Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Resolutions are So 20th Century!

As we embark on a new year, there are many who will be performing the annual ritual of making New Year's Resolutions. We all know that they're mainly a big joke. Studies show that 82% of people who make resolutions only stick to them for a week. After that, it's pretty much a free for all. We all spent most of our lives living in the 20th century, where New Year's Resolutions were really big. The late 20th century was the age of life coaches and gurus who tried to tell you how to live your life. Well, we've been in the 21st century for a while now and it's time to set aside the concept of New Year's Resolutions. You know how you want to live your life, so you don't need a life coach or a guru to tell you how.

At Weight Watchers last night we discussed goals. For a lot of people in Weight Watchers their goal is some nebulous number that they want to reach. Many think that once they reach that goal/number, their life will magically be better than it was prior to that. They don't think about the fact that once you reach your goal, you need to continue putting in work to make sure you stay there. There is no real end of the road here on Earth until we stop living. Along the way it's necessary to set goals, come up with a plan to reach them, and then try to maintain them.

I challenge each and every one of you to set a realistic goal for the coming year. Make sure that it's something within your power to do. As you think about that goal, think about how it will benefit you. Will you be healthier? Will you have more confidence? Will you be happier? Will you be able to spend more time with those you love? When you've come up with your goal, write down the steps you'll need to take to get there. Also, think in the short-term. Break your goal down into little milestones that you'd like to reach within a certain timeframe. If you do this, you won't be overwhelmed. All of those little milestones will give you little victories to celebrate, and they will also let you know you're on the right track. For any of you that have read my previous blog entries, you know that I was never a runner, but I broke running down into small little milestones, and managed to be able to run over 3 miles. Conditioning your body for running is not easy if you've never been much of a runner, but I did it. Did I think a year ago that I could say that I ran all the way around the lake in my town? Hell no! If someone had told me that I'd not only be able to, but that I'd really want to, I would've told them that they were out of their mind! You never know what you're capable of until you try. Make this new year a great one by setting a goal for yourself. I wish you all peace, love, happiness, and prosperity.

Monday, December 28, 2009

If You Did it Before, You Can Do it Again

On Christmas Day a friend of mine texted me to wish me a Merry Christmas. We texted back and forth for a few minutes, and at one point I told her that I hoped her day was going well. She texted back and told me that she had a meltdown earlier because she had gained weight and none of her clothes fit. We've all been there. I'll raise my hand high and say I definitely know that feeling. At this time last year, I really wasn't loving the fact that I had gained so much weight. She said that she was disappointed in herself because she said she wouldn't gain weight again unless she was pregnant. After the birth of her last child she had lost 40lbs. Her last text said she didn't want to burden me with her problems. I told her that she had lost weight before and she can do it again.

We all let ourselves down occasionally. We may really want to do something, but other aspects of our lives get in the way, preventing us from doing so. We are each a work in progress, (hopefully) evolving and moving toward a better incarnation of ourselves. I'm definitely a different person than I was 5 years ago. Hell, I'm a different person than I was a year ago. Lessons have been learned. Knocks have been taken. I've picked myself up, dusted myself off, reassessed, and kept moving forward. I know how easy it is to get caught up in what went wrong, but it also helps to remind yourself what went right. The saying "Today is the first day of the rest of your life" is a bit trite, but it's true. Every single day that you live is the opportunity for a new beginning. It gives you something to build upon and to strive for. If you don't like some part of your life that is within your power to change, then change it. Today is right here waiting for you and it's full of possibilities!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Remember to Breathe

Today's Christmas Eve and many are on the threshhold of seeing the plans and arrangements they made for the holidays come to fruition. The past few weeks have been a mad rush to get things done, but not just done. Done to perfection. Are the kids going to like their gifts? Will my mother-in-law think that my green bean casserole tastes just like hers? Do I have time to make the rum balls that Uncle Phil likes so much? With all of those questions and many others swirling through your head it's easy to forget what's important. Take a deep breath and remember what the most important part of the holiday season is for you. For Christians it's a celebration of the birth of Christ. For others who celebrate, but aren't Christians, it's about the wonder and merriment of Santa Claus. For all that celebrate, it's a time for making wonderful memories with friends and family. In answer to your questions: 1. Kids like getting stuff, so as long as you've taught them to keep their expectations on a reasonable level, you're golden. 2. If your green bean casserole doesn't taste like your mother-in-law's, who cares? You're not your mother-in-law. As long as the casserole isn't burnt beyond recognition, the complainers are just complaining to complain. 3. If you don't have time to make Uncle Phil's rum balls, take heart. Last time I checked, no one ever kicked the bucket from lack of their favorite rum balls on Christmas Day.

Now that I've mad you laugh, I want to make you think. As time progresses, it seems that the world has become filled with more and more turmoil. Everything that happens is pivotal and shapes the direction that our lives take. Those things make us who we are. There are some things that we can maintain control over and others that we can't. As you find yourself stressing out about getting Christmas dinner on the table a bit late, remember to look at the big picture. In the grand scheme of things, will it really matter if dinner is at 4:30 instead of 3:30? If you did have time to make the rum balls, tell Uncle Phil to have a few more and finish watching the game ;-). Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Another Shoutout to Hailey's Dragonfly Garden!

In an earlier post I sang the praises of the Acai Berry Lotion that Hailey's Dragonfly Garden offers. Well I figured since that did so well for the dry skin on my arms that there must be something that would work on my dry, rough hands. The recommendation was made that I try the Mango Butter Lotion. Let me tell you, my hands were beyond ashy. They're always a bit dry, but New England winters make them especially scaly. The first time I put the Mango Butter Lotion on my hands it soaked in very quickly and left my hands feeling soft. I've been using it for a little over a month now and it has improved the texture of the skin on my hands (as evidenced by the before and after pics). For those of you who haven't taken the plunge yet, you've gotta check out the website: There are wonderful gift ideas for the holidays. I guarantee you'll find something that you like ;-).

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

He's Still Shining On

I was 5 years old when John Lennon was assassinated. I distinctly remember hearing the news about it on the TV. At the time I didn't really know who The Beatles were, and little did I know what influence they and John would have on my life 10 years later.

When I was 15 I saw a documentary on public television about the making of Sgt. Pepper. I distinctly remember George Martin at a soundboard talking about all of the arrangements and instrumentation. I was fascinated, so when I got the chance, I went out and bought Sgt. Pepper on cassette. This was 1990 folks. I didn't have a CD player yet! Anyway, I constantly listened to Sgt. Pepper, my favorite song being A Day in the Life. As I listened to the music I became more and more absorbed in The Beatles and wanted to learn all that I could about them. My junior year in high school I did a research paper comparing and contrasting Sgt. Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour. See, I had it bad! By that time I had Magical Mystery Tour, Abbey Road, Rubber Soul, and Revolver on cassette.

Although all the guys are great, there was just something about John that called out to me. Maybe it was his troubled childhood or his sharp, cutting wit. Whatever it was, John became my favorite Beatle. When I see his artwork and read his poetry, the depth of his creative mind astounds me! Wrapped up in that creativity was a very loving soul. So loving that he thought nothing of signing an autograph for the man that would end up taking his life mere hours after the autograph was signed.

I was never truly able to understand the world's loss of John Lennon until I was older. He was that rare combination of genius, vulnerability, humanitarianism, and sincerity that's hard to match. There are many who have come after him who are similar in many regards, but they will never be able to catch the lightning in a bottle that was the essence of John Lennon. He greeted the world with an open heart and the world keeps him in theirs. As you rest in peace, John Winston Ono Lennon, know that your messages of love, peace, and togetherness shine on, just as you do. Your fans will love you forever!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Getting Back to My Roots

The season of giving is once again upon us. No more than at any other time of year is there an emphasis on helping those around you and giving, whether monetarily, physically, or spiritually. Many of us are selfless by nature and don't need the holiday season to present itself in order for us to give of ourselves. Recently I was thinking back to when I was a child and how much I really liked helping others and doing nice things for people. As I grew older and became more jaded, I became hesitant to be as helpful. Maybe it was because it seemed as if no one appreciated my efforts or maybe it was because I felt as if I was that one lone fish swimming upstream while everyone else was fighting to make their way downstream. After a while I got tired of fighting and decided to just be like everyone else. Although I never went out of my way to treat anyone badly, I wasn't as nice as I would've been in the past. As a result I became depressed and disatisfied with myself and my life. Trying to be someone you're not is hard work.

Although I know that it's not wise to try to embrace the world, it's also not wise to act as if there aren't people out there that would benefit from a bit of genuine kindness with no strings attached. All it takes is a smile or a kind word to brighten what might've otherwise been the worst day of someone's life. I know that it makes me feel better on a bad day when someone says something nice to me or does something nice for me. It never hurts to do something nice for someone. When you do something that makes others feel good, you usually feel good, too. Give of yourself freely, expecting nothing in return and your heart will feel lighter.