2017 Goals in Review

Do you set personal goals every year? Then look back on them?

This is more of a random blog, from what I have recently posted, it’s a follow up to what I wrote exactly 11 months ago to this date in my blog, defining my personal goals for 2017 which came to mind again this evening, ironically, thinking about 2018.  It felt good to look at the goals I wrote a year ago and realize that I accomplished 95% of what I intended to do a year ago.  But from my perspective now, my goals could use a little elevation..more like a lot more elevation from 2017!  I guess that’s what growth is all about. Last year at this time, those goals were what I needed in my life, a year ago, but now it’s time to grow/push harder/further, make the goals more meaningful.  I think I gave myself the easy/feel good stuff to accomplish last year; not something that truly challenges me, it was more of a focus on quality of life; I certainly accomplished that, 2017 has been a year of fun and entertainment.

2018, for me, needs to be better though, a year with elevated goals; this is a little scary because results will be exposed at the end of the year once the goals are stated.  The things that matter to me haven’t changed, and I believe that we all need to make time for what matters in our lives, so I will continue incorporating time for these:

Faith | Family | Friends | Music | Outdoors | Travel | Architecture/Interior Design/Fashion | Health/Fitness | Personal Improvement

But for next year, the following needs more focus, here are my 2018 goals:

  1.  Increase the amount of “giving back”
  2.  Improve in providing value/service to others
  3.  Maintain consistency

It’s interesting looking back on a blog, especially when it’s about personal improvement, maybe I shouldn’t post this stuff!?

Lack Patience? Get it by letting go!

Have you ever heard how “The Universe keeps giving us lessons until we learn the lesson”?  Well I guess I needed a lot of lessons to develop patience, but thankfully I made progress; it just took a long time! This past year, I kept realizing what little patience I had, but wanting to become more patient.  And while I wasn’t intentionally working on becoming patient, the experiences I had throughout my life taught me to become more patient.   These are my realizations about what I learned from experiences:

Simply described, I realized that becoming patient is achieved by practicing LETTING GO! I found becoming patient requires…

…letting go of:

  1.  Forcing anything– Patience is letting things happen naturally, slowly over time; this removes stress and adds peacefulness to our lives when we realize forcing something into our ideal time frame really doesn’t work.  Sometimes it’s as simple as letting time pass;  some things naturally work out on their own over time.
  2. Mistakes:  – keep improving when we mess up or life gets messed up, hit reset…a new beginning!  It’s okay to keep starting over when something doesn’t work, it’s not permanent failure, it’s only temporary failure! Patience lets us accept our mistakes and try again.  Each time we try again, we develop our patience and have another opportunity for success.
  3. Expectations of Others – this is out of our control anyway, so practice patience with others, don’t fit them into “our box”, “our way of thinking”, “our way of acting”: everyone is different, let go of expectations and let it happen as it is (Having patience with others will bring us peacefulness: when we have no expectations; there is no let down) Others are who they are- accept them “as is” work with them as they are.
  4. The future – we are not guaranteed a future.  All we have is our time, here and now.  We need to have goals or we will never accomplish anything in life and wander aimlessly, but this is about being present in the moment doing what we need today to reach our goals, pay attention to what is happening in our lives at the moment, don’t overthink the future, we don’t know the future and can’t predict it.  Patience lets the future unfold as it is intended and the future is more greatly affected by what effort we put in today anyway.
  5. Fear taking on the next challenge, pushing ourselves to do something we never thought we would or could do. Patience is developed as we slowly see progress along the way, in overcoming fears or achieving certain goals over time; then we realize that having patience helps us accomplish things in life.
  6. Control – have faith in God providing what we need in life, not always what we expect, or on our time-frame, but what we need, letting go and letting God take over. We become patient when we believe that God will guide us and provide for us; we have no anxiety. We are not in control of what happens to us anyway, only how we react to what happens to us.
  7. Seriousness–  it’s great to laugh as often as possible; we need laughter to help get through being patient when things take time and frustrate us!
  8. ONLY celebrating first place wins, acknowledge that second place is progress, celebrating the journey and the small wins along the way keeps positive motivation flowing. Recognizing small wins develops patience and the dedication needed for the big wins.
  9. The way we think it should bechange happens and we need to adjust ourselves to address the changes we experience; there is more than one way to do things.
  10. The past – let go of the past, something that didn’t work, didn’t work out for us: never settle. Never settling requires patience because it takes awhile before we find what is best for us.

So if we want patience, focus on letting go!

Waiting

Thought and Questions on “Waiting”?

Personally, I’m not one to wait, “patience is a virtue” doesn’t  come naturally to me; I’m all about taking action. As time progresses, I’ve acquired more “tolerance”(the best descriptive word to me) for patience, even though it’s not natural for me and a continual struggle.

EXPERIENCES

Not waiting has given me some amazing opportunities: ones I wasn’t fully ready for, but worked out. On the other hand, it’s also put me in bad situations. So what is the right choice waiting or not waiting?

In 2017, I’ve made some changes, and realized that I probably need to work on patience and waiting.  For the first time ever, I searched “waiting” in the back of the Bible I bought and read the passages:

waiting-reference

 

Waiting and patience are not natural to me, so this is a change I will try.  Sometimes the application of what we read to our own lives is confusing…to me at least, but I’m trying!  I already heavily booked my weekends through mid June, so I’m going to try to hold back now and slow down.

WAITING

I can see “both sides” of this:

A) Patience and waiting can bring good things, like the examples in the Bible

however, I’m also a strong believer in:

B) If you want something, you have to get off your butt and work for it, you can’t wait for it…

So which is it?  Or does each one apply to different subjects?  Or is this taking it out of context?  Questions!!?

Pros

  • We get what we truly want; we don’t settle for something less.
  • Waiting means trusting in God’s timing; having faith…

it’s interesting that I bought this necklace awhile ago, maybe I was missing “a message” to me?

Cons

  • Experiencing patience: time feels like it’s slowed down, and not in a good way
  • Missing an opportunity (even though this is true, if we act on this, aren’t we are acting out of fear, which often leads to regret?)
  • Not taking action to achieve; Inaction – we aren’t using our time wisely if we wait? This is probably the one reason that I don’t often wait…

This past weekend’s message at The Crossing was about:  suffering > perseverance > character > hope ….maybe this thought I woke up with, on waiting, is something I need to explore more?  I don’t have the answers!

FEAR

ALLOWING FEAR = A LIFETIME OF REGRET

The next time you feel anxiety, consider this:  Fear will give you a lifetime of regret!  What do you want?  There is a certain amount of fear that protects us from harm, but we should understand that limit:  Does it mean life or death?  If it doesn’t, then get over it, or we will regret avoiding fear, maybe the rest of our lives if we don’t get that second opportunity.

Facing fear translates to growth, learning new things, improving, becoming better, and experiencing life. Avoiding fear leads to life’s regrets.

My First Fear

I remember fear from very early in my life, my first memory of fear was pre-kindergarten. My parents enrolled me in swimming lessons because my dad had a fear of the water and neither of my parents were avid swimmers, so they wanted me to learn how to swim early. I remember standing at the edge of the high dive with the instructor and a couple other people in the water telling me to jump in. I stood there with my hands crossed, shaking my head “no.” (I’ve always been a little head strong.) It wasn’t so much the water that scared me, I always loved water, but for me, it was the fear of heights.  I stood there for some time at the edge of the diving board, the ascent up the ladder wasn’t bad, but the jump scared me more than anything.  I must have delayed the instructors long enough because someone was headed up the ladder to give me a push off the dive, which I didn’t want either, so I jumped!  Splash! It wasn’t as bad as I made it in my mind.  Because I faced this fear and jumped in, years later, at 17, I became a life guard.  I faced fear and was glad I did.

Pre-Teen Fear

My family visited my Aunt, Uncle and cousins in California and I fell in love with California, deciding I wanted to go to college there after that vacation.  I loved the ocean, the hiking, Disneyland and our camping trip to Yosemite National Park.

yosemite-camping-tripOnce again, my fear of heights surfaced.  We were hiking and my adventurous Aunt planned to hike to the top of “Puppy Dome,” of course I wanted to do it too, but knew I would be scared as well.  I can remember getting to the top, my heart was racing so fast, my body was lying flat practically glued to the granite, with my hands in the crevasses as we reached the top.  I don’t think I could stand, I was too scared, but I made it, with my Aunt’s encouragement and loved that I did that. The memory has remained with me my entire life.  I faced fear and was glad I did.

So later in life when it was time for college, fear set in again.  I had a boyfriend and I was afraid to leave my home state and pursue my dream of college in California because I feared the relationship would end.  I really liked this guy and chose to stay in town, rather than go away to college.  Big mistake!  My relationship ended with that guy and I’ve always regretted my decision of not going away to college and have thought about:  What would my life have been like if I had pursued what I really wanted, instead of acting based on fear?   I let fear take over me, and I regretted it, no second chance on this one.

Adult Fear

I still challenge myself by facing fear of heights:  zip lining, jumping off elevated ledges into water, scaling walls, climbing up the ladder to the roof hatch of a commercial building roof top, and by walking a parapet catwalk during a property inspection.  The fear hasn’t gone away, but each time, I’m glad I faced the fear; I don’t have regrets, and the fear lessens.

The physical fears I seem to face willingly, but often it’s the fear involving people that I don’t, and then regret it later.  In fact, there are several times where I’ve regretted not facing a fear, later in life, involving people. Facing fear is about becoming vulnerable; and when we become vulnerable, we are not protected; so, we are fearful.  This is not the way to live though, unless we want a life of regrets.  Just as any other fear, if we face it, we become stronger.

As an adult, I had the surprise opportunity to spend New Year’s Eve in Key West with a guy I really cared about, but I had planned a party with friends at my house and had sent invitations, not knowing about the surprise trip that was planned. I didn’t want to let my friends down, but being honest I preferred and wanted to go on that trip with him.  I stayed home out of fear of disappointing my friends, and believing I should stay independent, and I regretted that decision ever since.

Fear also leads to us to “Settle” for what we wouldn’t choose normally.  We begin to justify settling, to protect ourselves, so we don’t have to face the fear.  I believe lack of self-confidence is the reason we don’t face fear involving people. People with confidence face fear; they overcome the fear and therefore become more confident people. Don’t let fear be the reason behind decisions.

Being Independent to the extreme is Acting in Fear

Fear involving people is evident in those who want to do everything for themselves and don’t ask for help. I know that because I have been that person, most of my life: independent.  I still don’t like to rely on anyone, relying on someone makes us vulnerable, and being independent protects us:  we don’t need anyone!  I’ve always admired independent people, but there should be a balance in life, nothing to the extreme ever ends up good.  (This is continuous work for me, relying on others.)  If we let fear take over, we won’t grow, we can’t follow our purpose, or develop the gift we were born with. Fear sets limits.  If we limit ourselves, we can’t possibly be all that is possible, if we had no limitations.  Letting fear take over leads us to the:  “What if….?”  (Our regrets).

FACING FEAR = REWARDS

So next time, face fear:  stand up for beliefs, suggest that new idea, take a risk, say “no,” push ourselves to the next level, act with courage, speak your mind, be authentic/be you, go for it, ask for what we need, just do it,have that conversation, follow passions, take that vacation (work will always be there), ask “Will I regret this later, if I don’t do it now?”

I’m not saying be reckless, but if we want to live life to the fullest and be the best person we can be, don’t limit ourselves, don’t let fear control our actions:  Face fear and be rewarded!

LOVE

February is the “love” month, right?  (think Valentine’s Day), so I’m writing about Love.  It’s a few days before February, when I’m writing this, because I, once again, woke up with these thoughts in my head, so I’m documenting them.

BACKGROUND

If you read any of my prior blog posts from the end of December 2016, you will see that I set goals and an action plan for 2017 so this is part of my following through on them, relying on intuition as guidance, along with daily prayer and becoming more involved in church.

It took awhile for me to commit to acting on getting involved (the weekend before the class started is when I signed up), another thing I’ve never done before:  take an evening class at Church.  But if I am going to stay true to my action plan this is where it starts for me.

The class I’m taking is called “Body Life” through The Crossing and it’s about relationships, community, and purpose, this also ties in well with my reflections over this past year of my life.  I’m in the first week and the first week’s homework was reading and reflecting on a few passages from the Bible (both Old and New Testament) where the bible illustrates a “calling,” that time when a person recognizes the unique gift that God gave us before we were born (grace), and using or cultivating that gift to serve God’s purpose.  Although I know I received bibles in the past, somewhere, probably packed away, I didn’t know where they are, or if I still have them honestly.  So, I decided to buy a new one, and found a good one for me, because it has side notes (questions and answers) that further explain what was happening at the time, background information, or relating it back to today, and features a paragraph at the beginning of each book about why we would want to read a certain book (what to expect, what type of information we will see, etc.) which is helpful for beginners.  If you’re curious about this Bible version, it’s an NIV (New International Version), called Quest (click for an Amazon link to purchase): a question and answer study Bible.

ABOUT LOVE

Getting back to the subject of love, while I was reading the passages for homework, one referenced passage was: 1 Corinthians; which happens to be the book with the script read frequently in weddings, many of us have heard it before, beginning: “Love is patient, love is kind…” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8) and something clicked with me the next day after reading that, and I decided to summarize this passage with one word for each thought from this passage as a text overlay, adding it to a photo I took of my seasonal chalkboard message (the main photo).  This photo now serves a quick reminder or checklist to go back to at any time:  i.e. Are we showing love to others?  Are we in a loving relationship? Many people question our relationships at different times, i.e. what’s the status, how we are treated, or how we are treating others, so this summary is a good basis to evaluate love in a relationship.

Relationships are important for all of us because they help us get through life’s ups and downs.  Relationships aren’t always permanent either.  Another favorite relationship quote of mine is about each relationship (person) having a purpose in our life:

Opened book and hand drawing building sketches

People come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime and the relationships that don’t last teach us something. Be grateful for the gift in every relationship!

If you want to read more from the Bible about marriage, being single and our ultimate purpose clarifying what status suits each of us, check out the book of 1 Corinthians.  And if you want to read about purpose, check out the book of Ephesians.

FEBRUARY AND BEYOND

Valentine’s Day. We all have some relationship status:  single, taken, married, divorced, or as I’ve seen a lot lately on Instagram: “building an empire” ha ha 🙂 but relationships still affect all of us and have impact. Remember, we can all do something or be someone who makes a difference; we aren’t in this world alone!

Have a Happy Love Month…and Beyond!

P.S.  If you need ideas for your someone special, visit my Facebook page, February 1st post, for the ideas, complete with a website link to shop.

Follow me on:  Twitter, Instagram, Flipagram, Facebook

 

 

CHANGE, RELATIONSHIPS, MUSIC

It’s 4:30 am and this is what comes to mind?  Well, why not write about it?  Most people are probably still sleeping, so when this happens to me, seemingly out of nowhere, it’s time to write about it, because it doesn’t happen all the time.

Tomorrow will be one month before February 14, 2017…. Valentine’s Day, so maybe it’s a good time to do this?  If you’ve seen the acronym CRM in business: Customer Relationship Management, this is somewhat related, but in this, it’s personal and it relates to Change, Relationships and Music.

ABOUT MUSIC…

“Passion for Music” probably means a lot of different things to different people, but for me, it means music is a constant in my life, and will always be, I’m rarely in silence from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep, music surrounds me and I couldn’t imagine it any other way!  That is why I refer to it as a passion of mine.  Music has an incredible power and can literally change an emotional state for us, that fact still completely amazes me!  If I think about that fact, music truly is more powerful than drugs or medication; it really is!

Here are a few links and examples of this:  Music is a source and a gift for health and wellness and used for the following, to name a few:

Military, Autism, Alzheimer’s, Correctional Facilities, Trauma, Medicine, Pain Management, Young Children, Depression, Substance Abuse

http://www.alzheimers.net/2014-07-21/why-music-boosts-brain-activity-in-dementia-patients/

http://www.musictherapy.org/research/factsheets/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/expert-answers/music-and-alzheimers/faq-20058173

Getting back to music and relationships, for me, and others I know, a certain song will bring back memories of a person, an experience or a specific time in life, just like a photograph does! Music captures the emotional state of being in that moment of our memory.  What we remember in life is our experiences and how the experience made us feel and if music is a part of someone’s life, it gets tied to music, good or bad! The same holds true for people in our memories, what we remember in life may not be the exact words spoken, but how the person made us feel.

It’s interesting how we may relate a certain genre of music, a musician, or a song to a person in our life, just because of an experience.  I am one who connects first with the melody, the rhythm, the sound, including the voice.  The music can be amazing alone, but when the right voice is paired, it becomes incredible and irreplaceable. Eventually I learn the words, but I have friends who immediately seem to pick up all the lyrics.  I connect with the message in the lyrics, but I’m usually one of the last to memorize the exact words for some reason.

ABOUT CHANGE….

Change can be uncomfortable, even when change is chosen, it happens when a person finally faces the fear of the unknown and decides facing the fear is better than remaining the same.  Change makes us grow, improve and learn, but it’s not easy.   In my experience, music helps us get through change.  Sometimes change happens without our choice, but it always seems to result in growth, self- improvement and learning if we stay positive with our outlook and thoughts during the change.

Change can be good, sometimes it forces us to do things we never thought we would be able to do. We may not know our strength, until the only choice we have is to be strong.  Change is about improvement and improvement is good!

Change is also about becoming a better person, it doesn’t matter how long we’ve been a certain way, if we don’t like that way, we can change it at any time, but it’s a decision that only we can make, no one can make that decision for us.  Because change is uncomfortable, we need to want that change more than anything because the effort to change will require commitment and isn’t easy, it’s work.  But I believe we can be anything we desire, it just takes effort; nothing lasting comes without continual effort and commitment. If we want it, work for it!

ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS…

We learn the most about relationships from experiences and observations.  And those who’ve had a lot of life experiences know more, but the key to success is applying what we know, experienced and learned to improve our relationships.

This relates to the “Never Settle” topic: if we learn something once from a bad experience, then don’t settle into that familiar place again, because if we are not making a change, we are likely going to get the same results and that is how people get stuck and stay stuck, don’t do it.

Experience also relates to recognizing good experiences and applying them.  We often become so immersed and self-absorbed in what’s happening in our lives, that we forget to be grateful for what we have and forget to show appreciation for those important to us.  That forgetfulness lowers our quality of life in relationships.  Relationships need attention and when it’s not given, the relationship suffers.  It’s important to recognize what we value in life, what means the most to us. We don’t have unlimited time, so the time we do have should be spent on what is most important: our priorities.

Relationships will always experience change and they only last if there is a reciprocal involvement, they don’t if it’s one-sided.  Let that person, who is important in your life know they are important.  Relationships are constant work, but rewarding.  If we get lazy with relationships, we can lose them.  If those who are important to us are not treated as a priority, we lose them.

CRM- Change, Relationships, Music

Pulling all these topics together, there are some good examples of people doing things right, and I personally respect them for this.  My blog since inception has been tied into Instagram, which is an interesting media, and powerful, so be careful how it’s used because it can make a difference: both good and bad as I’ve experienced.  As you know, I love music and follow some of my favorite musicians on Instagram.  I look forward to posts about upcoming events or concert details because sometimes that is the way I find out about new festivals, events, etc.  I also like seeing the journey musicians go through:  the creation, behind the scenes joking, and rising in success; Instagram is a great tool for connecting with fans.  There is also something that some do well and that is appearing authentic and inspiring.  While we all know that no one is perfect (everyone is human and imperfect), and everything is not as it appears on social media, there are a few who do something a little different and step out of the norm.  I can’t even imagine what it is like for musicians and their partners to have a long-term relationship, talk about a massive amount of work to keep it real and keep it a priority especially with all the outside influences!  But there are a few who seem to do this well, they appear genuine, know their priorities, live by them and are very inspiring people because of this.  They have a special gift – musically talented and staying true to, and publicly acknowledging, their values, especially in a culture that often glamorizes the opposite.  These are a few that stand out to me:

@lukebryan, @sammyhagar, @thomasrhettakins, @michaelraymusic, @flagaline

There is also one more on this list, who isn’t really in the music arena…yet (haha)…but if you follow him and know his very early on comedy scripts, you will know the tremendous amount of change that he has been through, a master of change and very inspiring:  @kevinhart4real

There is no time like the present to Make It Count –  create an incredible relationship this year and get out, enjoy the music!