I'm really enjoying all of the well-wishes on Facebook today in celebration of Thanksgiving. It's heart warming to read the messages of the various forms of gratitude that friends and family are expressing.
I'm very thankful that both of our kids have places to go today to enjoy family and a wonderful meal together. Jack and I debated the pros and cons of making the trek with the potential freezing on roads we were to travel. After much deliberation, we decided to stay home. We will prepare a mini version of a Thanksgiving feast and finish our Christmas decorating.
There is so much to be thankful for and yet many times I know that I try to cram it all into this one day, but it's not all about one day. It's how we express our gratitude on a daily basis that counts in the big picture. I'm going to try harder from this day forward to show gratitude each day. Thanksgiving is like the kick start. It's like the beginning of a marathon and the gun going off to signify the start of the race. It's making sure that those I love and care about know it, it's taking the time and effort to give all that I have to my job, it's being thankful each day for my health, etc.
Today is the beginning of something incredibly special. I wish you much love, health, and happiness today and everyday! Happy Thanksgiving!
Okay, so I might be a bit biased when it comes to Jeff Sanders. I stumbled onto his podcast about a year ago, and I got hooked by his enthusiasm and energy!
When I found out he was writing a book basically about his podcast topics, I was pretty pumped to read it. You see, Jeff is a productivity junkie. He is the master of the checklist. He gets up really early (on most days). He definitely dominates his day before breakfast. The great thing is that he wants that for all of us too, and so this book is an extension of all that Jeff is, and he invites the reader to be all we can be as well.
There are many things that I appreciate about this book. Each chapter is concise and actionable, the lists emphasize the focus, the review section is a great summary, and there is an action plan for the reader to follow.
I think what I appreciated the most though is that the book reads as Jeff talks, and that's what spoke to me the most. I could almost hear his voice as I read the text, his enthusiastic voice, almost pushing me on to realize my full potential.
If you're looking for a book that is beyond a great read, this is one that I highly recommend. It dares us to get out of bed to rock productivity, and all before breakfast!
In the spirit of the holiday season, my last blog focused on making life SIMPLE. So, I decided to write more about each letter.
The first is to strive for moderation. Usually around the holidays, the focus is on food. When I was growing up, we would purposely have our Thanksgiving or Christmas meal around 1:00 just so that in four hours or so we could take out the leftovers and eat again.
Looking back on it, I'm thinking we were definitely gluttons for punishment who more often than not put ourselves in a food coma.
I don't do that so much anymore. Most of the reason is because I just don't like that feeling of being so stuffed that I have to be like Frank Barone from "Everybody Loves Raymond" and unbutton my pants just so that my stomach doesn't explode.
That's a horrible feeling and an even more horrible visual!
With food, I strive for moderation during the holidays. One strategy that helps is that I track my food on myfitnesspal. When I track my food, it gets a little embarrassing if I have to keep adding one item after another to the list. It sure makes a difference when I'm holding myself accountable. I have to face the calories head on, so I want to make sure that I stay within my calorie and macro count as much as possible.
Another strategy that works wonders is eating one plate of food with no seconds. Then as I eat, I make sure that I enjoy each bite and take my time. There's always plenty of conversation going on, and so I join in and take care not to eat fast. After all, it isn't a race.
The third strategy has to do with dessert. I look at all the available yummy goodness and pick my absolute favorite. If I can't decide between two items, then I do a half piece of each.
Striving for moderation is the key during the holidays. I'm realistic in that I enjoy all the delicious food, but I also work hard to make sure that I don't overdue it.
I'm a firm believer in keeping things as simple as possible. Too many people complicate things and add more to their plates when they should be removing things.
The holiday season is definitely a time of year when it's easy to get overwhelmed with all the running around instead of stepping back and enjoying all that is offered. So, how can we keep things simple?
S - Strive for moderation. We tend to overeat during the holidays, and I get it. There is so much yummy goodness that it’s tough to be disciplined with all that rich, delicious food nearby. When we strive for moderation, we can curb the desire to eat everything in sight.
I - Indulge but don’t go overboard. Instead of having two or three desserts, have one piece of your absolute favorite. Instead of going through the buffet line twice, go through once.
M - Mindful. As in be mindful of the food you’re putting in your mouth. Rather than inhaling your meal, take time to enjoy it. Slow down, it’s not a race to see who can eat the most or the fastest. Be mindful as you enjoy meals with loved ones. Listen thoughtfully and respond in kind.
P - Play. Get outside and play. Run around with your kids, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, etc. Build a snowman (when we get snow), throw the football around, play tag, etc. Be a kid again. You won’t regret it.
L - Love the time you’re spending with your loved ones. Instead of running around looking for the perfect gift, write a note to family members letting them know how much you love them and how important they are to you. A gift like that is priceless.
E - Enjoy the small moments, because those small moments are actually the big ones in disguise. Take an afternoon to listen to holiday music while wrapping gifts. Eat popcorn while decorating the house. Laugh and enjoy the company of loved ones. Rest, relax, and take an easygoing mindset.
If you look closely, you can see that I'm holding time in my hand and that how I use my time is a reflection of me.
I used to be the type of person who would ask the question, "Where does all my time go?" It just seemed to slip away and I didn't have any control over how I spent it.
And then I got a grip on myself and starting thinking about it. I have 24 hours in my day. I sleep about 7.5 hours and I work about 11 hours a day between my school counseling job and working on my side business.
So that means I still have 5.5 hours left in my day. I dictate how those hours are spent. Yes, I realize that we have family responsibilities and chores but we also waste a lot of time. That's what I discovered anyway, and then I started to do something about it:
1. I began limiting how much time I watch TV.
2. All electronics power down by 9:00 p.m.
3. I do different chores each night so that I'm done in 30 minutes.
4. I limit my time on social media, email, texting, etc.
Now that I've started doing just those four things on my list, I've discovered that I have more time to do the things I want to do. I've been able to hang out with my husband more, read more, write more, and get more exercise. I really do feel like I'm holding time in my hand and it's starting to accurately reflect me.
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.