Deliberate Success

Be deliberate

As I wrote about my 2018 goals in my last post, I have chosen to be more Deliberate this year — more conscious and intentional with my decisions and my life. I believe this behavior will lead to greater success in all I set out to achieve this year. So to start things on a positive note, I would like to share a quick post with a few words of inspiration for this first week of the new year.

It’s a time for reflecting on last year – what worked and didn’t:

“Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the story you’re willing to create.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

And a time for making our plans for this new year to be better than the last:

“You are never too old to set another goal, or dream a new dream.” ~ C. S. Lewis

And finally, for me, it’s a time to embrace my word and focus on what that means for me in building a purposeful path to a successful and happy year:

“The way into the hall of success always passes through the chamber of decision. Decide to be a success; success is deliberate.” ~ Israelmore Ayivor

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I hope you are having the best week! Have you set any goals for 2018 or embraced a word for the year? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Cheers!

Cynthia

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Conversation = Food for the Soul

via Daily Prompt: Conversation

There’s a coffee shop in my little town called “Conversations Coffee” that is a friendly little place to get something to drink and catch up with friends. In this modern age of electronic communications, I sometimes think the art of conversation is dying. So on this first day of the new year, I think we should all resolve to…

Converse more.
Openly and frequently, with friends and family,
Near and far.
Grab a cup of coffee with a friend,
Just to catch up.

Call a family member you haven’t talked to in awhile.

“Conversation is food for the soul.” ~ Proverbs
Conversation fuels the brain and feeds the soul.
It keeps us connected and grounded.

It helps us learn and grow.

So say hello. Reminisce.
Share a cry. Tell a joke.
Exchange ideas. Give feedback.
Express gratitude.
Demonstrate love.
Converse.
Listen.
Talk.

Be.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to make a phone call….and enjoy the conversation.

Cheers!

 

Cynthia

Building a Purposeful Path

As you start with the big picture, ask yourself: What do I have time, energy, and resources to accomplish? What makes me happy and brings me joy. The answers will then help you make your list of goals.

I started reading the Goal Setting Series by Lara Casey this morning (Part 1 here) and wanted to share some quick insights. While 2017 wasn’t my most productive year, I am trying to look past my shortcomings, extend myself some grace, and be happy with what I did accomplish.

lara-casey-goal-setting-comparisson

I wrote about some self-care goals for 2017, and at last check I had given myself a solid B-. I would say that was where I ended the year. I am sleeping more and working out regularly. I still need to get away from my desk more at lunch AND not work so many hours – I am going to work on those items more in 2018, as I am building my purposeful path.

Lara’s series can help you take a good look at some areas of your life and determine what is working and not working. That is if you are truly honest with yourself. I mean really honest. If you want to fix something, you have to recognize it’s broken first.

So as you start with the big picture, ask yourself: What do I have time, energy, and resources to accomplish? What makes me happy and brings me joy?  The answers will help you build your list of goals. Here are a few points to consider while setting those goals:

  1. Focus on the positive. Didn’t achieve all your goals this past year? Well neither did I, but I achieved some of them, made progress on others. Think about what worked and what didn’t work. Did you set your goals too high? Remember to make them achievable. Being successful will help keep the momentum going throughout the year.
  2. Break it down. The old saying “Eating the elephant one bite at a time” applies to goals too. As a project manager, I like to think of my goal like a project – what are the tasks and milestones you need to achieve along the way to get across the finish line? And then try to focus on one thing at a time.
  3. Write it down. This helps you commit, and then you can track your progress and go back and review what you want to achieve and how you are doing. I am using my planner for yearly goals, which I can break down into monthly and weekly milestones and To Do’s to help me reach them.
  4. Celebrate progress. And as you are reaching certain milestones along the way, don’t forget to CELEBRATE those steps you have achieved. Be proud of what you have done, and don’t dwell on what you haven’t.

I hope I have given you some things to get you started on your goal setting journey. I will be reading through Lara Casey’s series the next few days, so I hope you check it out too! One of my goals this year is to determine if I am going to make the time to keep blogging, or if I should let it go for now. More to come on that…

Cheers!

Cynthia

 

 

 

Jolly

Sometimes it is hard to feel Jolly at this time of year, with so many things cluttering your to-do list and social calendar! The holiday baking, shopping, gift-giving, and socializing can be overwhelming at times for anyone. That sense can be compounded for someone dealing with chronic pain or conditions like fibromyalgia.

So I have to admit I am struggling this year. Work and volunteer commitments are monopolizing my time to the point I can’t find time or energy to shop for presents or wrap the ones I do have. Each year seems harder – I struggle each year with what to buy, who to buy for because the burden to shop for everyone (except me) falls on me. Oh, and Christmas cards? Last year was the first year I have never sent them. This year isn’t looking so good either.

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Ziplining with Santa down Fremont Street, Las Vegas, 2011

So Jolly is a state of mind for me. I try to find joy and humor in even the simplest of things, like this memory of ziplining with Santa. The real Santa. *<|:-{)} Ho, ho, ho!

The holidays should be a time for enjoying family and friends and celebrating, not stressing out. So I make my to do lists, and check them twice. And if I don’t get everything checked off, so be it. Maybe I don’t bake as much or buy as much or send those card. Lately I have given myself permission to let things go, such as writing blog posts. My goal was to write a weekly post, and then that became a monthly post. Now it is whenever the mood strikes. Like today. So today, I can be jolly. 🙂

Cheers!

Cynthia

4 Tips for Avoiding a Holiday Fibro Flare

“The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings.”

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays upon us, it’s best to plan ahead to try to avoid a flare rather than recover from one. Between visiting family and friends, shopping, and cooking, who has time right now to deal with the pain and exhaustion of fibromyalgia? Not me, that’s for sure! Who’s with me?

Here are my top tips for avoiding a flare during the holidays:

  1. Get your Zzzz’s. Yes, it’s tempting to stay up and visit, or get up early to get that turkey in the oven, but don’t sacrifice your sleep to do so. Your best offense is to get maintain your schedule and get those 7-9 hours of sleep! Your body will thank you.
  2. Take care of yourself. Hosting the family get-together? It’s OK to ask for help. You don’t have to do everything yourself. Make it a pot luck. Or cater in part of the meal. I like to set the table and prepare desserts and part of the meal the night before so I am not overdoing it on the day of the big event! Consider buying some fancy paper plates instead of using the good china. And when the kitchen is clean and the guests are gone, try a relaxing bath before bed. 🙂
  3. Eat properly. Yes, it’s the holidays. We are all going to indulge a little. But try the three bite rule when it comes to dessert or your major weaknesses: take just 3 bites of that pie or casserole. It allows you to sample and enjoy, but not overdo it. Chew slowly and pause between bites.  Avoid gluten, dairy, sugar, or those foods that you know trigger your flares (Fibromyalgia, migraines, and IBS can all be triggered by food).
  4. Exercise. Taking even 10 minutes for some Pilates, yoga, or a walk after that big meal will help keep everything in check. Here are some yoga moves to try to keep your digestion working properly.

I love the holidays: the food, the parties, visiting family. But I don’t love being curled up in bed because I overdid it. I prefer to enjoy my family time and count my blessings. I can skip that pecan pie if it means I won’t be in bed the next day.

“The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings and seek out ways to make life better for those around us.” 

– Terri Marshall

Avoiding disaster is far better than recovering from it, and just a few simple steps can help you enjoy your holidays, so you’re not missing out on all of the fun!


Do you have other tips for avoiding a holiday flare?

Cheers!

Cynthia

Worry Less: 5 Questions for Stressful Times

“If the worry is reasonable, do something about it. If it’s irrational or out of your control, recognize that.” – Eric Barker

I am a worrier. I come by it honestly, as my mom is a worrier too. And I fear I have passed this trait on to my daughter. I have gotten better the last several years about stressing less, especially about things I have no control over. Living with a chronic condition has helped me with that. But I still have my moments. And when I do, I recite this quote to myself to help me let things go…

“Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”

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Take a Cue

I read this article this morning in the Washington Post by Eric Barker, called “Take a cue from Buddhists and Stoics and ask yourself these 5 questions to get through stressful times” and thought I would share it with others as a reminder of ways to help cope. A little more zen and a little less stress would do us all some good.

Here’s a summary of the five questions to ask yourself:

1. “Is it useful?” Most worrying isn’t. Make a decision to do something or to let it go.
2. “Does the world owe me this?” No. Don’t be entitled. Have realistic expectations and you won’t get angry.
3. “Must I have this to live a happy life?” Probably not. It takes little to make a happy life and there are many ways to get those things.
4. “Is this who I want to be?” Act the way you do when you’re at your best.
5. “Have I ever felt that way?” Respond to others’ problems with compassion and you’ll both have fewer problems.

This line from the article hits home for me: “If the worry is reasonable, do something about it. If it’s irrational or out of your control, recognize that.”

Stress is a normal part of life – both good and bad stress. It’s how you react to stress that can lead to adverse effects on your health. Needless worrying can produce extra stress, which can flare or exacerbate health problems, such as my fibromyalgia. I don’t want that. My family doesn’t want that. My co-workers and staff definitely don’t want that. I am a much happier, productive person if I control my stress and my health; and irrational worrying has no place in that picture.

Do you have other tips for getting through stressful times, to avoid the useless “worry-rocking chair” situation?

Cheers!

Cynthia

When Everything Hurts

In addition to nutrition and medicine, you need other strategies for coping with the daily pain and major flares that occur.

You have probably experienced something like this before: You go to bed feeling fine….maybe just OK….no worse than usual… And when you wake up in the morning you have some new pain. You roll out of bed. You’re stiff and moving slow. Every step hurts. You think you are never going to straighten up again. And then it hits you that there is some new ache that wasn’t there when you went to bed last night. For some of us, that may just be the aging process. For others, welcome to life with fibromyalgia. 

“To hurt is as human as to breathe.” ~ J. K. Rowling

Continue reading “When Everything Hurts”