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Quick Tip: Making Better Decisions

Hindsight is 20/20. –Unknown

Looking back on things, you can almost always see perfectly where you went wrong and how you should have approached the situation.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could see things more clearly before hand?  That we could get the knowledge we gain from the experience prior to finalizing our decisions?

There are a few ways we can have better foresight and make better decisions.

  • Think First, Act Later:  This is advice my daughter gets every week at her violin lesson.  So simple, yet it yields great results, and can be used in all aspects of our lives.  From thinking before you speak, thinking before you commit to taking on something new, thinking before you walk out the door, and so on.  If we take the time to think before we do, our lives will run so much smoother.  Sometimes we have so much on our minds and our lives are carrying us in a million different directions that we think that we just don’t have time to think.  But consider this; how much time is wasted due to your lack of thinking before you act?  This can be done as just taking a brief moment to think things over, or it can be done through meditation and prayer.  I know that when we take a moment to think before we act, it will benefit us in countless ways.
  • Trust Your Intuition:  How many times have you kicked yourself for not listening to your inner self?  Once we start to take the time to think, you can better connect with you intuition.  We have been given this great gift as a tool to use in our decision-making process.  Take advantage of it, I’m sure you won’t regret it!
  • Ask for Advice:  We are not in this alone.  There are so many that surround us that have the answers we are looking for.  Learn lessons from those who have already been where you are.  You can ask people you know and trust, or even search for advice in books, magazines and on the internet.  Just don’t forgot that every situation is a little different and so you need to be sure to use the prior two points as well.  Don’t totally depend on others advice unless you know it is right for you.

These devices are best used in our decision-making process, but don’t be afraid to use them even when you have already made decisions that don’t seem to be working to your favor.  All of our decisions are investments into our lives.  You wouldn’t keep throwing money at something that was obviously failing, right?  Likewise we shouldn’t waste time on something that isn’t benefiting you and your family.

When we use these three tools, this mayhem that we call life will be easier to manage and result in happier people.

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Here’s to Achieving Our Goals

“A project is complete when it starts working for you, rather than you working for it.” — Scott Allen

After starting several posts this month and not finalizing one, I thought perhaps I should focus on completing projects.  I like to start each of my post with a quote and while I was on the search for the perfect quote, I found this article and thought that it summed everything up so nicely.

http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/why-youre-not-reaching-your-goals-and-what-to-do-about-it/

An idea is nothing if you do nothing with it.  So hears to achieving all our great ideas.  Good luck!

 

Back to School Craziness

If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers.  ~Edgar W. Howe

Now that my oldest is in 6th grade, I feel very comfortable with our school routine.  Looking at my calendar for the next few months might be overwhelming to some, but to me, it just feels right.  I love my colorful calendar, even if there is little time to add any new events!  Maybe it makes me feel important, or perhaps makes me feel like I’m actually being productive, whatever it is, it just feels right.

My key to success is keeping my calendar up to date so I don’t over-schedule myself. With smart phones, it is very easy.  I love that it reminds me and can even sync with my husband’s phone to remind him where I’m at when I’m unavailable.  The one thing I haven’t quite figured out yet, is how to fit my blogging in, hence the huge gap in posts.  Perhaps I should add it to my calendar.  No need to worry, I got plenty of Mayhem Management ideas in the works.  Now if I could only find some extra time in my mayhemic life to implement those ideas into reality:)   Maybe it’s time for me to do some weeding.

Have you been able to get back in the swing of your school craziness?  What works for you?  Carpooling?  Limiting your children’s activities?  Please share, I’m sure others would greatly appreciate your input!

Attitude Makes All The Difference

Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude is going to determine how you’re going to live your life. — Joel Osteen

I think we all need reminders once in a while that happiness is a choice.  We all have problems, no way around it.  It is our response to life’s situations that makes all the difference.

Some days, when I do the same thing for the umpteenth time, I wonder why I even bother, it will just need to be done again later.  Or when I am faced with the same problem again and again, I wonder if I can ever get past it.  Life can be overwhelming.  Very overwhelming at times.  But life can be great too!  It is the hard times that helps us to better appreciate the good times, and so both are needed.

I have often thought about my mom, raising seven children (eight when you count my dad).  She has definitely done her fair share mundane house chores.  I asked her once why I have never heard her complain about housework and she told me it’s because she has found that when you focus on what you appreciate in life, it makes life much sweeter.

So today, I am remembering the sweet things in my life.  I am grateful to have a wonderful family that I absolutely love to serve.  And even if I have to clean the toilet a million more times for them, I am grateful to have good health that gives me the ability to do so.  I am grateful to have freedom to choose if I want to clean that toilet today or not. And lastly, I am grateful to live in such a beautiful world, so when I am done cleaning toilets, I can go enjoy the beauty that surrounds me!

When I get into pessimistic slumps, I often remember Dr. Glenn Latham’s advice, “Today is not forever!”  When we are in the midst of problems, we have a hard time seeing beyond the issue at hand.  Forgetting that we will soon be past this brief moment in our life.  This thought can change my attitude in an instant.  Even when my child is throwing a tantrum, it helps me to remember that this tantrum doesn’t define me or my child.  Someday he/she will go on to do great things in life and that tantrum will be long forgotten.

Though life will surely throw some curve balls my way, I choose and will continue to choose to be happy.

Instilling Confidence

Action is the foundational key to all success –Pablo Picasso

I have been around children my whole life and have seen a wide spectrum of personalities and seen different parenting approaches.  I have discovered that though we all are born with unique personalities, most beliefs we develop about ourselves come from what we hear from those around us.

Do you remember the last time you really beat yourself up over something?  What was it over?  Generally we are hard on ourselves for making mistakes, or not being successful enough.  As a young child, these things would have not phased us, but as we have matured, we have learned that these things are unacceptable.  In some cases, our maturity is a form of respect and needed in society, but so many times we beat ourselves up over things that really don’t matter.

Parents have so much influence over their children, even when they are grown.  I still find satisfaction in making my dad proud, and to hear it from him is even more satisfying.  The success of our society depends greatly on the success of our families.  But how is success measured?  Is it because we have raised another Einstein or perhaps another Babe Ruth?  Do our children have to become some famous super stars to be successful?

We live in a competitive world, and it is in our nature to do the best or be the best in whatever we are doing.  Most parents start to unintentionally push their children at a young age to believe that their success depends on how well they do something.  The child’s self-esteem soon is wrapped up in their talents.  When they get to a point where the skill level required is more difficult, they start to believe that they are worthless, and don’t think they can ever overcome their struggles.  Most want to quit and find something that they are truly good at.  Some might say that it is all part of the learning curve, but what if there was a better way to help our children find success?

True success is not the final product, but rather the road that got you there.  If we teach our children while they are young that they succeed by putting in the effort, then when they get to a difficult crossing in building their skills, they will know that even if they struggle, all is not loss.  When we build confidence in how hard they work, and not how well they do something, we will help them to succeed.

When praising a child, let them know you are impressed with how hard they worked, or let them know that you can tell that they took their time.  All too soon they will learn how competitive the world is, but if we have built up their confidence, they will find success, Einstein or not.

Weeding Time

Don’t water your weeds. –Proverbs

As I was weeding this past week, it got me thinking about what things in my life need to be weeded out.  These weeds can be a little more difficult to recognize and can vary from clutter to obligations to bad habits.  But once we spot them and remove them from our garden, it really can help our lives flourish.

Too many of us have burdened ourselves down with over-excessive dreams and wants.  We can gain much by letting go.  It is time for some simplification and new-found FREEDOM!

Evaluate your life over the next few days.  Where do you spend your time, and is your time spent where you really want it?  What items around your house haven’t been touched or used for years, and do your really plan to utilize them in the future?  Do you feel that your life is benefitting from holding onto to these things?

Find at least two things that you really think are holding you back from where you want to go in life.  Maybe it’s the back room of your house that you have been avoiding to clean and have been feeling guilty about all the while, or perhaps an obligation that you used to profit from, that now is a liability.

Once you find two things that you are ready to rid yourself from, make a plan and liberate yourself (and perhaps your family too)!  Give yourself adequate time to conquer these weeds.  Once you have your simple plan, put some safety nets into place to ensure you follow through.  I always like to make myself accountable for my goal, either by putting it on my calendar or asking a friend to check up on my progress.  Once these weeds have been removed, enjoy the freedom you have gained!

In simplicity there is freedom, freedom to do less and enjoy more. –Katrina Kenison

Work Hard, Play Hard

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy –James Howell

With all these posts about planning and getting the most out of your day, let’s not forgot the importance of devoting some free time to ourselves and family. It is important for our health and longevity to make sure we give ourselves some time to relax and have a good time.

If you keep a calendar, remember to block out time for yourself and/or family and don’t feel guilty doing it.  These moments are what make for good memories and happy people.

As a self-employed working mother, I know it can be extremely difficult trying to find a good balance between work time and free time, but both are important parts of our lives.  When I first started working from home, I felt guilty no matter what I was doing; working, cleaning the house, spending time with family or trying to make time for myself.  We have to remind ourselves that each is important and that when we give that aspect of our life attention, it is because it is important.  Finding the right balance is difficult but very important so that each is getting the time that is needed, and that all depends on each individual and their priorities.

Life is meant to be enjoyed, and it is possible even if you have a heavy work load.

Organization Basics

“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it’s not all mixed up.”–A.A. Milne

Most people cringe at the thought of getting organized.  It can be a daunting task, but the reward is priceless and let’s face it, it just makes life so much easier in the long run.  If we could just get over the prejudice we have against organizing, we could come to realize that it is something that can greatly improve our lives.

Sometimes the biggest obstacle we have when we are trying to get organized is knowing where to start.  And with our over-committed schedule, we leave ourselves little time to think, much less, get ourselves pulled together enough to get organized.  To overcome this downward spiral, let’s take a look at the basics and take this bit by bit.

There are three basic parts of organizing;

  • Simplify
  • Plan
  • Prioritize

SIMPLIFY:

“Less is more!” –Unknown

There is simple truth to this simple saying.  Let’s learn the lesson from our forbearer’s and apply this wisdom into our lives.  We all want more out of life, and if doing less is what gets us there, then by golly, let’s do less!!

So many of us have such high expectations of ourselves and even our family members, especially all you parents out there.  Don’t get me wrong, I think it is very important to have hopes and goals for both ourselves individually and for our loved ones.  We just need to take a step back sometimes and realize what cost we pay for our excessive dreams.  If we are always stressed and unhappy, then something just isn’t right and we need to address it ASAP.

To simplify our lives means we need to take a moment and re-evaluate what we are doing and find ways to make it less complicated.  This can go in so many different directions, from clutter to time management.  When we simplify, and find ways to cut corners and perhaps lower our expectations by just a small degree, then we will find more time to enjoy life.  Isn’t that what we all want?

PLAN:

“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”–Eleanor Roosevelt

It’s time to stop wasting our time wishing and start planning.  Plans come in so many different shapes and sizes, but they generally have one result, peace of mind.  When you take the extra time to pre-think what you are about to do, your chances for success increase dramatically.  There have been studies that indicate the fact that simply writing your goals down significantly increase your chances of accomplishing your goals. (http://www.dominican.edu/dominicannews/study-backs-up-strategies-for-achieving-goals.html).

Since a good chunk of society has a never-ending “to do” list and ever-increasing expectations of ourselves, perhaps if we could take this simple advice of writing it down and creating a simple plan, we might decrease our stress level and increase our chances for success in achieving our goals.

PRIORITIZE:

“Organize your life around your dreams – and watch them come true.” –Unknown

It is amazing how many of us spend a good chunk of our precious time doing things that really don’t matter.  When you get a chance, take a minute and evaluate how much of your day is spent wasted to TV, the internet or other time-wasting devices.  I know that these things can be useful and help us relax at times, but are we really using them to the best of our advantage.  I’m sure if you were to sit down and write out your life goals, watching a lot of television would not be on your list.  So then my question is this; why do we spend so much time doing things that really don’t matter to us?

Take a moment and write down what is important to you.  After you get a list, put them in order from most important to least important.  Does your list coincide with the amount of time you spend involved supporting these priorities?  If not, what can you do you spend more time
enjoying those things that are important to you?

Prioritizing our lives will help us find more happiness, because we will be spending most of our time doing the things that are important to us.  And who doesn’t want to be happy?

When we take the time to put a little effort into our lives, it is amazing how much smoother things seems to go.  I challenge you to try it.

“It is my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.”  –Henry Ford

I need your help . . .