!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The-New-Year-Resolution-Blog meets Mark Joyner

I'm evaluating a multi-media course on blogging from the folks at Simpleology. For a while, they're letting you snag it for free if you post about it on your blog.

It covers:

  • The best blogging techniques.
  • How to get traffic to your blog.
  • How to turn your blog into money.

I'll let you know what I think once I've had a chance to check it out. Meanwhile, go grab yours while it's still free.

The Weight Loss Resolution, Day After New Year's

Part of making a resolution and bringing it to life, is figuring out what you want and why you want it. What feelings do you have about reaching your goal?

When I look at my own New Year's weight loss resolution, I see more preferences for being thinner and not strong emotions. So right now I am going to close my eyes and daydream about reaching my goal. Going to the closet and being able to pull out any article of clothing and put it on and being able to easily zip up the pants, button the buttons and still move comfortably.....

Okay, I'm back from my daydream.

The answer -- it makes me excited and joyful to think about it. I feel happy to have all the choices of my closet and proud of my body.

In case you are wondering why I have chosen the goal of fitting into my clothes, instead of choosing a weight that I want to weigh, the answer is this. When I was in college, for 2 or 3 years I was a slave to the bathroom scale. When my weight went up, my mood went down. One vacation I joined a nearby gym and took 1 or 2 aerobics classes each day. I quickly toned up and lost fat and was getting compliments from my boyfriend, mother, even my brother noticed. But the scale showed the same number. Apparently I was building muscle as fast as I was losing fat. Because my goal at that time was losing weight and I had chosen to measure it in the number that the bathroom scale showed, I became discouraged by my lack of progress. If exercising 1 - 2 hours a day and watching what I ate didn't reduce my weight, what hope was there? I gave up.

Later, in hindsight, I realized the mistake and I vowed to rarely, if ever, even step on a weight scale and to never use a specific weight as my goal. Instead I use clothing as an indicator of my body's condition. And right now, I want to change the clothing that my body fits into. So... to break it down into a more manageable task, let me pick one article of clothing to use as the first milepost of what I'm trying to achieve. Let me think....

Okay, the green and black herringbone dress slacks. I can put them on now, but haven't been able to tuck a shirt into them for months. First goal, be able to tuck a shirt (regardless of how thin) into those pants and wear them to work for the day. And now I'm going to visualize just that first step. It feels good. It makes me want to exercise more. My stomach is flatter and sexier.... Perhaps I will pull out the Pilates exercise tape that I haven't tried before.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Years Resolutions

Today I go on record with my New Year's Resolutions. You see I wrote this short report, Happy New Year's Resolutions, explaining how you can resolve to have a happier year, life, etc. And now it's time for me to publicly demonstrate my resolutions which are:

Resolution Number 1:

I resolve to earn enough money to pay off all my debt and will finish doing so by January 2009. I will have zero balance on my primary mortgage, credit card bills, 401K loan. In addition I will have a combined balance in my savings and checking account at that time of over $5000. Why do I want this?

1) I want my son to choose which college to attend (which will occur in January 2009) without worrying about our finances.

2) I want my husband to feel less financial stress, as he has a medical condition that is worsened by stress.

3) I'd LOVE to be able to invest in a second home. I have the particular area in mind and ideas of how to make a house there into a great rental.

4) I want my money to go to good causes instead of banks. I'm tired of losing much of my income to loan/mortgage interest. To celebrate no longer enriching banks with interest payments, I will give $1000 in January 2009 and December 2009 to charities. It will be an extraordinary feeling to make such a sizeable donation, something that is more than I’ve ever been able to give before. I want to be able to help other people more.5) I would like to reduce the number of hours that I am working at my “day-job” in favor of having more time for entrepreneurial adventures. I love working from home and creating business ventures from concept through execution.

Resolution Number 2:

I am listening to my body more and giving it healthier food and more exercise. This means every day my pants zip a bit more easily and therefore I exercise more as well. By July 2008 I fit into all the clothes in my closet. Why do I want this? When I exercise and I am lighter, it is easier. It is less work and a lot more fun.

I hate shopping and prefer the joy of old clothes which act as old friends.

I get more compliments as a size 8 than a size 10 pushing 12 or 14. I feel flattered and confident.

I may write more later in the day if time permits, but.... one of the most important aspects of making resolutions is to begin NOW, not wait to line up all the details. And so I created this blog. I want to figure out how to get rid of the top bar. I have a pretty picture that I want to use for my graphic.... but there will be time to make those changes. I am getting started on my resolutions, right now!