A Plan

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Squirrels_eating_tails_pinecones.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Squirrels_eating_tails_pinecones.jpg

 

I don’t know about you but I ALWAYS bite off more than I can chew. Between thinking that tasks won’t take that long and being overly ambitious about what I can actually accomplish each day, at the end of the week I usually have only one, perhaps two, items to cross off my weekly To Do list. Now, it doesn’t really bother me but that wasn’t always the case.

In the past, I would get discouraged seeing that, week after week, I wasn’t crossing much—or anything—off my To Do list. Eventually, this led to not having any type of plan for the week or day, which resulted in a chaotic, anxiety-filled life. As you can guess, this was not anything like the life I’d imagined for myself.

So one day I took the time to answer the questions “Why am I ineffective? How can I guide myself so I can have the life I always imagined?”

It took several years of trying, finding things that didn’t work, capitalizing on the things that did work, and eventually tailoring a system that now works for me. It isn’t perfect and I still tweak it, but overall I’m more effective in my life than I ever have been before.

For me, it isn’t the system, necessarily, that makes the difference. It isn’t whether I use something complex with spreadsheets, bar graphs, and flow charts, or if I scribble a few notes on a scrap of paper. I’ve found I need to balance structure with elbow room so I have a clear idea of what I need to do but I also have room to move and breathe.

For me the difference—the key—is breaking tasks into tiny increments (this gives a lot to cross off each day’s list!) and acknowledging (celebrating!) the progress that I am making, no matter how small it is.

copyright 2014 LMC Images
copyright 2014 LMC Images

Your homework today is to look at the system you’ve devised for yourself. Tweak it as needed; be realistic in what you can fit into your schedule and what you actually can accomplish while also leaving space for rest, rejuvenation, and fun.

 

Remember to break tasks into tiny increments. Not only are they then easier to slip into your daily routine, but they have the bonus of giving you a lot to cross off your list—and many small bits of forward movement to celebrate at the end of the week (WooHoo—par-tay :D)!

Then celebrate your progress—I know you’ve had some. Maybe you haven’t taken any steps this week but perhaps your progress was on the inside. Your progress this week may consist of having insights that give you a deeper understanding of Life and your place in it, or maybe you gave a friend or loved one a shoulder to cry on. These are very important things because it isn’t just about accomplishment and achievement, it’s also about, in each moment, being the best version of yourself.

Go you!

Post in the comments section your favorite ways of celebrating your progress.

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

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Happy May Day!

Copyright 2014 LMC Images
Copyright 2014 LMC Images

 

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. ~Proverb

 

Your homework today is to slow down and enjoy the arrival of spring. Take time to sit in the sun. Close your eyes and listen to the birds singing. Feel the soft playful breeze on your skin. Run barefoot through the grass. Enjoy the moment!

I’m proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Your Future

Copyright 2014 SweetDoll Designs
Copyright 2014 SweetDoll Designs

 

Take action now—today—and step into your future. Your future is not some far off time; it’s right here, right now, in the very next moment. You are in the right place!

Don’t put off stepping into your future because you think you don’t have the time. And don’t fall for the illusion that tomorrow or the next week or next month your schedule will clear and you’ll have plenty of time to pursue your dreams. You won’t. Something always pops up and interferes with your best-laid plans.

You do have time to step into your bright future right now, regardless of whether or not you think you do or whether or not this is the best time. Right now, this moment, is the best time to step into your future. Do it; go for it!

Copyright 2014 SweetDoll Designs
Copyright 2014 SweetDoll Designs

Your homework: have your schedule in one hand and your goals and dreams in your other hand. Reviewing your schedule, note the little pockets of time you have: waiting for your kids while they’re at their activities, getting up a few minutes earlier than your family, taking a few minutes at lunchtime instead of working through it. Don’t discount the power of regularly spending 15 minutes working toward your dreams—even 5 minutes can make a difference. No effort is wasted; it all adds up!

Next, break your goals into small steps. Split those into little pieces and divide those into tiny increments—ones that can easily fit into your schedule and the time you do have available.

Then, match some tiny increments with the pockets of time you’ve identified. Now move forward—do it right away!

You can do this, I know you can. I believe in you!

Post in the comments section all the hidden time you’ve discovered in your schedule.

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Something Needs to Change!

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Granite_wall_of_chapel_La_Hougue_Bie,_Jersey.jpg

 

In your journey when you hit an obstacle, you do your best to figure it out: to go over it, under it, around it, through it. Most of the time you’re successful and you can go on your way.

Sometimes, though, the obstacle seems impenetrable—like it’s a wall of granite. You try all the techniques and tricks you know. They worked in the past, but they aren’t working now. You even tried thinking outside the box for new ways to overcome the challenge, but that doesn’t work either.

Now, you don’t know what to do, how to change the situation. You rail against fate and wonder “why me?” You claim you’ve done everything you can to change the situation. You insist that if others would change, things would be better for you.

But maybe it isn’t the situation and it isn’t other people. Perhaps it’s you that needs to change.

 

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Matthias_stom_young_man_reading_by_candlelight.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Matthias_stom_young_man_reading_by_candlelight.jpg

Your homework today is to earmark uninterrupted time where you can think deeply and quietly. Answer the question: what are you doing—or not doing—that is contributing to the problem; what do you need to change about yourself?

Do you need to be less controlling—or maybe you need to step up to the plate and be more decisive?

Are you too stubborn to ask for help—or are you asking for too many opinions and now you’re confused with all the conflicting advice?

Do you need to be more appreciative of people who are being supportive of you—or are you too nice and being too careful to not hurt others’ feelings and in the process have you sacrificed your dreams?

Are you not putting in enough time and effort?

Do you need to dig deeper inside yourself?

Are you trying to achieve someone else’s dream?

Do you need to shore up your belief in yourself?

 

This is very important work; don’t skimp on it. Look inside yourself and determine what needs changing.

You can do this!

Post in the comments section the thoughts you have about this topic.

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Jump!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Freeride-jump.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Freeride-jump.jpg

 

Shake off hesitancy and worry. Clear the fog from your eyes and the fuzziness from your thinking. Look for the gifts and opportunities in this moment. They are there waiting for you.

Do something a little different than what you’ve been doing so that you can see the opportunity right there in front of you. If you keep doing the same things in the same way, then you’re going to see the same things, experience the same things, and the same results are going to happen.

Sometimes you have to be bold and take a leap in order to see the opportunity.

Go for it! You’ll be fine; you’ll figure it out!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jumping_for_joy.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jumping_for_joy.jpg

Your homework today is to stretch, take a leap. Dare yourself to push ahead toward your dreams. Then challenge yourself to take just a little bit bigger step than you normally take.

You can do it! I know you can—I believe in you!

Post your adventures in the comments section.

I’m very proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Playlist

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Little_bird_singing.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Little_bird_singing.jpg

 

 

Please note:  this post has been updated and published on May 20, 2017.

 

 

Do you have a playlist, one that’s specifically geared to fueling your enthusiasm for your goals and dreams? If not, it can be just what you need to help you keep taking steps on your path.

Here are some suggestions:

 

“Good Morning” featured in Singin’ in the Rain

“It’s a Great Day” as sung by Peggy Lee

“Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” featured in Disney’s Song of the South

“What a Wonderful World” as sung by Louis Armstrong

“Climb Every Mountain” featured in Sound of Music

“Roar” as sung by Katy Perry

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T” as sung by Aretha Franklin

“I Can See Clearly Now” as sung by Johnny Nash

“Eye of the Tiger” featured in Rocky

“Jump” as sung by Van Halen

“Walking on Sunshine” as sung by Katrina and the Waves

“Celebration” as sung by Kool and the Gang

“Don’t Stop Me Now” as sung by Queen

“Get Happy” as sung by Judy Garland in Summer Stock

“I Believe I Can Fly” as sung by R Kelly

“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” as sung by Starship

“Magic” as sung by MoZella

“Do You Believe in Magic?” by the Lovin’ Spoonfuls

“Life is What You Make It” as sung by Hanna Montana

“Don’t Rain on My Parade” as sung by Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl

“So Long Dearie” as sung by Barbra Streisand in Hello, Dolly!

“New York, New York” as sung by Frank Sinatra

“Dream” as sung by Ella Fitzgerald

“Smile” as sung by Nat King Cole

 

 

Feel free to add others that are your favorites. And, feel free to tweak the lyrics to make the songs more empowering and meaningful for you!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carita-feliz1.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carita-feliz1.jpg

Your homework today is to make a playlist for yourself, one that’s filled with songs that motivate you toward your goals and dreams. If you already have one, then update it (Please remember to respect the hard work of the artists and download songs from reputable services). Have fun with this!

Play these songs first thing in the morning to get yourself charged up for a great day and to catapult you into taking the next step toward your dreams. Also, play the list throughout the day to keep you going.

You can do it!

Post in the comments section the songs that are your favorites for feeling good and motivating yourself.

I’m so proud of you—rock on!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Your Peeps

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lone_Tree_near_Windmill_Hill_-_geograph.org.uk_-_898958.jpg

 

Do you ever come across people who don’t seem to care for you too much? You try to be nice, perhaps you go out of your way to show you’re a good person. You do everything you can think of to be friends with them but nothing works. You are not even the smallest blip on their radar screen.

When this happens, you may wonder why they wouldn’t like you. You may even think that there must be something wrong with you.

Not true!

There is nothing wrong with you!

All it means is that those people are not your peeps! For whatever reason, they can’t celebrate you the way you deserve to be celebrated.

Don’t feel bad about that. Instead, be glad and very grateful. They are doing you a favor because they are telling you to not waste your time with them. They’re saying they are not part of your destiny.

Instead, find people who can and will celebrate you. They are out there. It may take a little bit of time to find them, but you will find them.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jumping_for_joy.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jumping_for_joy.jpg

Your homework today is to make a plan for finding people who will celebrate you. Some suggestions would be to become involved in civic organizations in your community such as the Rotary Club, the Women’s Club and Toastmasters. Also, your place of worship may be a source of like-minded people.

Taking a class through a local university or community college could be a double benefit. Not only will you improve your skills and knowledge but it also gives you an opportunity to meet people who are interested in improving themselves.

And, don’t forget about clubs related to your hobbies and recreational interests. Knitting, crafting, hiking, kayaking, and book clubs are just a few of the many places to meet other interesting people.

Just be your usual charming self and strike up a conversation with people, getting to know them. Take your time with this—keep your impatience in check—because it can be overwhelming to others if you are pushy.

If you’re a little shy, remind yourself that you automatically have a conversation starter because you both are pursuing a common interest. It’s quite natural that you’d be curious about what drew them to the class or group and what they’re hoping to get out of it. From there, the conversations can unfold.

Remember, too, that people interested in the same activities that interest you may not automatically become your friend. You’ll still have to take your time getting to know people so you can find those with whom you can form a friendship.

Take it one step at a time—but definitely take the step!

You can do it!

Post in the comments section the ideas you have of meeting new friends.

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Crafting a soul-prospering life.