Sunday, January 25, 2015

10 Steps to a Healthy Life

It's amazing how the small things in life become big things.  One small improvement in one area of your life multiplies and spills over into other areas of your life.  Today's blog includes ten tips for improving your health.  I admit I'm not a professional stair climber.  I have to keep working on these ten steps in order to maximize my health.  I hope you decide to try these ideas out and let me know how they work out for you.  Here goes:
  1. Declutter.  This is huge.  Your mind works more efficiently when everything around you is organized.  Start with one room in your house.  Keep going.  Don't stop until all the clutter is gone.
  2. Put some thought into your grocery shopping.  Make lists.  Avoid buying junk food that isn't on your shopping list.  If you only have healthy food in your home, you will eat healthy.
  3. Put exercise on your to do list.  Itemize everything.  Don't go to bed until you check off everything on the list.  Start small.  Add new exercises as you progress.
  4. Go to bed on time.  If you cheat yourself when it comes to sleep, you will suffer consequences.  Give your body ample time to recharge.  
  5. Let go of grudges.  They are heavy.  The only person they hurt is you.  Get rid of them.
  6. Decide to be happy.  I call my happy place the "zen zone."  It's my choice every day to stay in it or allow someone to take it away from me.  It's like playing "king of the mountain."  There are many worthy opponents who try to knock me off my spot.  Sorry.  I'm not giving it up.  I'm going to be happy in all circumstances.
  7. Be thankful.  Acknowledge others when they do something kind and generous.  Send thank you notes.  
  8. Teach someone how to fish.  You have a specific gift you can share to improve someone's life.  Don't just feed them a fish – teach them how to catch their own fish.
  9. Find your passion and live it.  Don't worry about what the world thinks.  You know in your heart what inspires you.  Go for it.  Live your dreams.
  10. Find your connection to the Creator.  If you're searching for something and you can't find it, this may be what you're looking for.  All you have to do is reach out.  Give prayer a try.  It makes all the other steps easier.
Thanks for visiting today.  If you find these tips helpful, please share them with a friend.  Have a great day. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Habits are Building Blocks

It's official.  My first new habit of 2015 has survived the thirty day rule.  If you give up before thirty days, you gain nothing.  If you succeed, you can use the new habit as a building block for the next challenge.  My wife and I have been using our new Vitamix every day since Christmas.  This new habit is so fun I feel like I'm cheating.  I think that's part of the reason I believe 2015 will be my best year ever.  I'm having fun playing with my Legos.  I feel like I'm building a new life.  Don't we all want to be fulfilled?  My secret is in the cornerstone.  That's where Jesus is.  He is my foundation.  He is also my source for my hopes and dreams.  All I have to do is keep adding new habits, one at a time, until the time clock expires.  Make your habits fun.  Just take it one brick at a time.  Have a great day.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Help is on the Way

Isiaiah is one of my favorite writers.  Perhaps it's because of his subject matter.  He speaks boldly about Jesus.  He shares pointers about how we can live better without fear in our lives.  When I'm struggling to get my work done, I think about what Isaiah said in verse 41:13, "Do not fear, I will help you."  God will never give you an assignment without also giving you everything (or everyone) you need to complete your work.  Let go of your fear.  Embrace your challenges.  Jesus is reaching out today to take your right hand and lead you to the finish line.  ¡Vaya con Dios!  Have a great day.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

How Far Can You Go?

It's a little scary navigating in uncharted waters.  That's where I am at this moment in time.  It's like walking backwards while holding on to string of rubber bands.  You wonder, "what happens if the person on the other side lets go first or if one of the rubber bands snaps?"  The choice to keep advancing, to keep stretching, is the only option.  Why?  Because that's what life is all about.  I know what it's like to walk into a classroom after recess covered in red welts and I'm the first one to tell you I wouldn't trade that memory or any other memory because facing fear is what helps me to reach distant shores where few choose to sail.  Have a great day.  And don't worry about the welts.  They heal fine.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Why the First Hour of Each Day is the Most Critical

I don't have bad days.  There are days filled with obstacles, challenges and interesting people who sometimes have differing opinions about the type of days they are experiencing but for me, there aren't any bad days in my world.  I believe the difference is in how I invest my time in that critical first hour.  Try this for thirty days and let me know if your bad days have disappeared.
  1. Begin with seven to eight hours of sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
  2. Get out of bed and stretch.  I like add 50 pushups, 100 stomach crunches and 50 leg raises to my morning routine.
  3. Make a smoothie for breakfast.  Here's my favorite drink for my wife and me.  You can adjust the ingredients depending on the size of you household.  I use 1/2 frozen banana, 2 oranges, a few slices of pineapple, a scoop of frozen blueberries, a couple of frozen strawberries, a small portion of frozen mangoes, a teaspoon of raw whole flaxseed, two slices of celery, a clump of spinach, a teaspoon of organic agave and a scoop of protein powder.  I also eat a very small bowl of Ancient Grains cereal mixed with a tablespoon of yogurt.
  4. Pray.  In my opinion, there's no way you can have a bad day if you're in alignment with the Creator of the universe. 
  5. Tackle your most important item on your to do list during the first hour.  For me, it's blogging.  On days off from my day job I keep writing once my blog is finished.
If you focus your energy on the first hour every day for thirty days, I believe you will be on your way to one of your best years ever.  Let me know if any of these ideas are helpful.  I'm on to the second hour of my day.  Thanks for allowing me to share my first hour with you.  Have a great day.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

3 Ideas to Develop Winning Habits

I've been reading a number of stories lately about people who found a way to get out of debt.  My motivation is to find patterns others use to achieve their most challenging goals and debt reduction seems to be at the top of the list for many, including my household.  The common thread for those who pull it off is the development of winning habits.  The first thirty days are the most critical.  If you can survive thirty consecutive days working on a new habit, odds are you will stay on course.  Here are three tips to help you develop winning habits.
  1. Have a serious talk with your inner self.  You need to get your subconscious mind to understand why your new habits are so important.  In my case, I know I have only a small chance for success if I'm not on top of my game.  I can't afford any distractions.  I need my brain to be my ally not my opponent.  It's a partnership.  If my subconscious is on my side, the new habits can stick.
  2. Concentrate on one new habit every 30 days.  For the new year, the first habit I'm forming is  using my Vitamix at least once a day to make smoothies.  Today is the 27th day in a row.  It's fun.  I keep adding new ingredients.  My brain is fully on board because it recognizes the benefits it receives when I feed it properly.
  3. Don't allow the old habits to die.  Think about your goals as spinning plates.  You get the first one started.  Once it's moving, you can add the second plate.  Most of your attention is on the new plate but you check up on the other plates to make sure they are still spinning properly.  Keep those plates spinning.
Let me know how you're doing spinning those plates.  I'll have more updates for you soon.  Have a great day.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Your Body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19

Isn't it amazing what we do as soon as we know a house guest will be staying with us?  We clean everything.  We organize.  We fill our pantry with the best foods to serve our company.  We want everything to be just right.  What about the guest we invited to live in our heart?  Do we give Jesus a tidy place to live?

I've been pondering what I can do to better serve Jesus in this new year.  He gave me an amazing gift to help me carry out God's plans for my life.  The Holy Spirit is with me wherever I go.  I'm taking steps to get my mind, body and soul in better shape.  It helps knowing my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.  I don't want to let my house guests down.  Take a moment today and think about what you can do to take better care of your body.  I'll share more about my action plan in the coming weeks.  Have a great day.