You’re surrounded by it. All the stores are full of Holiday Cheer, and Sirius Radio has had a “Holiday Songs” station since just after Halloween. Now, they are almost here – THE HOLIDAYS.
#holidays #lifestrategies #positivity
Start Now and Be "Positively Fabulous!
While to some this may mean hugs and giggles, to others it can shout “Stress Alert! Stress Alert!”Whatever the message coming your way, a little MENTAL PREPARATION will help you be ready to enjoy and greet your family and friends with enthusiasm.
Here are three simple and helpful hints to make the season “Positively Fabulous!,” one of happy memories and family togetherness.
1. Remember that you are in Charge of Your Thoughts.
Yep, that’s YOU – with a choice. Listen to yourself and analyze your thoughts. If you’ve just come back from a trip, what is the first thing you talk about – the bad weather or the wonderful food? The annoying airports or the beautiful scenery? Just the order in which you mention things tells you something about yourself.
Try to rethink what you talk about. Spend more time on the good times you had; talk about something that made you laugh. In fact, try not mentioning the ‘annoying’ things that happened. I bet you’ll forget about them!
2. Surround Yourself with Positive People
Now, if you find yourself stuck out on the porch with Aunt Sally, who is telling you how her arthritis stops her from having fun, try getting her to tell you something positive. Ask her about her dog. Explore what books she likes to read. Get her to talk about wonderful Thanksgivings she remembers over the years. If Aunt Sally is too negative, go get her a mimosa, drop it off, and excuse yourself to the bathroom!
3. Be Nice to Yourself
Do the things you like to do. Enjoy a massage? Want time to read? Love playing with the kids? Make time to do it. Make a holiday schedule that includes things that YOU like to do. When you are happy and relaxed, it will make you much more fun to be around and tolerant of others.
I’ve stopped at three so you can now go and practice. Make time to do it and write and tell me how it all went!
Remember: "'Tis the season to be jolly!"
Episode 6 of Resources for a Modern Retirement breaks down the 9 keys to true wealth and planning for your future self.
Where do you want to be in ten years? In today's podcast, join Eric J. Weigel and me, as we navigate how to plan for your future self. Retirement is about more than just money, as Eric identifies in his book, Reimaging Retirement - 9 Keys to True Wealth.
Learn about the 9 keys to true wealth and focusing on all areas of your life that are important to you!
About Our Episode Guest
I don’t often talk like that. In fact, I find that I will go out of my way not to say it or even hint at it. But now since Tom Brady is back, I will state it in capital letters:
I Told You So!
Let me explain. If you will recall, in one of my recent blogs,
I talked about trying to find a substitute for the word ‘Retirement.’ I do feel replacing (or enhancing) the word is important because the connotation is just dripping with...
you’re a has been!
you are outa here! and
you have become a 'usta be!’ "
Tom Brady felt it, I’m sure. After all, when he decided to quit playing football, here is how he announced it: “I am not going to make that competitive commitment anymore.”
Rather fancy, huh? Kind of a dancing around the situation, right? He could not bring himself to say, “The Big R” word, so he just used some other pretty words instead. But the meaning was there: I am retiring and “imagining the possibilities.” … at least for a little while.
"Acting Before Thinking is Regret"
Here we are two months later, and I’m sure you heard the news:
Tom Brady said Sunday he is returning to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for his 23rd season in the NFL. The seven-time Super Bowl champion announced his decision on Twitter and Instagram, saying he has unfinished business.
Uh, yeah. ‘Unfinished business.’ Ok, now maybe you will try to tell me he was made an offer he couldn’t refuse. Money? Really? Tom Brady would be swayed by the money? I doubt it.
Instead, he found himself in the position that I have warned you against - namely, regretting the decision soon after leaving work and then wasting time trying to figure it all out. It can be nice during that honeymoon phase of the first few months, having no schedule or responsibility. But it’s when you start longing for connection, searching for identity and finding your purpose that the questioning and doubting begin.
Unless you are forced out, do not leave your work until you have some idea about how and with whom you will spend your time. It is so important to get involved in some interesting, satisfying, and challenging activities OUTSIDE OF WORK many years before you plan on reaching ‘The Big R.’ Which brings me to another of my blogs:
Please go back and reread my two previous blogs through the links above. Be smart, and don’t be like Tom Brady. (Has anyone ever said that before?) Contact a Retirement Coach today (maybe me?) and imagine the possibilities! Enough said, except ...
I TOLD YOU SO!
P.S. If anyone out there knows Tom, please send him my contact information. I’ll be glad to help him figure things out.
Remember your New Year’s Resolutions for 2021? (You did make some, right?) Remember how sincere and optimistic you tried to be?
Let’s take a moment to check how we did with last year’s promises. I’ve just checked mine, and here’s my review:
10 RESOLUTIONS I MADE FOR 2021
AND WHETHER I KEPT THEM OR NOT
Why, you may ask, were those 10 very well-thought-out and important resolutions not kept? Well, it’s because of …uh..,. because… um...., Actually, I'm not sure. What about you? Are you a good ‘resolution keeper'?
I can remember other years and other resolutions that started out strong (i.e., that Fasting Diet) and then slowly faded away. I soon realized this is a common problem, and we could all use a little help standing strong to our promises for the new year.
So, I’m glad to tell you that help has arrived! I’ve decided that one of the major problems is THE WORD ITSELF!
“Resolutions” are usually vague and offer very little motivation –
After all, goals are specific; goals have a timeline and require immediate action. So, my suggestion to all is that this year we all make – New Year’s GOALS!
I can hear you now. “How is just calling it something else going to help me stick to my ‘goals.’ Thanks for asking. My suggestion also just happens to include a method!
Meet SMART goals. See, already the word is making you sit up tall and feel clever. SMART goals were developed by three men, George Doran, Arthur Miller and James Cunningham in their 1981 article “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management goals and objectives.”
That’s right – SMART goals refers to the acronym that was developed by businesspeople to help management set their goals and objectives. But, when I think about it, S.M.A.R.T. is a smart way for all of us to find focus and motivation.
Here is what the letters mean:
Think about it (that’s the smart part, too). Being Specific, Achievable and Realistic are just sensible and already get you halfway there. For the Measurable part – keep a journal to track your progress along the way! And certainly, one of the most important considerations is Timely. Choose a date by which you feel you can accomplish the challenge. Then, get started!
There you have it. Don’t those sound more Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic and Timely? This year, turn your ‘Resolutions’ into GOALS and enjoy being called a 'smart-y' pants!
Happy New Year!
This was originally posted in November 2019. It resonates just as much now as we close out 2021.
I got a call from THE ELF ON THE SHELF yesterday. The conversation went something like this:
Elf: Hi. Listen, I’m kind of in a hurry, so I’m hoping you can help me get something out to remind people of what’s important.
Me: Ok, what’s on your mind?
Elf: Well, let’s just say that lately everywhere I look there seems to be a lot more naughty than nice. People are rude; smiles are few and far between, and taking the time to help one another seems to be out of style! I’m just exhausted!
Me: What happened?
Elf: Well, I was up high on a shelf at the grocery store and constantly I saw people racing to get in front of others in the checkout line. Then I hung out at the new office building downtown (where there’s a shelf at the welcome desk with a great view), and I watched the people hurrying and purposely closing the elevator doors before anyone else could get in! And at night I was peeking around the merlot wines at your favorite restaurant, and I was really surprised to hear constant laughter as people made fun of other people as they walked by. I mean, seriously? What’s happened to NICE?
Just do this for me. And by the way … rather than your offering ‘9 steps’ or ‘4 tips’ or even ‘2 sure-fire ways’ to reduce stress this holiday season. Tell people to follow this advice and watch the changes.
I couldn’t help smiling. This guy made a lot of sense. And so I promised Elf that I would send out a memo. So, here goes:
MEMO TO EVERYONE!
From: Everyone Else
Date: Today and Every day
Subject: BE NICE
It has come to my attention that there has been a slacking off on BEING NICE. Somehow common courtesy has been pushed aside to make room for iPhones, multitasking, and always being in a hurry. This has caused a lot of hurt feelings and negative attitudes.
As a result, I am encouraging all people to slow down and take some time to be considerate and kind to each other. YOU be the one who smiles more often and treats people the way that you want to be treated.
Studies have shown that when people include random acts of kindness in their day, it gives the brain a serotonin boost and results in a feeling of well being and satisfaction. The doer feels great, and the recipient is overcome with a ‘pay-it-forward’ attitude. The entire atmosphere changes.
Put this suggestion into effect immediately and make it a prominent part of your daily routine. It will result in stronger friendships, more enjoyable activities and workplaces and may even increase your gifts at Holiday Time.
This is just a hint from someone in the know.
Thanks for your cooperation,
The Elf on the Shelf
Have a great Holiday Season regardless of how you celebrate. Just be sure that whatever you are doing and whomever you are with, remember to BE NICE.
Do it for yourself – and for the Elf.
P.S. If you want to share some ‘nice’ that either you’ve done or seen, send me a note. I’ll make sure it gets to the Elf.
Today, Let's Talk About Tee Shirts
Let's talk tee shirts. Do you have any tee shirts with messages or quotes on them? By the way, I’m not talking about those that show off your taste in designers, styles, concerts, or sports’ teams. I’m talking about the ones with inspirational quotes or sayings that caught your eye and that you just had to buy.
Maybe the reason you wanted the shirt was because you thought it was ‘pretty’ or ‘cute and funny,’ or perhaps you really wanted to communicate the message.
I have a few tees that I bought because I liked the message and felt that they contained ‘words of wisdom’ that we could all use and even benefit from. In fact, I hoped they would be noticed because they could be good ‘conversation starters!’
Here are three of my 'message' tee shirts for you:
1. "Where focus goes, energy flows."
Think about that for a while. Research shows that the stories we tell ourselves reflect how we act. But we must remember that Our brains and our emotions are strongly connected. Let’s say you are walking into a social situation – a new friend is having a party. You don’t know her friends, and you are wondering if there will be anyone there for you to talk with.
When you walk in do you think:
And then, when you get home, you wonder why you did not have a good time!
In his 2009 book, The Big Leap, psychologist Gay Hendricks presents an interesting theory about why we self-sabotage. He says that many people have an upper-limit mindset to the amount of positivity and success that can be tolerated. According to Professor Hendricks, when this limit is reached a person must sabotage themselves to return to a sense of normalcy. A limit to positivity and success? Yikes!
REMINDER #1: STOP SELF-SABOTAGE! CHANGE YOUR FOCUS AND ALLOW A POSITIVE MINDSET TO BRING SUCCESS!
2. "Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
This is one of my favorites!
When my kids were young, I led a school team for a competition titled, “Odyssey of the Mind,” based on challenges for creative thoughts and ideas. To this day I love it when clients think ‘out of the box,’ allowing their imagination to soar. Check out my blog titled, “What is It?”
When people allow themselves to broaden their choices, they become more creative and more interesting. You don't have to follow the crowd. Go ahead, give yourself permission! You'll find new ways and create new paths to achieve your goals.
Indeed, Robert Frost said it best,
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference.
Steve Jobs and Elon Musk did. They had a dream, not really knowing where it would lead them. In fact, along this untrodden path there were stumbles and almost-ruination (you can look it up). But they did not give up.
REMINDER #2: BE BRAVE! CREATE A NEW PATH, AND
Remember the ad Steve jobs created in the late 90’s for Apple called Think Different:
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The rebels. The misfits.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think
they can change the world – are the ones who do.”
3. "But first let me overreact."
Did your eyebrows just go up? Did you immediately react to this image? Exactly.
Maybe you were trying to understand what it means. Maybe it made you mad to see another ridiculous example of words on a tee shirt. Or maybe you wondered why anyone would buy such a shirt - much less wear it. So, you simply dismissed it
and just continued reading.
But because this is a tee shirt image in a blog, your dismissal is less noticeable than a real confrontation. In a conversation when we are faced with someone or something we don't agree with, our first reaction is often to overreact. This message is a simple reminder to take a few moments to think about what was said - or what you just saw - before you react.
Of course, you have the right to disagree, comment, or even challenge in the situation. But how often do you wish you had simply taken a little extra time to think over your response? This does not imply a change of feelings, although sometimes it might.
Think about how many friendships and relationships could be saved by following this simple advice.
During the pause, simply count to 10 (to yourself) as you consider how you can say what you want to say. This diffuses the impulse to REACT (and sometimes OVERREACT), and you can then offer your calmer RESPONSE.
REMINDER #3: WHATEVER THE SITUATION, REMEMBER TO PAUSE, THINK FOR A MOMENT, AND THEN RESPOND!
Now, let me know which tee shirt words or sayings have inspired you. Please don’t send ones that are cutesie or insulting. Instead, tell me what made you buy the shirt and want to spread the message. Send me pictures of the ones you think would make good 'conversation starters.'
I shared mine:
CHANGE YOUR FOCUS
CHOOSE THE PATH NOT FOLLOWED
FIRST PAUSE, THEN RESPOND
Loretta Saff, M.A., CPC, CPRC