13.1 Things I Learned from a Half Marathon

Still calm and cool (well COLD actually!)

Still calm and cool (well COLD actually!) with Paul Guerrero

Yesterday I finally achieved part of a long time goal of mine. I completed the PF Chang’s Half Marathon in 2 hours, 34 minutes and 48 seconds. I have so many thoughts and comments, I don’t even know where to start.

My journey began in March of 2012. You can read my first post here. Nothing in the world suggested that I could run 13.1 miles in one period of time. But I wanted that goal to be accomplished so bad. I wanted to be able to say I did one of the hardest things I could imagine me doing. So that I could say that I can do anything I set my mind to without doubt or fear.

The lessons and insights I’ve gain over the last 10 months are worth a lifetime of learning. And every one of them apply to every aspect of life. Let me share some of them here.

  1. If it were easy, anyone would do it – Making this kind of commitment requires doing something that only approximately 2% of Americans have done. (Was unable to find real stats but those were the estimates I could find).
  2. Having a Want to Win doesn’t mean anything without the Want to Train – I read this (or something like it, couldn’t take notes while I was running) on a T-shirt during the race. It’s so true.  I wanted to run a marathon for a long time but I didn’t want to train. Finally I was committed enough and made it happen.
  3. Things are usually easier than you anticipate – I had run a 10k on Thanksgiving and struggled my way through that so I was pretty sure that all the last minute training set backs I had experienced were going to make this much more challenging than I had hoped to plan for. Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised. It was a lot easier than I expected. No walk in the park, but I didn’t slow down much for the second half of the run like I expected I would. Read the rest of this entry »

The Story of Oreo – Being Positive Even When It’s Hard

May I share a recent story from my own life with you?

On Monday, Nov 19th, my sweet dog, Oreo and I were out for our morning jog. I don’t normally bring her with me because she’s quite the adventurer and it’s hard to keep an eye on her. This time, though, my husband was going jogging with us and agreed to watch her while I focused on my running (yes, I’m that clutsy). 

Shortly into the 3 mile run, my husband began to struggle with an injury he has and felt it better to turn back. We tried to get Oreo to go with Jeff and she started to head that direction but quickly wised up and came running to catch up to me. So, I had a partner for the rest of my run. No big deal.  I could handle it this once.

We live quite a ways out of the city where all the properties are on a minimum 1 acre lot so there’s very little traffic. Oreo was being her happy self, checking out everything her nose guided her to. She was on the other side of a one lane road when I saw the truck coming. Traffic in that area is usually going about 35 to 40 miles an hour. This truck was slowing down so I thought he had seen Oreo. Oreo paused on the side of the road seeming to know the truck was there. Just as Oreo probably thought the truck was stopping and went to cross the road, it decided to speed up again.  I later learned that he had slowed down because he thought he knew two guys who were standing near the road and never even saw Oreo.

Oreo had been hit. I heard the sound and started to scream. I ran over to her already crying.  Even with the driver stopping and the two guys standing on the road, it took about 15 minutes to get my husband back with the car, all the while I’m sitting with my dog, in the middle of the street, crying and babbling and petting Oreo to keep her calm.  If you are an animal lover, you can understand the emotions you might go through to see one of your most loved beings go through something like this.

We finally got Oreo to the vet hospital. I was an anxious mess waiting to hear if Oreo was even going to live. The good news, she was mostly ok and nothing was broken. My level of anxiety dropped significantly!  The bad news, there was nerve damage that was causing paralysis in one of her front legs.  And thus started the roller coaster of emotions.  If she didn’t regain feeling in her leg within 48 hours, chances were slim that she’d regain it at all. We picked her up from the vet hospital a few hours later and took her home to watch over her very carefully for the next few days.

That first day was by far the most difficult to deal with emotionally. I’m the queen of positivity and yet here I am on this wild roller coaster. Now one of the things I always say is that we have to give ourselves space to feel the strong emotions. It’s not healthy to hide things and just makes it worse in the long run.  So I let them out. I let myself experience the pain and sorrow. But what I quickly realized was that I had no guilt. I had a lot of reasons I could have felt guilty. She should have been on a leash. I shouldn’t have taken her. I should have kept her at my side. I should have called her back across the road sooner. But I felt none of that. It was a horrible accident and no one was to blame.

The other thing I began to notice was that I was going to be ok no matter what happened to Oreo. She was alive. Sure, she was a wonderful dog to run, play fetch, go swimming and even shake hands and those things would be different. We’d still have Oreo even if she was on three legs instead of four.  It wasn’t what I would want for her but I knew, from everything I teach, that there is a reason for everything.

Following the accident, we received a huge out pouring of love and support, healing thoughts and prayers for Oreo but, while her spirits started to slowly return, her leg remained paralyzed.  We took her to Thanksgiving dinner with us, not wanting to leave her home alone and she wandered around saying hi and checking out all the new sites. Still, no sign of life in that leg.

We took Oreo back for a check up on Friday. The vet didn’t feel optimistic that Oreo would regain any feeling at any point and that we should begin to accept that we may need to amputate the limb. It’s still scary to think that she might not be the exact same wonderful dog she was, she will be a wonderful dog none-the-less. 

I still get a little sad about it sometimes but I realize that my journey to become a positive person and really use the principles I wrote about in my book and teach are things that have truly helped me maintain the ability to keep going and be content knowing everything will turn out just right in the end.  It might not be MY idea of right, but it will be right.

I’m grateful that I have taken the time to really learn how to be a positive person when I wasn’t faced with this kind of challenge so that it makes being a positive person now, that much easier.

Oreo goes back for a check up tomorrow. There are certain signs that I am hopeful mean she may be regaining some feeling but it’s hard to tell if I’m just being optimistic. Either way, I’m going to be ok. And so it Oreo.

Weekly Challenge – Time Management

This week’s challenge is all about managing our time more effectively.

There are a lot of great tools available for time management but the one that works the best is the one that you are most likely to use.
Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I a computer or smart phone addict?
  • Do I prefer to use a daily written schedule?
  • Is simple important to me?
  • Is simple too simple for me?

When you start to narrow down the answers to these questions, you will begin to identify a time management system that will work for you. Here are some ideas and a quick outline of how they work.

  • Top 3 – As easy as it gets. Each day write down your top 3 priorities on a note card. Your day is not complete until these 3 things are checked off.
  • Get To-Do List – A little more detailed than the Top 3, this is your basic To-Do list with a little more positive spin.
  • Time Blocking – Use a weekly calendar to block of chunks of time in your day. This system allows you to color code your schedule to be sure you are covering all of the major areas and allows you to make sure there is enough time for each necessary activity in your week.
  • Franklin Covey – This popular system has been around for a long time and still draws a lot of fans. It’s a little more intensive than Time Blocking but allows you to feel confident that all of your bases are covered.
  • Getting Things Done – This is another complete time management system that works for the busy body that always seems to have things rattling around in their brain. It is less scheduled than either Time Blocking or Franklin Covey so might be a good alternative for the more free spirited, spontaneous type person.

Once you have decided on a system to use (or some combination of them), then it is a matter of taking the time to implement.

Your Challenge: Making a time management system work for you is a three part project.

  1. Find the right system and put it into place.
  2. Stick to the system for at least 30 days.
  3. Get to the core reason that time management isn’t working for you.

Part one and two are obvious. We’ll talk about part three later this week.

I will be sharing a few short tips over the next 5 days on my fan page http://www.facebook.com/WholeMindMakeover.

If you would like more and go at our challenge full on, ask me about a self directed program I’m developing to help you on your own Makeover journey!

What Do You Choose to Believe? What’s the Truth?

You are a small business owner dealing with a recession.  There are fewer employees (if any) doing more work (including yourself) for less money.  It’s getting harder and harder to find business and you are wondering if you’ve made the right decisions. The only thing keeping you from throwing in the towel and looking for a “real” job is the fact that you keep hearing how there is no work available anyway. Amidst all this, people keep telling you to stay positive! Who are they kidding and what fantasy world do they live in?

As difficult as it seems, maintaining a positive attitude may be the best thing you can do for your business. Here’s why:

  1. People like to do business with people that seem happy.
  2. People don’t like to do business with people that complain.
  3. People (customers) are attracted to businesses that exude confidence and security.
  4. When you are maintaining a positive attitude, you will provide better customer service.
  5. A positive attitude will help you to attract more opportunity.
  6. Staying positive allows you to be more open for problem solving and overcoming challenges.
  7. A positive attitude will help you through the “failures” in order to reach your ultimate success.

 

Most business owners I have worked with in my coaching practice have doubt and anxiety about their future. They wonder if they are truly capable of accomplishing their dreams, especially during these challenging times. This doubt turns into blaming, justifying and complaining because they lack the understanding of where their thoughts will lead them.

Make a Change

The first step to overcome these negative thoughts is to realize that, even if you have those thoughts, they aren’t always true. Here’s an example. If you are red color blind, you may truly think that an apple is really grey. However, you can believe that it is red knowing that this is the truth no matter what your mind is telling you. A negative thought is no different. There is a mechanism within your mind that creates the negative thought but it is your choice to believe it or have faith that the opposite is true despite your thoughts.

The next time you think there isn’t enough business out there or that our current government isn’t doing enough to reverse the economic recession or that you aren’t a good enough business person, choose to acknowledge those thoughts and then let them go. Much like the whiny toddler, those thoughts just want a moment of your attention. Once they’ve gotten that, they tend to wander off. Use a little redirection by giving them a polite nod and then refocusing your mind on what you truly want to focus on.

This is an exercise that takes practice. It often helps to have some extra help to keep you focused on the right path. If you struggle to stay positive in your business, consider checking out our coaching packages that may help you.

 

What is your favorite way to maintain a positive attitude in your business?

Success Paradox – Will Your Current Success Inhibit Future Success?

There’s an interesting thing about success. I call it the Success Paradox. The Success Paradox is the concept that what we most desire from success is the very reason we don’t work hard to achieve more of it. What is this factor? Comfort.

In all of my seminars and workshops and through the feedback of my coaching clients, I know that the number one reason people wish to achieve success is because of the comfort it will provide them. They may not define it that way. In fact, it’s usually called financial freedom, security, independence, etc… But the one thing all of these phrases have in common is that the individual(s) want to be comfortable and worry free.

And there lies the paradox.

You see, it isn’t possible to achieve a high level of success without expanding your comfort zone.

Success is created through trial and error, failures endured, pressure mounted. Success (that lasts) rarely happens out of luck or pure fortune but almost always from hard work, perseverance and the right attitude.  For this reason, it’s rarely found within the comfort zone.

Breaking the Success Paradox

If you really wish to reach a higher level of success, here’s an activity that may help you to break the paradox.

Take 15 or 20 minutes to perform this activity. Take out a sheet of paper and draw a line from top to bottom down the middle. On the left, write down all of the things you enjoy about your life right now.  On the right, write down all of the things you’d like to improve about your life now. Now turn the paper over. On the left, write down all of the things you believe will make your life more comfortable that you don’t currently have now. On the right, write down what you are willing to give up to make those improvements in your life and gain those things.

If you find you are not willing to give up much, or don’t list many things you’d like to change, then you may have already reached your ideal level of success. On the other hand, if you have a large list of wants and not many things you are willing to give up, you may continue to struggle because your wants aren’t a strong enough motivator to change.  However, if you have a good list of wants and a STRONG list of sacrifices, then you are well on your way to breaking the Success Paradox.

If you would like to work on breaking your success paradox, please check into our life coaching packages.

Did you try this exercise? What were your results?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments, or drop me a note.

 

23 Gratitude Quotes to Motivate and Inspire

Gratitude, it probably comes as no surprise, changed my life. I find it to be such an important point in our journey to reaching our true potential that it is one thing I require of all my coaching clients.

Since we are in the midst of this year’s Gratitude Project, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite gratitude quotes and thoughts.

Read the rest of this entry »

Gratitude Project Guidelines

To help avoid confusion as to the expectations of the Gratitude Project, I have written this little list of guidelines.

First off, there are no “rules”. This is your project to do with as you feel it works best for you. If you’d like some ideas on how to express your gratitude, I recommend checking out my book, Positivity on Purpose: Intentionally Create More Abundance, Wealth and Happiness. (also available on Kindle).

There are no rules but here are a few recommended practices.

Step 1 - Join the Gratitude Project by registering at http://goldeneaglescoaching.com/gratitude-project-2012/.

Step 2 - Join the Positivity On Purpose Facebook Group by going to http://www.facebook.com/groups/positivityonpurpose/ and clicking Join Group in the upper right.

Step 3 – Participate by posting your gratitude each day. You can post on your own wall or on the Facebook Group. I recommend posting in both locations. Ideally, use the following format so that we can identify your posts as part of the Gratitude Project.

Day 3 Gratitude Project – Today I’m grateful that I can sleep for 10 hours straight when my body says I need to and not have to call to report sick to anyone! Positivity on Purpose.

By typing @positivityonpurpose, Facebook should provide a drop down list of options for you to choose from. Select the one with the shooting star and our group page will be tagged.

Then copy the text and post it on the Positivity on Purpose group page.

 

Alternatively – if you are not able to be on Facebook regularly, or choose not to participate in that way, please feel free to use a journal or notebook to record your gratitudes. There are a few people that stop in and post several days worth of gratitudes that they have recorded at one time. This works too. Remember, there are no rules.

Step 4 – Share. If you are so inclined, the registration page is the best page to share with those you know to get them involved in the project as well. That page again is, http://goldeneaglescoaching.com/gratitude-project-2012/. There is a Share Bar at the bottom of that page that you can use to share to your Facebook, Twitter, etc… Or just use the direct link.

Gratitude Round Up

As we are right at the start of the Gratitude Project 2012, here’s a round up of some of my most popular gratitude blog posts.

 

Who Packed Your Parachute – A reminder to be grateful for the unseen people in our lives.

The 3 Levels of Gratitude – Did you know there are different types of gratitude? Where do you fall on the spectrum?

But There’s Nothing to be Grateful For – While most people realize there’s plenty, some struggle to see anything good in their lives.

Using the Law of Attraction to Achieve – Step one, gratitude.

 

In addition, here are a few of my favorite posts on gratitude from around the net.

Why Living a Life of Gratitude Can Make you Happy by Leo Babauta

To Be Great, Be Grateful by Darren Hardy, publisher of Success Magazine

The Benefits of Gratitude

 

Do you have a favorite article or story of Gratitude? Please share in the comments below.

Things I’m Grateful For

Today is the start of Gratitude Project 2012. This second annual event encompasses sharing your gratitude for 90 days until Thanksgiving day in the USA. In honor of this project, I thought I’d take a moment to start you off and list 90 things for which I am grateful. Please feel free to use these as prompts for your own gratitude.

  1. My amazingly sweet, loving and handy husband.
  2. My inspiring, emotionally connected 17 year old son.
  3. My strong-willed, confident 17 year old bonus sun.
  4. My 3 loving dogs.
  5. My mom who showed me the importance of taking care of myself.
  6. My dad who taught me how to talk to strangers (in a good way).
  7. My curly hair.
  8. My beautiful home.
  9. My ability to see things in a unique way. Read the rest of this entry »