Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thoughts

This time of year, many of us are preparing menus for Thanksgiving dinner, arranging travel plans to reunite with loved ones, or maybe dreading all of the hustle and bustle the holidays bring. Regardless of where your thoughts are about the upcoming celebrations, take a minute to appreciate all the little things in your life that you would not normally think of as blessings. It's these little things that we don't give much thought to, that we complain about, or we might just completely take for granted, that make our lives comfortable.


I Am Thankful For...

The clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have enough to eat.
All the complaining I hear about our government because it means we have freedom of speech.
The lady behind me in church who sings off key because it means I can hear.
The mess to clean after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends.
The taxes I pay because it means that I am employed.
My shadow who watches me work because it means I am out in the sunshine.
The spot I find at the end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking.
The piles of laundry and ironing because it means I have clothes to wear.
Weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been productive.
A lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.
My heating bill because it means I am warm.
The alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it means that I am alive.

~ Author Unknown

By changing the way we think about these irritations in our lives, we will be able to see just how blessed we are. Make your own list of things that might be considered annoyances in your life. Then, challenge yourself to find the blessing in each item on your list. You might be surprised at just how much you have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

I Am Thankful For

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Little Wiggle Room

Allow some wiggle room in your routine
and the bumps will be straiter than they seem.
~ Stacy Coles

Are you one of those people who are so schedule driven, so task oriented, that you break into a sweat when an unexpected obstacle puts a kink in your day? Do you follow the words of Henry A. Kissinger who said, "There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full,"?

Schedules are wonderful things. Whether we write down appointments in a planner or review a calorie-counter on our favorite electronic device, staying organized helps us stay focused on our goals. Without a plan and a direction, we can easily get distracted or procrastinate and nothing gets accomplished.

However, learning how to give ourselves a little wiggle room can be just as important. By not getting so agitated when we hit obstacles (and we will), our mental and physical health will improve and we might be surprised at what gets done ~ without feeling stressed.

Begin every day (or every project) with the idea that you will do your best. Set out to accomplish the goals on your agenda, but, mentally prepare by telling yourself that life will still go on if you don't check everything off your list. Knowing that we are putting forth our best effort should be enough for us to feel good about what we HAVE accomplished.

Prioritize your goals. Make sure you work on the most important tasks first. This way, your energy is focused where it should be. Don't beat yourself up for the little things that don't get done. Tomorrow is another day. The tasks that don't get accomplished today can be moved to the top of tomorrow's list.

Change can be a good thing. If you try to change your routine at least once a week, just a little, you can train yourself to adjust better to the bigger obstacles that might come down the road. Many of us get into a comfort zone with our daily routine. It's actually hard to plan extras into the day because it's not the norm. Start small. Have something different for breakfast. Try a new restaurant for lunch. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Use a different machine at the gym. Change doesn't have to be so enormous that we are traumatized. Just pick something little and out of the ordinary to start. It might sound like a silly exercise, but it's good training for our brains. It shows us that life will not fall apart by doing something different.

By doing our best, prioritizing our tasks, and training ourselves to be ok with a little change every now and then, we allow ourselves a little wiggle room in our chaotic lives. We can actually help eliminate stress from our day-to-day schedules if learn how to deal with the unexpected obstacles that always appear. Doing this will help us tackle every day with confidence instead of stress.

Wiggle Room
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