The big picture: sacrificing on the front end

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Last Sunday morning, I woke up and declared aloud: “I’m not hiking today”—which was a pretty big deal, since anyone who knows me also knows a trek in the mountains provides me an opportunity to decompress, to recharge and to reconnect with my Maker on a deeper level. However, if past experience taught me anything, it required I consider the plans I hoped to accomplish before lights out that evening. In this particular case, it meant sacrifice on the front end to set myself up for success on the tail end. I spent roughly three hours (factoring in typical commute and trail choice) playing catch up: paperwork, goal setting and household chores. Plus, I prepared a hearty split pea soup for dinner. The pièce de résistance? A strong plan sketched out for the week, month and year ahead. And the bonus: enough time for a wild and crazy Trivial Pursuit game night.

What sacrifice have you made on the front end to realize a successful tail end?

The five Rs to getting back on track

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[Image credit: Chaiwat]

I can hardly believe one-third of the year is already behind us.  Which means there’s only nine months remaining to plow through our list of goals — or resolutions — until it’s time to start all over with a clean slate.  In the event you’ve forgotten your good intentions over the past 90 days, the following five Rs may help you get back on track:

  • Revisit your list of resolutions.  What was #3, again?  A few days ago, I pulled out my list of 24 goals and found I’ve only completed or dabbled in eight of them so far.
  • Revise any of the objectives you’ve outgrown.  No sense in putting effort toward something you no longer care about.
  • Recharge your excitement.  What made you want to tackle these goals in the first place?
  • Recommit to pulling out your list on a regular basis — or posting it where you see it often.   It doesn’t hurt to have a visual reminder that you do have a purpose.

This should be a working list, one where you have permission to customize it as your life circumstances change or the mood strikes you.  And don’t forget the best tip of all:

  • Reward yourself for each accomplished resolution.  This can be as easy as a new pair of heels as soon as you learn how to dance, or as complicated as planning a trip to New York City to pitch your completed novel to an agent.

How are your goals taking shape in 2012?

A second wind

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As I wrote this post, all I could think about was taking a cat nap.  While I hadn’t done anything particularly strenuous yesterday (a few household chores, tax preparations and a trip to the gym), I felt an afternoon lethargy coming on as soon as I sat down at my computer.  Despite my eight hours of sleep the previous night, I knew I would be no good to anyone later on if I didn’t take 30 minutes to recharge my battery.  Not only would I be better company after a few Zzzs, but I also hoped I’d find my second wind and finish the day’s tasks, as well as tackle some things planned for today … because the I’ll do it tomorrows easily pile up and run into next week or next month.  This can make it hard to do what you really want to do — write, watch The Sports Channel (for some of you), go out for drinks or simply read a good book — when you know your list of to-dos is as long as the hallway between your office and your bed.  Which for me is about 13 1/2 yards.  And since I did find my second wind yesterday, today looks a bit more manageable.

Do naps recharge your battery, or make you feel more groggy?

Bumming around, or recharging your battery?

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[Image credit: Michal Marcol]


In a past post, I talked about penciling in time to be flexible  (because you never know what you may be missing otherwise).  Admittedly, from the moment my alarm goes off in the morning, my day is mapped out for me.  But what about allowing for those times after a non-stop work week filled with outside commitments, when you feel like doing nothing more than sit at the computer in your fuzzy bathrobe playing Words With Friends and catching up on Facebook?  Or maybe you simply desire to lie on the sofa (a.k.a beach) with a book you picked up over the weekend that you haven’t had a chance to read yet, or download a movie on Netflix you’ve intended to watch for months.  Unfortunately, I usually feel a little guilty (and a lot lazy) when I slack off because I know my tasks are not getting done.  On the other hand, I also think bumming around could be considered a bit like a mini-vacation, a way to fill your own bucket — refresh the spirit, if you will — in small increments.  So the next time you check in with me, don’t be surprised if I’m slow to answer your text or respond to your email because I may just be too busy recharging my creative juices.  In other words, I’ve gone bumming.

What’s a favorite way to recharge your battery?