January 25, 2011


READY8 “If the devil can’t make us bad, he’ll make us busy!” ~ Sheri Rose Shepherd

AIM8 Simplify. Lately there’s been a quiet voice reminding me that I need to simplify my life. I couldn’t agree more, so I’m trying to listen and make the appropriate changes in my life to get my priorities back in balance. Have you ever felt like you’ve got too much going on or that your life is out of balance? The only way to get a handle on it is to simplify.

Truly, our society does not know how to be still. We are constantly in motion; running from one obligation to the next. Are you saying yes to too many requests for your time? If you have children, are your kids overscheduled with extra-curricular activities? We are doing ourselves and our families an injustice if we are over committing. Do we spend more time with our commitments than we do with our families? Your children have their whole lives to be busy adults. Let them enjoy some freedom to be kids, to have time to play and rest. Don’t sign them up for too many activities. Teach them to take unstructured time for themselves. I understand there will be exceptions to every situation. However, where you can be in control, do your due diligence to be aware of the stress and strain you are placing on your family members. And don’t worry about the neighbors or the other kids at school and what those families have scheduled for their kids. If they want to be crazy busy, that’s their choice. You don’t have to live with their chaos and the consequences of exhaustion and frustration. All that leads to is anxiety, illness and dissention in the home.

Stop. Listen. Quit beating yourself up over the things you didn’t get accomplished today. Tomorrow is a fresh new start with twenty-four more hours. Learn to pay attention to your body’s warning signals. Clear your mind from all the outside noise. Listen to your spirit. You need to have time to be still, to rest and to be available to do the greater things you are called to do in life. Begin today and simplify with me.

FIRE!8 Take a look at your calendar. Do you have too many things scheduled during the weekdays and the weekend? Make a pact with me to eliminate at least ONE activity or commitment from your life and begin simplifying. It may take a little extra courage to say no, but you will feel refreshed and free. Trust me.

Be Excellent!

January 18, 2011

Amazing Women

READY8 “The supply of good women far exceeds that of the men who deserve them.” ~Robert Graves

AIM8 Last week we evaluated who we were spending most of our time with on a regular basis. When you recognized those people, did any individuals stand out specifically? Did you realize that you hang out with any amazing women?

Everywhere I go I encounter amazing women who are doing amazing things. I am so blessed to know a tremendous amount of incredible ladies. There are days I am simply in awe of the things these women, my friends and acquaintances, are accomplishing. Emily is an amazing 15 year old 1st degree black belt. Michelle is amazing as one of the first female elders of her church. Alexis and Jan amazingly ran their first half-marathon in 2010. Ginger is a breast cancer survivor and an amazing teacher and volunteer. Rachelle designs and publishes an amazing free magazine for parents. Amy is an amazing full time seminary student and mother of a beautiful baby boy living with spina bifida. My mother, Irene, is an amazing woman who is still working as an operating nurse, her original and life-long calling.

I could go on and on listing reasons why each one of you is amazing. Please know, that I think very highly of you. How do you think about yourself? What makes YOU amazing? That might be a hard question for you to answer, but even if you’re humble, you know you are amazing in your own way. No matter where you are in life or what you’re doing, you were created for an amazing purpose. Recognize it. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Be amazing!!

FIRE!8 Email or call at least one amazing woman today. Tell her why you think she is amazing. Be the encouragement she needs to continue living her life as an amazing woman.

Be Excellent!

January 11, 2011

Your Companions

READY8 “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20 NIV

AIM8 While we’re all taking notes on our fresh new start in the new year, how many of you have taken note of the people with whom you’re spending your time? Who do you text, email, facebook message, talk to on the phone and hang out with outside of your home? It has been proven that we become like the five people we spend time with the most. If you’re willing to do a little personal inventory, answer these questions honestly about your companions:

Do those people make you feel good about yourself when you’re together?

What are their top three character qualities?

Do those people encourage you to pursue your dreams or criticize your efforts?

Do those people seek ways to bless you ‘just because’?

Do you actually like those five people?

The answers to your questions may be eye-opening. If you want to succeed and be a person of integrity, you may need to evaluate those five influential people in your life. If you realize that you’re being dragged down by too many negative Nellies, start limiting your time with those gals. If you recognize you feel great and empowered when you’re surrounded by positive Pollyanna’s, start adjusting your schedule to spend more time with them. You are in control of your environment and attitude. Why not make it enjoyable and exciting with encouraging people of excellence? It’s your year; it’s your life; it’s your turn to choose the companions who are influencing the rest of your life.

FIRE!8 Choose to be an excellent companion! If you realize that you’ve been the negative Nelly of your closest companions, make a conscious effort to choose words of praise and encouragement; however, be sincere in your effort or you won’t be taken seriously. Then, watch your own life change in a positive direction as a result of your uplifting words and actions.

Be Excellent!

January 4, 2011

New Year, New You

READY8 “So many fail because they don’t get started – they don’t go. They don’t overcome inertia. They don’t begin.” ~ W. Clement Stone

AIM8 Happy 2011! It’s a new year and I’m certain you’re being bombarded with tv commercials, radio spots and junk mail filled with ideas on how to become a better person and keep your resolutions. Did you resolve to do anything new? I accepted my own “Fire!” challenge last week and took time to write down fifteen things I want to accomplish in 2011. I am looking at my list as more of a victory chart than a bunch of resolutions. Too often resolutions are associated with negativity because people get down on themselves if they don’t follow through with them or if they had good intentions but never get started. This year, it’s going to be different for us all.

If you haven’t done it yet, jot down fifteen new things you want to try or accomplish this year. Your list can be full of major goals or simply a bunch of small activities. Put your list in a place where you will see it often. Each time you do something positive that moves you in the direction of successfully fulfilling one of your items, draw a star next to that number. Visually, you will see yourself succeeding on paper! Even if you are only making small movements in the right direction, you are still moving ahead. It’s a new year; congratulations on doing what’s best for YOU!

FIRE!8 If you are really serious about making some positive changes in your life this year and accomplishing the goals on your list, ask a trusted friend to keep you accountable. Your friend will not only help you stay on track but she will be a personal cheerleader to help you celebrate along the way.

Be Excellent in 2011!