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Posts Tagged ‘time’

Are You Ready for Your Gift of Time?

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

You are soon to be gifted with a New Year, all the time in the world. The end of the year is bittersweet. Time is up before the “To Dos” are done. That list you carefully wrote out in January of this year, of all you would accomplish, may require little editing to become your 2017 list just a few days from now. Frustrating, isn’t it?

Mary Ellen & BrianBrian Tracy has been a mentor of mine for many years, and is a recognized authority on achievement. He recommends this time of year that you list the reasons why you didn’t fully achieve the results you intended for each of the things on your list. In taking responsibility for the outcome, the culprit cited, more often than not, is Time.

Yes, you’ve heard we all have the same amount of time, but why do we think it’s never enough? The answer is in the way you think about time. To get you started with some more effective thinking, just in time for 2017, Brian Tracy is sharing the first chapter from this latest book, “Master Your Time, Master Your Life.”

You can get it here now.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a totally new list and look forward to accomplishing it all in the New Year? Don’t waste another minute. Be the Master of your time. You’ll be glad you did.

No Resolutions this New Year

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

You’re off the hook. No New Years resolutions are required this year. Resolutions, no matter how well your intention, don’t work. They’re too big, don’t feel natural and sometimes daunting. There is a much more effective way to begin your new year, one that guarantees success.

surprised babyIt’s called a Habit. Now before you run through a litany of excuses, think of all the bad habits developed over your life time that have been impossible to kick.

Biting your nails.

Being late.

Embellishing the truth.

That just shows you that habits, once adopted do not just go away.

What about the good habits? At some point in your life a parent drilled into you the habit of brushing your teeth every day. Now you naturally perform that habit without thinking.

After being embarrassed by a college roommate when I hadn’t shaved my legs in a week, I decided to make shaving my legs every day a habit. That simple action became and still is part of my daily grooming ritual. It makes me feel better about myself.

So back to this New Year. There may be something in your mind. You know, if you did it every day, your life would improve. But how, in your busy day, do you fit in one more thing?

The secret to creating a new, positive habit is to assign it a time slot.

The easiest way to find time is to link the action to a habit you already have.

Say you want to read an inspirational or self help book this year. No time as you rush through your morning- or is there? Prop a book up in your bathroom and read a few lines as you brush your teeth. Totally painless because you’re standing there, thinking about something anyway. Your day will undoubtedly be more pleasant.

You may have thought of resolving this year to be a better conversationalist, or to meet new people. No time to join a club or church. Instead make a habit of speaking to everyone you see, in the elevator or passing on the street. Just a hello or small talk is enough to stretch your social boundaries. It will also make the recipient of your gesture feel better about themselves. No telling where this could lead.

What else would you like to do in the New Year? Be more grateful? Add that to your nighttime ritual, just before you turn out the lights. Jot down a note to someone you appreciate- just a line or two will do. That simple habit will release endorphin into your system and you will sleep peacefully. And imagine the smile on their face when they open the mail box.

Our habits create our life.  Only you create your habits.


“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act, but a habit.”  Aristotle

How Soon We Forget

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

Oak Trees In the Snow at DawnAs the January thaw visited many parts of the country this past week, we are reminded how nature has the power to delight us. The rise in temperature, the rays of sunshine, restore our faith that winter's bleakness is not forever. As if to say, it's only temporary, glimpses of green peak through the thinning blanket of white covering the landscape.

Yet, a drop of a few degrees, jogs the memory and brings a shiver to the body. Oh yes, it's still January. The moisture on the bare tree limbs is transformed to sparkling frost. This month of new beginnings is not half over so there's plenty of time to forge your path through snow or not, into 2013.

Revisiting my intention for the new year, I prefer intention to resolution, I'm eager to assess, how am I doing?

I've learned that unless an intention, a goal, or even a good idea is kept in the forefront of your mind, it tends to disappear into the trivialities of life. It's only been a couple weeks. Hmmm. How soon we forget. Now what was that intention? Oh yes…

Let's live a fun and fulfilling life.

What has been fun so far this year?

I'm happy to say I have added more fun to my daily routine this new year. Spending time with friends, going to an amazing play, trying a new restaurant, making travel plans, beginning a book I've wanted to read. To me, all fun activities.

Yet without a conscious effort to make time for pleasurable pursuits, I have, in the past, let many opportunities pass me by.

I'm too busy.

Something else is more important.

Maybe next time.

You know what? You always have time for fun. You need to make time for fun. Fun is the magic elixir that takes care of the other half of my new intention.

Have I felt fulfilled by my life?

What feels most fulfilling to me is making connections with people who remind me of my purpose in this life. To make your life more enjoyable. If you're reading this, I hope I've done that for you because, if I'm true to myself, I am fulfilled.

How are you doing on your resolution or intention or your wish for this new year? Remember what it is. Hold it often in your mind and in your heart.

Let's have a fun and fulfilling life!


"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget that you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
Maya Angelou

A Week of Progress

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Doesn't seem like only a week ago, we were toasting the New Year and, with bright eyes, we were looking forward to the new possibilities for 2013. How's that going for you?

woman on dockOther than writing last year's date, have you released all that held you back, the doubts, the "what ifs," the can't be done attitude you repeatedly retreated to when confronted by a new idea?

Or is this first week of the new year a continuum of last year's excuses?

If I only had more time.

If I didn't have these other responsibilities.

The flip of the calendar page means nothing if you're not ready to turn the page and begin the next chapter of your life. 

Taking the lessons learned in the previous twelve months, garnering the best advice, and listening to the still small voice inside yourself, your new year will take you far beyond the last. For many years I have followed this significant tradition.

On New Year' Day, I excitedly open my new planner and record the pertinent information from my last planner. Birthdays, anniversaries, and other dates to remember are filled in, along with appointments and schedules committed to in the future.

I then review the notes I made in the previous year; ideas, observations and goals.

Are they still relevant?

What was accomplished?

What needs more attention this year?

This January ritual is helpful to organize the coming year. Yet it is also an exercise is congratulating myself for what I have done and how I have progressed over the past year.

I am eager to fill in the new pages with my plans and to document each day's accomplishments. Acknowledge all that gets you where you are today.

Remember this New Year is only days old. The dawn is still barely lighting your morning sky. Be kind to yourself and begin today to plan your life this year.

This calls for something new. Be new.

"Life stands before me like an eternal spring with new and brilliant clothes."
Carl Friedrich Gauss

Fourth Floor Release

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Riding down the elevator on New Year's Day, the elevator stopped at the fourth floor. A casually dressed man got on, carrying a laundry hamper. I assumed he was on his way to a laundromat on his day off, even though the building is equipped with laundry facilities.

Abstract compositionWhen I mentioned that possibility, he said no. He and his wife were separating and he was taking his clothes and moving out. Oh. What a way to begin a new year.

Yet there is no better time to let go of what is not working in your life. January is a time of new beginnings and necessarily ending of the old to make room for new possibilities. Once ended, it makes no sense to revisit the past and hold on to what was.

Release is the natural progress that January requires of life. This month is new and translucent like early morning frost on the window. The way is not clear, yet the intricate patterns of possibility are mesmerizing. And shining through, lighting your way is the soft color of the dawn. Yes, you're facing the right way, forward.


"An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves."
Bill Vaughan

If I Had Time

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

If I had time, I'd waste it. That was the message I saw on a T-shirt.  At first glance, it's funny.   Ha-ha funny. But then I thought about it and realized that funny is very often the statement of truth. No wonder comedians are able to tickle our funny bones by reminding us of how we act everyday. 

An extra hour in the day or an additional day in each week, how would I spend that precious time? 

Time is always a marvelous excuse to use when we don't really want to do something. Rather than saying, "I would rather eat nails than go to your dreadful party,"  we reply with a smile, "I'd love to go, but I just don't have the time." We can say that quite honestly. Our justification is- there are just so many hours in the day and too many other things are more important than you. 

Time is like a reservoir, a wide open chasm, vast and empty. We decide every morning how to fill the space. As we layer our day, in goes the urgent right along side the unnecessary. The doctor's appointment, the web surfing, the grocery shopping, social media updates, and oh yes, the job. It's all got to fit. And if every moment of time isn't quite full, our tasks expand to fill the time.

Like the Myth of Sisyphus, we roll the rock up the hill each day, each revolution an hour. When we get to the top of the hill, the end of the day, the rock rolls back down again. Tomorrow is another exhausting day.

Are we destined to never have enough time? I could use this time to discuss all the options for better time management and setting priorities, but for now, I've got something even better for you.

Good news! This weekend is your opportunity to grab that extra hour you're longing for. Turn back the clock and get all those pressing things done in that golden hour. I've already started to make my list (in no particular order). 

Discover the cure for cancer.

Count the grains of sand on the beach.


Now you finally have the time- will you waste it?


"Time is the coin of life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you." Carl Sandburg

What a Waste of Time

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

We are blessed with the freedom to make decisions every day that affect the outcome of our lives. But do you ever get tired of making so many decisions in a day?

What are you having for lunch?

What movie do you want to see?

What color car to buy?

What color shirt to wear?

Trivial decisions. You wonder if it matters. Toss a coin to make it easy.

You could leave many choices to the luck of the toss, or you could have a fool proof system in place. Decide once and you simplify your life forever. It's an easy solution to the time wasting problem of making decisions.

The following is excerpted from a Vanity Fair article titled "Obama's Way." The President describes the reasoning behind his wardrobe choices.

“You need to remove from your life the day-to-day problems that absorb most people for meaningful parts of their day. “You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits,” he said. “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”

He mentioned research that shows the simple act of making decisions degrades one’s ability to make further decisions. It’s why shopping is so exhausting. “You need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinize yourself. You can’t be going through the day distracted by trivia.”


"Great, a system," you think, "but how do I know which colors to pick the first time? What if I make the wrong decision?"

Finding your best colors is all about recognizing your best self when you see it. You probably have a favorite dress or a lucky jacket. You get compliments when you wear it. Your self esteem soars. You feel invincible.

You're on to something- a color that looks good on you and makes you feel great. Make the decision to wear more of that color. Create your signature color that makes you memorable. 

Know what you like, wear what looks good on you. Never be indecisive again.

Even if you're not the President, why waste your time deciding day after day what colors to buy, what colors you should wear? Learn what works for you, follow your system, and have time to focus on being Commander-in-Chief of your world.

Find out more.


"I think that when you get dressed in the morning, sometimes you're really making a decision about your behavior for the day. Like if you put on flipflops, you're saying: 'Hope I don't get chased today.' 'Be nice to people in sneakers.' "
Demetri Martin

Tell Me What You See

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

It's probably no coincidence I'm drawn to live in places with remarkable sunsets. For twenty five years it was the western sunset view across Lake Michigan. Now, I witness the nightly sunset celebration at the convergence of the Atlantic Ocean and the Florida Gulf in Key West. It's a sight that always captivates me.

This week, revisiting the "million dollar sunset" on Little Traverse Bay, I added another photo to my collection of sunset portraits. I didn't notice at the time I snapped the photo a phenomena in the sky that was also captured.

Take a look.

What do you see?

Is it a reflection? An apparition? A peek in to the heavens? The shape shows up in a series of photos, and seems to move across the sky, getting smaller and disappearing before the sun sank below the waterline. 

I believe what I saw was Wonderment. Something that appears to all of us yet we seldom take time to see it. Or appreciate it. Or share it. 

Now you have seen it, too!

Tell Me More

Mary Ellen Lapp reveals how the colors we wear, and the colors that surround us, even the color of the car we drive, impact out self image and affects how we are seen by the people around us.

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