Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year Plan

"The trouble is, you think you have time."

Time is one of those always changing things. We either have too much time to kill or not enough hours in a day. We can save for the future or live in the moment. We can waste time, let it slip through our fingers, or use time wisely.

As we get to the end of 2013 it's customary to look back on the year and wonder what we did that made it good, bad or even memorable. Did we do anything selfless, exciting, enriching, motivating or life altering? What mistakes did we make that we regret but now know better?  What chances, challenges, adventures did we not take?

And most importantly, what do we need to change for the future?

I wish I could __________.

We all have an answer. Lose 10 pounds, find a new job, travel, get out of a relationship, find a relationship, run a race or scratch something off of our bucket list; skydiving, visiting a certain country, zip lining, swimming with dolphins, taking a cruise, flying a plane....I've heard countless examples from people.

As a coach my suggestion is not to make a New Year resolution but instead a New Year PLAN.

Don't just say I'll start going to the gym, set a schedule. Call a friend for workouts and find something you will enjoy rather than begrudgingly do. With so many options; yoga, Pilates, spin, Cross Fit, or simply walking a few miles on a treadmill while watching your favorite show, any of it can give you results.

Don't dream about a destination, plan it. Price compare and look for deals. If you have to save start a separate account, sell unwanted items on eBay, Craigslist, Poshmark...etc. Get a rewards card to help with airfare or hotel expenses. Look for deals on Living Social, 50/50, Cheaptickets, Expedia, Travelocity or any of the many sites out there.

Finding a new job can be a job in itself. Searching Monster, Craigslist, local job sites, fairs and want adds can be time consuming and frustrating. But you have to send resumes, make contacts and at least try. You never know where it may lead.

Relationships are tricky. Leaving a bad one can feel like losing an extension of yourself. Decide your options and weigh the pros and cons but most of all measure your happiness above all else and decide what that picture looks like.

Finding love today is daunting. Dating sites can be an answer, many find them useful, just know you will meet a lot of bottom dwellers before you find the fish in the sea. Asking friends for an introduction or a double date can be a less scary idea. Group activities, classes, organizations of a more relaxed and social aspect can help with meeting new people that interest you. But you have to put yourself out there. Saturday nights with Ben & Jerry and Pay-Per-View are okay-just not every weekend.

Find out where you can do that one thing you've always wanted to try and set a date to check it out.
Stop saying "I wish I could" and start saying "I am going to."

Walt Disney said, "If you can dream it, you can do it."

So what is your New Year plan?

Happy New Year everyone.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

"I detest racialism, because I regard it as a barbaric thing, whether it comes from a black man or a white man."
~Nelson Mandela

Yesterday we lost an amazing hero. I man who could look at the world, all of it's evils and hardships that were often placed in his lap, his life, his family, his country, and be forgiving and hopeful. He spoke of peace, understanding and acceptance of everyone, even those who were his captors.

Yesterday, before the announcement of Mr. Mandela's death, I listened quietly as someone I have known all of my life spoke of distrusting people with multiple tattoos and knowing that anyone gay would be burning in hell. Yes-people with these beliefs still do exist.

This person is a devout Baptist and receives most of these ideals from the pastor at their church. They do a fantastic amount of good in the community but all with a selective ideology.

How can a so called Christian faith, or any faith, be selective in who can pray, attend, commune, or be "saved" for that matter. Race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, color of your hair, piercings or tattoos does not identify who a person is or their worth in the world.

I read today about a group that calls themselves Bikers Against Child Abuse. These leather clad, tattooed, facial hair and Harley driving group help children of abuse regain their strength. They surround these children, protect them, keep a vigil watch if they are in danger, and go to court with them, encircling the child to the stand and helping them stay strong to testify on the worst parts of their lives. The children are given a new courage because no bad man or women is as scary as their new friends.

This group that so many would look at as bad news or not worth their time volunteer to be the saving grace to children who have suffered beyond what most of us will ever experience.

I also recently read a letter to an advice columnist asking her to please give them help in convincing their son, who recently told them he was gay, that he should choose to be straight. The columnist ever so cleverly told the father he should demonstrate by example. The father should choose to be gay for a time period showing his son that it is in fact a choice. Brilliant.

So what does it take to get us to Mr. Mandela's dream? What does it take to make the world look at one another and get to know a person before any judgement is made?

Every day we still live with hate crimes, racial profiling, and small mindedness.

One of the most disturbing stories recently in my mind was a family in Virginia who let their seven year old dress as a Ku Klux Klan member for Halloween, toting it as a "family tradition." It's these people that still shape young minds that will forever keep us from reaching a place where judgement is made by someone's actions, not appearance.

I think Denis Leary said it best, "Racism isn't born, folks, it's taught. I have a two-year-old son. You know what he hates? Naps! End of list."

If our children could grow up only hating naps then hate would become almost non-existent. What grown up doesn't learn the value of a good nap?

Rest in Peace Nelson Mandela.