Tag Archives: goals

Motivation Monday: I Got The Compass, Now I Created The Map

6 May

Vision boards. I think Oprah started this. I have no idea. I’d heard so much about them, both positive and negative. Positive being they inspire change and dream chasing. Negative in that they remind you of what you have yet to accomplish and that you’re so far off your mark.

Glass half full, half empty.

Undecided.

You send the vibe out there in the universe in hopes that it boomerangs right back at you and gives you the courage to keep taking steps forward. Manifest your destiny … that’s why you do it. Maybe clarity.

Maybe people do it as a reminder, too.

I was one of the few on Earth that had yet to make a vision board. I had goals. I had dreams. Still have them. I know what they are, didn’t think I needed a reminder. But I spoke to a buddy of mine and she felt so much excitement and energy talking about her vision board and how the dots were connecting, that I gave it a second thought.  And then a third. And then I jumped right in and did it.

Most people take care of this business on January 1st. Ready for the year with their resolutions and their dream map. I didn’t create a map, but I had my eye on the yellow-brick road and a compass in my hand. I knew my dream and my direction. I still do. But I never thought to map it out with pictures on a board, never thought to look at it occasionally or on a daily basis. But you put your kinetic dream energy out there and it re-energizes you.  It clarifies your vision and the universe helps conspire with those who dream. I always enjoyed that bit from the Alchemist. This whole vision board seemed like an Alchemist kind of thing to do.

It was something new. And I made a pact with myself to try something new every month. That was the deal. You can’t be in the same place you were 365 days ago if you try something new every month. And not just try for the sake of trying, I mean really give it some thought and give it 100.

So I did.

Last month, I dove into my try-something-new project, and created my first vision board.  I have to admit it was a little overwhelming narrowing down this inspirational epic masterpiece. But everything is a work in progress and I imagine I’ll keep tweaking it as the year goes along. But I finally have a starting point and it felt good to visualize my dreams. I wasn’t sure it would. I guess it all depends on your head space for the day. Is it going to be a positive uplifting catapult, or a I’m-not-there-yet-look-where-everyone-else-is-feel-crappy scenario?

Now I should have researched and found examples of vision boards before creating my own, but I didn’t. However I did find information on the layout, and maybe this is just one kind of flow. I learned that there’s a Feng-Shui flow to this layout, stuff that supposed to help optimize your energy.  There might be more out there. But this one worked for me and helped me get started.

There are nine categories or fields that people essentially put out there: Career/Life/Mission; Marriage/Love/Relationships; Family/Community; Prosperity/Wealth; Well-Being/Health; Helpful People/Travel; Children/Creativity; Knowledge/Self-Cultivation; and Social life/Reputation/Fame. Now when laying out my board certain categories had more weight than others, and my definition of some of these terms may be different than someone else’s. For example my board there was no need for fame, it wasn’t something I aspire to, but I do care how my family, my kids see me, what their perspective is on me. So while these categories helped narrow down some pictures, they also helped define terms that work for me and my road. Because I’ve got to remember, everybody has got their own lane, and I’m in mine, so I can’t freak out when someone else is speeding down their road. They got a different destination, and a different motor.

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So I’m curious … does everyone have a vision board and I’m the last one to have discovered it? What other ways are there to layout your dreams? Do you use a huge bulletin board, or an 8 1/2 by 11 inch notebook, or a shoe box diorama? What other kinds of layouts do people have?

The research continues …

Buen Camino my friends!

 

 

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Make Your Own Momentum

15 Jan

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This was the day about inspiration and dreams that are bigger than yourself. Learning to push forward when everything is pulling you back. It’s a time to remember that when obstacles seem insurmountable and destinations seem so far ahead, it’s important to remember … make your own momentum. You’ll get there. Slow or fast …  but you’ll get there.

I was inspired by this message. I felt like it would be my mantra for the 2018 year. And then today of all days it rang true. People like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Rigoberta Menchu, and Cesar Chavez … they all dreamed big dreams and had plenty of hardships along the way, but they found the ingenuity to make their own momentum and see things that others thought were impossible to be very possible. While creating their own momentum they inspired others to do the same, to unite for a cause, for dream, for a future.

And it is because of all of these leaders that I’m able to sit here and dream my own dreams. They faced the ugliness of this world and the worst in people and still came out with strength to do what was right. They made it easier for others to dream of impossibilities, to make people believe that something better was within reach.

When I woke up this morning, I wasn’t thinking of inspirational figures and what they did to make my life easier today. But I’m going to bed knowing that I taught my kids about them, heard their speeches and seen their faces and know that we’re resting on soft pillows and thinking about big futures because they paved the yellow brick road ahead. I’m thinking of the power of his words to create magic. Martin Luther King Jr. inspired millions to believe, even in the face of danger they believed.

So in thinking about all that today means the most important lesson would be not to waste it.

Can’t be waiting for things to happen … definitely have to make my own momentum.

Buen Camino my friends!

 

 

 

On My 1000th Post I’m Keeping All of It … Because I’m Looking for The Power of Failure

1 Jan

What is it that finds you this year?

Last year inspiration struck after watching a Seinfeld episode. Kramer came crashing into Jerry’s apartment as always and he had his everyday balloons, not his New Year’s Eve balloons but his everyday balloons and I wanted that for myself.

And so in 2017 I went out to find them. And I did. My resolutions, my quest, my mission, my goals, my bucket list items, my journeys … Whatever I called it, I found it. And being the mother of two Nickelodeon-aged kids who go on adventures and try my patience on a weekly basis … It was hard. But I did it. I found the sparkle in the everyday shenanigans and they were there to help me. A lot of things managed to push the scales in my favor.

Podcasts became the X factor for me last year.  I found all these good nooks and crannies on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday Conversations, The Tim Ferriss Show, The Robcast, This American Life, TED Talks Daily, and StoryCorps. These story whispers traveled through time and space to get to me and give me something I needed, just like reading books, articles, or WordPress blog posts or watching movies or shows on Netflix or Amazon reminded me of a lesson learned when I needed reminding.

Running  in The Great Outdoors was also a piece of the puzzle that helped me get it together. The magic of the path hidden among the trees and hills was the daily therapy to help me find my center.

And the thing is … I’m still going to need the same things this year.

I may find something new, but I’ve learned that this system works for me. It helps find the everyday balloons, pockets of happiness, silver linings playbook mentality necessary to thrive.

So I’m keeping all of it.

Yup.

I need it in 2018 as well because I realized what works for me when I’m trying to find the funny. And this is my formula, so I’m keeping it. All of it. Probably adding a few things as the months go by though, because this year I’m looking to find  the Power of Failure. It seems like a downer, but it’s a glass-half-full mentality. I know that with writing and parenthood, failure is going to happen. It’s part of the process, I’ve got to take my underdog mentality and find what the power of it is this year. In the midst of the heartache, tears, frustration, and gallons, upon gallons of Rocky Road ice cream, I’m gonna try to find the power of failure this year. Because most of the time I just think it just sucks. I get back up again and I’m ready for Round II, III, and IV but I still think failure sucks.

I’m gonna try to spin it around and see if it adds to the good-time-noodle-salad moments of life. That’s the the quest this year. It’s not going to involve comparing my failures with others, or seeing how further ahead others are on their life journey, but to see if the power of failure can help me in mine. I’m gonna wait and see …

Hamilton

I’m gonna wait for it.

So on my 1000th post of WordPress on this mini milestone of a moment, I’m gonna mark it with my quest to finding the Power of Failure this year.

Buen Camino my friends!

 

 

 

 

Got An Extra High-Five For That One

5 Dec

I remembered no one being on that track other than myself. I remembered that breath I took when it happened. I remembered my face catching the sun as I looked up and smiled.

You know, I know I didn’t need the validation. In fact I knew I had done more … a lot more. I had reached the milestone way before the ticker clocked it in. But for some reason recording it made it more official … made the moment feel more like a-haaaaaaaaaaaaa!

 

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And the thing is I wasn’t even planning it, the 100 just sort of snuck up on me.

I knew I had already run 100 miles in my lifetime, probably multiple times before discovering the app, but the fact that I had done it and done it in such a short amount of time felt empowering. And the weird thing was that I always hated running but as I’ve gotten older I appreciate the quiet moments on the track and feeling like I’m in my own Gatorade-Nike commercial.

I enjoy the pool even more, I know my knees do, but the weather hasn’t been conducive to a dip in the pool, plus I don’t have one. So there’s that too. Driving out to the non-heated pool in the early hours wasn’t something my body was looking forward to, but putting on sweatpants (I think I may be the only one on Earth to still own a pair of those as everyone else has those yoga pants or tight pants, it’s a tight pants nation) sweatshirt, a beanie, and hitting the track, that seemed doable. And free.

Starting off slow saying to myself I’ll just walk, I’m not in the mood really. I’m tired. My mind is tired. My body is tired, the kind of tired that all parents know very well. But as  I walk the loop on the track, I hear the crunching sound my shoes  make as the gravel meets the treads.

I like that gravely sound. It makes me walk faster and then I rethink the whole walking thing. I think maybe I’ll just run a mile and then it turns into two, sometimes three.

And at the end of the run as I’m pumping my arms, out of breath, racing to the imaginary finish line I feel good. I catch a second wind and feel invigorated when I stop. It isn’t about the calories burned it’s the way I feel at the end. It’s the gravely sound I hear, the peace that comes over me as my breath slows down, the quiet that I needed in my heart to start the day right.

It’s an awesome feeling. The bottle-me up kind. And the fact that I clocked in 100 miles during this process … just makes it even better. Felt like I accomplished a little bit more. I gave myself an extra high-five for that one.

 

I Guess This Is What It Feels Like

27 Jun

I’m always grateful when this day comes.

It’s a reminder.

Let your Freak Flag fly, give 100 percent, empty the tank, and wake up on Monday morning feeling blessed and ready to rock.

Even if you’re having a rough one, Shark Week sets you straight.

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I actually started my week living like it was Shark Week without even knowing it.

The events of this weekend just sent me straight to Tony-Robbins-state-of-mind. For the fifth year in row I competed in the TinMan Triathlon and despite the 71-year old IronMan chick leaving me in the dust, it was the best one yet.

I ran and swam my fastest times ever, and despite Devil’s Canyon trying to break down the cyclist in me, I kept at it and managed to get to the top of that mountain and let me tell you … my quads were feeling like Tina Turner’s.

I raised the volume up on my playlists and just kept going. Once I crossed the finish line, I heard my inner voice … you did it. And I smiled. After battling the dry heat, the agony and pain of my butt during that long bike ride, and the near drowning incident in the water because some chick kept hitting me mid-stroke and some dude almost kicked me in the face, after all that I had made it.  It felt good, like Rocky-at-the-top-of-those-steps-good.

And I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it while I was running, while I was biking uphill, and when I was on my last lap. Every part of it felt good, because I was trying. Then my kids did their mini-triathlon and their efforts made me so proud, I was having a parent moment right there at the finish line. While I was high-fiving them, I realized I had come in second place for my division and I couldn’t believe it.

I was so busy celebrating my kids’ finish, especially since it was my daughter’s first time, that I didn’t hear them call my name. I had done something I never thought would happen. I wasn’t aiming for that, I was just trying to do better than last year. I was just trying, giving it all I had. Emptying the tank. That’s all. I didn’t think there be an extra reward. But there was …

For the first time in five years I placed second.

I smiled again.

I realized … I guess this is what it feels like … this is what it feels like to live every week like it’s Shark Week, with or without the medal.

I was glad for the reminder.

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Finding Our Own Adventure on Day One and Two

2 Jan

Signs from the universe are usually incognito for me, and I have to be a secret agent in order to discover a clue or what’s in store.

But not today.

When I saw this … I knew I had found my theme for 2016.

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Yup…Big Magic happening this year.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still on the quest for The Juice, finding pockets of it, keeping it, defending it, relishing in it, and maintaining it. This just added another level.

Whether I’m in the Great Outdoors, reading a book, watching a movie, writing my stories, parenting the crap out of parenthood, or hanging out with friends, I’m gonna find Big Magic, My Juice, Adventure in the year of Guat Flawsomeness, with stubbornness, humor, and gratitude. It’s gonna happen.

Now being that New Year’s Eve was the mark of endings and new beginnings I set out on a quest for all these things, not even knowing I had begun the journey. And even if New Year’s wasn’t filled millions of people, rock stars, and Times Square it was filled with an electric vibe and  adventure energy. I set a date with the most important people in my life … my kids. And we rang in the New Year with love, great food, and memories.

But it didn’t just stop there, it continued onto Day Two. And that surprised the hell out of me. Usually good vibes only last 24 hours before someone tries to take my juice away, but it was all good.

The Juice and The Adventure Seeking stayed in tact.

I was on a Buen Camino … Here’s hoping you are too.

 

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We started off with an amazing light show, with disco balls and music under the moonlight.

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Electric snowflakes in the Southern California sky.

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We watched magic storytellers illuminate the sky.

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This one was my favorite … made me feel like I had The Juice, and the adventures were unlimited.

 

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Feeling some love and strength in 2016.

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Loving the Easy Rider vibe.

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This looked like a guy who had found his adventures and loved them. I want me some patches like that.

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Star Wars was everywhere. This one was out of this world … and my son’s favorite..

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This one reminded me of my beloved Pinta … definitely missing my puppy.

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Brought out the history buff in me.

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Los Angeles sports fans definitely enjoyed this spectacular float. Swoosh!

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Then we headed home, like this Fearless Flyer, ready for another adventure.

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Flawsomeness and Juice

31 Dec

Goals. 2.0 better versions of yourself. To-do lists. Bucket lists. Happiness projects.

Yup. I’m one of those people. I didn’t used to be. Lists would burn me out. I’d never get to cross anything out.

I’d come up short all the time. But then something changed and I learned about silver lining playbooks, and finding and keeping those good-times-noodle-salad moments close.

I still fail, lots of times but I get off my beaten ass and try again.

I wanted the 2.0 version of myself, but the 1 1/2  life I’m currently living seems to be pretty badass at the moment, because I realized that I’m always undergoing construction, and humor and gratitude continue to be part of the blueprints that are helping build a better me.

With all the failures this past year, being able to focus on gratitude and what I got right, instead of what went wrong seemed to help minimize the breakdowns and tune into a more positive state of mind. Continually trying to write SNL skits of the not-so-funny moments in my life also seemed to help turn some difficult corners.

I was hoping for  a better year, just like everyone else.  I was hoping for more A-Ha! moments, more Super Soul Sunday moments. But most of all, I was hoping for more turning points, for finding them, for paying attention to them.

That’s what I set out to do at the beginning of the year, just find my turning points, find ways to thrive and I realized that humor and gratitude were gonna make it happen for me. When there was no more chocolate in the house, humor helped the disasters of parenthood and friendships gone bad. When frustration and profanity rose up because nothing seemed to be falling into to place, gratitude helped remember the good times with my kids, my staycations at the beach, my skydiving adventure, my triathlon victories, my message exchanges with WordPress buddies, my 40-year-old celebrations with my comadres, my morning Power-Hours, my Mixed-Tape Mondays, my chocolate cakes, and my cool-side of the pillow ZEN feelings.

I’ve kept my don’t-give-up attitude. I’ve found my turning points and been present within them. I became the stumbler, I didn’t build my life by being better than others, but by being better than I used to be.

I kept my 2015 plan in tact, and I’m better for it.

And so what’s up for 2016? What’s my plan?

I’ve been reminded that I’m Flawsome, and that there’s Big Magic out there for daydreamers that take action, and don’t give into the negativity that surrounds them. They embrace their flaws and live a creative life by “continually and stubbornly” trying to find the pockets of inspiration that give them the juice. Even when negativity surrounds them.

I’m looking to “continually and stubbornly” keep my juice.

 

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One page at a time, one day at a time. Writing this 365 page book with gratitude and humor. And Flawsomeness. And Juice.

Buen Camino.

 

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They Give Me Extra Umph … And Sometimes Stretchy Pants

4 Jun

So what’s next?

This is what a friend asked me after I had finished my 12 x 12 Chocolate Challenge, but the funny thing was that this question was already running around in my head as I was spreading the frosting across two chocolatey layers.

I needed something.

I didn’t want to be like the Dunkin’ Donuts guy … you know … time to make the donuts … time to make the donuts … time to make the donuts.

I wanted a little bit more.

But don’t get me wrong everybody has a routine and it’s good. I like routine, it helps keep the chaos in my life in order. But I also needed something outside of my routine. I needed something to look forward to, to get excited about … something that gave me emotional juice.

I realized all these personal projects, challenges, races, Sandbox List, and Bucket List Adventures were the something needed. I get umph after every accomplishment, and believe me when your life goes a little haywire every week, you need something to pull you out of the George Costanza existence and remind you that you’ve got it.

You need these little high-five moments to keep you going.

So I’m constantly in search of that extra umph, whether it has to do with food or adventure races I like the challenge and I like what it adds to my life. Sometimes the effect is dramatic and long-lasting, other times it’s small and lasts only moments. But regardless of the length of time it still impacts my life in a positive way. But most of all I think I enjoy the fact that it reminds me of two things. First … to live and enjoy the present, to enjoy what I think is fun even if I have Debbie Downers around me. And second is to always end the day on E, empty out my gas tank and leave it all out there whether it’s fun at the beach, rock climbing, writing books or vegging out on the couch. Go all the way, even if I have meltdowns or mistakes … no half measures.

So with all this in mind … what’s next?

Action? Adventure? Culinary Projects that feature stretchy pants in my future?

Yes. Yes to all of the above.

I have my New Balance ready to go for my first Color Run with the kids, followed by our annual triathlon involving the disastrous Devil’s Canyon and a lot of will power. But before all this athletic awesomeness takes place I felt the need for another cooking adventure and while hanging out at the library I found this …

 

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Dude … how could I not?

And seeing how I love food and The Sopranos and Mob Week on AMC, I didn’t need a lot of convincing.

So what’s next?

Stretchy pants … definitely. For sure.

 

 

No Worries, You’re Not Alone

6 Jan
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Image via twentyfourcat.net

 

2013 goals, plans, self-improvement resolutions are hard.