Friday, May 30, 2008

Self-Care, the Luxury You Can Afford

By: Linda Dessau

Self-care is a choice. When you find yourself feeling sorry for yourself because you "have to" hit the gym, because you "can't" have that piece of birthday cake or because you "wish" you could be like your friend who stays out late doing exciting things, remember that you're free to flop on the couch, have TWO pieces of cake or not go to sleep at all.

You're choosing self-care.

Instead of asking "Do I have to do this my whole life?" remind yourself, "I GET to do this my whole life, if I keep making the choice to!"

In his book, "Callings", Gregg Levoy writes, "In the Afghani tongue, the verb to cling is the same as to die."

To me, this drastic statement reminds me of the many years I clung to smoking, long after it stopped fitting into my life or my self-identity. I've been smoke-free for almost six years now, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to share what I've learned in my journey towards self-care.

My favourite self-care principle is to focus on what you want to add in, versus what you need to take out. In order to release the habits you might be clinging to, you need to shift the idea that you'll have to give up things that you love to take care better care of yourself.

When you begin, instead, to ADD nourishing self-care treatments, rituals and habits to your life, you'll become naturally ready to let go of what's not right for you. Because you've sent yourself the message that you're worth it.

You'll become clear about your priorities and will naturally let go of whatever doesn't fit into the new life that you're building – a new life of more energy, resilience and tolerance of stress, increased joy and ease of productivity.


Clutter: Instead of imagining you have to clear the clutter from your entire house or office, instead think about ONE AREA you'd really like to have clear. Think about the purpose that space will fulfill, what you'll do there, what it will look like, what it will feel like and the difference it will make to your life to have that space. Then go about creating (adding in) that space.

Emotions: What's an emotion you'd like to be feeling more every day? What makes you feel that way? Add in activities, people, reading, entertainment options or creative activities that bring about that emotion in you.

Getting off the couch: If you fall into the "couch potato" category (and I certainly did for many years of my life), try to trade the "nothing" you're doing for a "something". In the beginning it could be as simple as adding in a half hour of window-shopping at your local mall. Hey, at least you're up and out!!

New Foods: Browse through recipes in the library or in magazines or newspapers or on the Internet and try a new vegetable or two. Try and eat a different coloured fruit every day for one week. Shift your way of eating and try brand new things instead of just trying to find substitutes for what you're used to eating. Low-fat or sugar-free substitutes never seem to taste as good as the "real thing", they sometimes contain harmful additives, they're expensive and they don't encourage any lasting change or the fundamental shifts that are needed to truly make self-care a priority.

Relationships: Think about the qualities you'd like to be receiving more from the people in your life, and then practice GIVING those qualities at every opportunity.

Instead of thinking about what you might need to give up in order to practice better self-care, think about what you get to add in! And with the many forms of illness and disease that are linked to poor self-care habits, self-care is a luxury you can't afford to ignore!

Linda Dessau, BFA, MTA, CPCC is a self-care expert, accredited music therapist and certified life coach. Learn more about using singing for stress management, personal growth and spiritual development at, where you can download the FREE report, "Top 10 Ways to Sing Out Your Stress".

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wealth As Motivation

ome People never get started Some people are prone to setting around, talking and dreaming of riches others are dynamos at building wealth. Many people are satisfied with being followers and spend their lives in the shadow of mediocrity. They are the wage earners who work from nine to five and are comfortable in their choice. They want someone to take charge so they can follow at a safe distance. They are confused and frightened, and hesitate to step out in front of the crowd for fear of failure. It is the fear of failure that they use as an excuse and has become a symbol of their accomplishments

It’s A Question Of Wealth And Quality Of Life An age old question that contains more mystery than solution is; "Why are some people so prosperous and enjoy life to its fullest while others with just as much, or more, ability end up struggling with only average results?" Is wealth a motivating factor or a seductive mistress who turns the head of an ambitious suitor? Perhaps financial success is simply a product of passion or just plain greed. In this article, we will address some characteristics of success as it relates to the drive for wealth.

Others can’t get started soon enough What of the superstars, the achievers, the doers and shakers, these high energy people are no different than anyone else apart from, they have a cause and are more focused. What keeps them focused on surpassing the norm? Donald Trump and Warren Buffet says you must be involved with the familiar and love what you are doing. Successful people experience a total envelopment of love that keeps them focused on their course.

There are many examples There are countless examples of financial successes in our society. Hewlett Packard, Bill Gates, Sam Walton, Warren Buffet, Henry Ford, along with thousands of others all started in their garage or a back room of their homes. With the Internet, Rags to Riches are truly the American dream that many are achieving today. Successful people only limit their opportunities by their imagination. These industrious, driven people were willing to pay the price for making something they believed in, come alive. They are creators, innovative thinkers, and go-getters; they are truly super achievers. The world is changing as they place their mark of distinction upon it. The annals of time records their names so generations to come may give thanks to them for a more prosperous improved world. They mold the world into a more creative and flourishing importance. The world is a better place because they decided to become involved.

Is Success a mindset? Successful people associate with other successful people not because they are prudes but because they are better able to commutate with alike people. Success stems from ambition and a wiliness to forge ahead while adapting to current conditions. Each success process is a journey into itself . . . steppingstones to higher experiences and understanding.

By: Donald Yates

Donald Yates, Former Director of Leadership and Development for the First Baptist Church of Crossville, and Business Development coordinator for Imperial Research , is now retired but continues to engage life through self discovery.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mission Statements and Vision Statements for Your Self

"You now use the developed mission statement and vision statement to begin your strategic planning process to stay on track" writes Don Midgett, author of Mission and Vision Statements: Your Path to a Successful Business Future. These statements are your primary source and tools that will help you to develop meaningful goals, objectives, strategic activities and day to day actions for your strategic plan. How do you do this?

Break your mission and vision statements down and develop goals to respond to each phrase or sentence. Then take each goal and identify strategic activities that if accomplished, will achieve the goal. Also, take each strategic activity developed, for every goal, and break each down into the specific actions that must be performed. When you assign names and due dates to each of the specific actions, you have developed a comprehensive strategic plan that, when accomplished, should take you further down your path to a successful personal or business future.

Here's an abbreviated example, taking a small excerpt from the example company's mission and vision statements to show how a strategic plan element would look:

Company Mission (excerpt) = provide and distribute wellness products in North America

Company Vision (excerpt) = expand the business to become international distributors of wellness

Goal 1 = Expand beyond the North American marketplace
Objective 1 = Become a Certified International Distributor Before the End of the Quarter
Strategy 1A = Get certified to do business internationally
Action 1 = Sign up/pay for training class by the end of the week
Action 2 = Study/take International Certification Exam by the end of the month
Strategy 1B = Get new distributors in India
Action 1 = Contact current list of India prospects by the end of the month
Action 2 = Place ad in the Punjab Times by the end of the week
Action 3 = Educate qualified candidates within 2 weeks of contact
Action 4 = Sign up new distributors and train by the end of the quarter

Goal 2 = Train others to expand their distribution networks worldwide
Objective 2 = Develop 3 New Certified International Distributors Before the End of the Year
Strategy 2A = Etc…….

In the above example, note that the Goal is an overall statement that, when achieved, allows you to at least partially reach your vision and the Objective is a statement that allows you to measure your stated goal. The measure can be one of time, dollars or some other form of progression.

Notice that there are multiple strategies for each goal and objective. This is typically the case because there are frequently multiple Strategies that must be implemented to accomplish any goal. This is also true with the Actions necessary to accomplish each Strategy - multiple Actions are necessary to carry out each Strategy.

A comment from a hands-on trainer who uses mission and vision in his work: Doug Campbell, who trains fire fighters, says "I have many offers to consult in projects related to fire protection. I want to manage my time and project selection, and my mission statement and vision statement helps to do that." He also assigns his trainees to write out their mission and vision statements. "The mission and vision statements open a window on what their values are ….they expose the ethics of the person. We know by their replies which are ready for a supervisory position."

These are examples on how to focus the future of your strategic planning efforts in terms of visionary direction, leadership, goal-setting and proper strategic activity. To learn more about how to create and use a mission statement and vision statement to enhance your personal and business success, go to
by Don Midgett

In his business growth consulting practice of over 20 years, Don has enjoyed helping leaders and entrepreneurs from both large and small organizations craft their unique mission and vision statements, identify the visionary changes they need to make and install a strategic planning process to achieve their desired futures. Need help? Go to NOW - subscribe to our free newsletter, Mission Vision News.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Work Less and Play More

That’s a book title written by Steven Catlin (Kimberlite Publishing), a "how-to" tips to working less and playing more. It is not an intellectual discussion of the value of leisure or the world problems about consumption and overwork. Rather, it is a guide to how you individually can reduce your consumption, make your "Personal Treasury" and end up having more leisure time.
Catlin will challenge you to rethink your purchases and think about how many are truly necessities and how many really give pleasure to you, contra how many are built on Tradition, Guilt or Ego.
He considers some of the most valued "Tradition Purchases", most notably:
1) Having a house
2) Owning kids
3) Owning a pet
4) Having a dependent (rather than independent) spouse
He does not tell you these are "bad purchases". Instead, he remind us to take the time to reflect on why we are planning these acquisitions. If you do, he are sure, you may be surprised to know that you would be happier without some of them. And, the world may be happier without you having them.
He repeatedly discussed the concept of Consequence Costs: The time and the money that your possessions extract from you long after they are paid for. The cost of the dog is not the dollars purchase price, but the time it takes to walk it and feed it and the money spent on food and vet bills.
If you truly get enjoyment from your dog, your new car, your boat or your kids, by all means go and have them and count them in the Pleasure Purchase factors. Just be honest with yourself, he remind us.
Some of these efforts are made early in life. Catlin gives clues on how to minimize the effect of past mistakes while avoiding future mistakes. He puts less emphasis on the "how-to" of working less than on the "how-to" of reducing consumption and time robbery.
The idea is that if one has enough money and investments accumulated by saving rather than spending, then it is possible to take extended holidays without pay. It is not important to stop working altogether, unless that is your purpose. But it is possible to work fewer hours or to take breaks of months or years at a time at work or between works, with good planning.
This book will of course make you to think about your values and lifestyle in detail while giving you real clues on how to get a lifestyle that lets you really enjoy the fruits of your work. This book offers good tips whether you are seeking more leisure in your life or only to re-think your current lifestyle.