Tag Archives: Change

Daily Opportunities to Live My Gratitude

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By Ryan Skinner

I had the wonderful opportunity this week to travel to Aruba for a vacation with my fiancée and future stepchildren. One evening, while sitting alone on the balcony of our room, gazing out in awe at the beautiful landscape and feeling warmed the balmy breezes, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of gratitude. I’m blessed with so many things – family and friends who love me, opportunities to meet and work with amazing people and the daily opportunity to express how grateful I am to God for giving this recovering addict a second chance at life. I’ve been in very dark places and know that my story could have ended differently. But this night in Aruba, like all of the days since I made the commitment to be clean and sober, offered another moment to reflect on the reality that if you do the right things, hang in there and choose to live God’s way, all of those blessings are possible.

Since I renewed my commitment to God and a life of meaning and purpose dedicated to helping others both professionally and personally, I’ve developed daily prayer, meditation and journaling rituals that help me get into the right spiritual mindset. I’ve been doing this ever since I got sober. I wake up by 6 a.m. at the latest and spend 30 minutes on a combination of praying (sometimes on my knees on a clean floor, but sometimes even at my kitchen counter having my morning coffee) and doing affirmation readings from books of positive quotes and writings that inspire me to live that day and be present. I spend a lot of time on gratitude. Whether it’s dark or light, I always light a candle. It’s just my way of bringing spirituality into the moment and connecting with God. My morning journaling is simple, just writing thank you to God for another day He has granted me. Continue reading

Save Money With Tips From The TV

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Keeping track of personal finances and establishing responsible money-management habits is never easy. Just the thought of creating a budget or learning about financial planning makes some people’s heads spin, making it difficult to move forward onto bigger and better experiences in the future.

There are plenty of books and websites out there with helpful tips and tricks, but with television still being the second-biggest time commitment in the lives of everyday Americans, it’s there we turn our attention to today. Here are just a few great programs that give viewers practical advice and information to improve their financial well-being: Continue reading

Determined to Keep Your 2016 New Year’s Resolutions? Here’s How.

New Year's Resolution TipsI love making New Year’s resolutions. Yes, January 1 might be an arbitrary date, but I think it’s good that we all have a cue to ask ourselves, “What would I like to change about my life? How could it be better than before?”

Most of us have a list of things we’d like to do better — and very often, those things involve habits. Exercise, sleep, fun, eating, relaxing, and so on.

In my book Better Than Before, I list all twenty-one strategies that we can use to make or break the habits that shape our lives. All the strategies are powerful and effective, but some are more universal than others. Here are some of the most popular ones, to start you thinking.

Continue reading

From Intent.com: Swaying in the Wind

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Wind. The powerful and invisible force that comes and goes whenever and wherever it wants. It shows up in your life and it shakes things up. Sometimes it’s a welcome break from the heat and sometimes it’s the disruption that whips around us, stopping conversations and carrying on. It can be wonderful and it can mean destruction. Continue reading

Getting started, again

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We started off the year with high hopes.

We were going to find love!
Start new jobs!
Let go of old hurts!

Now that it’s March, it’s time to do an evaluation.
Are you any closer? Are you have the sort of realistic conversations with yourself that are going to stop you from repeating the same old, same old? Or are you still back in 2013?

I hope as you’re reading this that you are thinking back on the short time since the turning of the year and you’re already proud of how far you’ve come, but in case you aren’t, here are some ideas to help you get back on track.

1. Time to affirm your intent. Remember the feeling and place you were in to make you set a big intent in the first place? Maybe you were worn out. Maybe you were on fire with the passion of a new idea. Even if you’re not in the same place you were when you originally made you’re intent, affirming it means you’re still saying “yes!” to that idea. Regardless of where you are today, you are just as committed to your dream.

2. Set visual reminders. I’m not above taking a page out of a teen girl’s book and leaving decorating my walls with reminders. Whether that’s notes on the bathroom mirror or refrigerator to remind myself of a new mindset or empty boxes in my bedroom to remind me to finally purge my closet of all the things I don’t need, a visual reminder is a tangible shift from seeing things the way they’ve always been.

3. Make an appointment with yourself. A boss I had taught me how invaluable it can be to make appointments with yourself, especially living in our fast-paced culture. You have someone asking you to get coffee (not necessarily a bad thing) and so you look down at your calendar and find an open place. If you’re like me, this might happen half a dozen times in a week and so you keep filling up the open places in your calendar with meaningful conversations and meetings. But then you arrive at the end of the week and realize you’ve left no time for your own plans or progress. Before you make it to Monday, sit down and find a block of time that can be added to your calendar that is reserved for the tasks that are hanging over your head. Writing? Organizing? Going to the gym? Sometimes it feels selfish to save time for you, but you would never tell a friend that making their own positive progress was selfish, so why is it for you?

So where are you getting started?
It’s possible you don’t feel progress being made because you never set an intention to begin with.
Check out this Year of Intent intention made my Mallika Chopra:

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Since originally posting about her new book, Mallika has been updating, affirming and responding to the comments left by other users. It keeps her motivated and, most importantly, focused on accomplishing a satisfying task- her newest book.

If it’s March and you lasted a good week on your resolutions and intentions, that’s fine. We’re here to get you started again.
So, again, I’ll ask where are you getting started?
What’s it going to take to get going?

Interested in checking out other Year of Intent goals? Check them out here.
Then set your own at Intent.com!

From Intent.com: Time to follow through

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You buy a brand new television and keep it in the box in your garage.
You buy plane tickets for a vacation to Bali and then never pack or go to the airport.
You get engaged and then married to a person you don’t even really like.

If you did any of those things, my hope is that the people in your life would say “hey, what’s up?” They’re trite examples, I get it, but we do it all the time with our own lives.

Everyday people are posting their intentions on Intent.com.
People are wanting support as they embark on new business ventures, lifestyle choices, or general adventures.
You can intend to change your eating habits.
You can intend to ignore fear.
You can intend to make a fresh start.
But what happens the moment after you make an intention?

Don’t ignore the other half of setting an intention which is seeing it come to fruition. What is the point of spending money on plane tickets to Bali if you never plan on getting on a plane to begin with? What is the point of wanting to conquer fear if the moment you voice that desire, you immediately forget it? Our hope is to see people empowered to live the lives they dream of. If you want to conquer fear, then our hope is that you absolutely will.

So, check this out.

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Mallika posted an intention about committing to her health.
Awesome.
But now what?

Does she go back to ordering fast food? Does she stay up late and wake up early?
Instead, she came back and affirmed her choice. She reminded herself of her goal.
She found support and advice from other users left as comments.
She updated us on her progress. Now, I say it was for us, but honestly, it’s just as much for her. It’s written on the stones of time (or just the internet) and she can keep moving forward while being able to see how far she’s come.

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So if you haven’t been yet, it’s time to be serious about taking the TV out of the box.
You’re breathing, so you have everything you need to get the process started.

There’s no promise it won’t be hard work.
There’s no promise it won’t mean going against your instincts for self preservation or that you won’t have to cut things out of your life, a pruning of sorts. But what is more worthwhile?

My mom always says “the time is going to pass no matter what.”
Sometimes we don’t take on challenges because it’ll take forever.
We don’t want to go back to school. We don’t want to get back in the gym.
Purely because the results will be a long way off, we don’t start.
But the time is going to pass no matter what.
Whether it’s 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years, wouldn’t you rather be on the other side of it a little (if not a lot) closer to where you dreamed?

It’s Monday, to day is a good day to follow through.

From Intent.com: Beautiful Things Out of Dust

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There’s a really wonderful song by a group called Gungor.
The chorus says:

“You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust.
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us.”

There’s so much hope in those lyrics. There’s something about knowing that growth can happen out of dust. It means it’s not too late. That in whatever destruction our lives have seen, there is still space for something beautiful to grow out of it.

It’s no surprise that around the end of the year, so many people are reflecting on where they’ve been and where they’d like to go.

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Being different takes time and bravery.
Sometimes your growing things out of dust and sometimes it feels like you’re getting nowhere, but if you plant the seeds, you’re further ahead than you might think. Because hope has a way of springing up.

So what would you like to see change in your life?
What have you been waiting on?
What would you hope to be at this time next year?

“All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You.”
-“Beautiful Things”, Gungor

From Intent.com: Why Wait

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So the month of December is officially the month of “Why Wait” here at Intent.

In our newsletter last week, we wrote that there is nothing special about January 1.

Nothing magical will happen to you at the stroke of midnight of 2014 that will magically give you the empowerment or will power you never felt like you had in 2013. If you want to make a change, if you want to take a step out courageously, then there’s no need to wait for January 1. You can and should do that today!

Needing some inspiration?
Here are some of Intent users that could use our support:

So here are some questions to ask yourself-

1. If you could have any life, no limits, what would it look like?
In the brainstorming process for ANYTHING, it’s important to let yourself imagine everything as a possibility- large or small. Don’t try and edit yourself while in the brainstorming process. It only slows you down. Instead let yourself think outlandishly. Imagine yourself as an astronaut. Imagine yourself only needing to sleep 3 hours a day. Whatever life you could dream of, give yourself unlimited freedom for a short amount of time to really push the limits in picturing it.

2. What has to come? What has to go?
After you decide whether or not it’s practical (ie- “I want to be Harry Potter. Like, real Harry Potter. I want a magic wand and an archnemesis with no nose), then ask yourself what things would have to enter your life to make it a reality. Are you willing to make the sacrifices necessary to make some of those things realities? If so, move forward. If not, cross those things off the list. The things you’re passionate about are going to be worth your time and energy. By the same token, some things are going to have to go. You’ve always wanted to paint, but your evening are filled up with every activity but that. If you love those other activities, that is one thing. That might require you use a little bit of calendar rotation. But, if your calendar is filled up with things that you are less than jazzed about, start taking steps to pull back and slowly phase out of them. How do you know which things you don’t love? They’re normally the things that make you say “Tonight I have [insert activity]. UGH.”

3. Set some big goals.
In the past I’ve talked about how we give ourselves small goals so we don’t fail. You want to get in shape so you set a goal of going to the gym once a week. That’s not bad, right? You’re currently going to the gym zero times a week, so that’s 100% improvement, right? Wrong. What happens when the day you picked gets slammed with a last minute meeting? What happens if you get sick that day? I say, with life changing goals, aim high. Say you’re going to the gym 5 times a week. If you end up missing one or two or three of those days, you’re still getting greater motivation to get up and out the door. You’re still going to see results of 3 days working out versus just 1. And I say that’s worth the effort.

So what are you waiting on?
What is the life you’re dreaming of?
Why wait?

Stop Being Afraid of Change and Go with the Flow

Screen shot 2013-11-19 at 12.38.35 PMWhy is it that change gets some of us so worked up?

My mantra to my son is “change is good for me.”

I guess it’s the fear of the unknown that creates fear in us, the what if’s, I don’t know how to, what if they don’t like it/me, what if I’m not good enough?

Whether we are changing jobs, countries, homes, new schools or simply a new brand of pasta, it is still change. Some of us face it head on and others take the longest route via procrastination to get there because change can be a scary thing!

Even though I have moved countries a few times, I am still faced with that familiar pang in the inner recesses of my solar plexus! How will I find my way along that new road, what if I get lost, I don’t know how to speak that language, I feel exhausted just thinking about how my brain picks and re-picks at the same saga. At these times I try to remember Louise L Hay’s words; “It is only a thought and a thought can be changed”.

I have had to learn to face it more truthfully since having children. If I tell them “change is good for me, well then I better demonstrate it myself! Children in themselves bring remarkable change to us and in doing so teach us to observe ourselves more authentically and with more awareness. I have come to understand that it is just my fear that holds me back. One of my most well etched memories of “practicing what I preach” was at a library where they had a conservationist bring harmless snakes for the kids to see and touch. I told my son who was afraid of the snakes, “the snake won’t bite it’s a harmless brown house snake”. I then had to put my fears aside and hold the snake so that he could see that it wouldn’t bite me. So I did, and overcame my fear of them too. I have to say that some fears are easier to overcome than others and it differs from person to person.

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.” Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym.

The easiest way to embrace the mantra “change is good for me” is to let go of your fears and your inhibitions and go with the flow of where life takes you. We have to start trusting ourselves, although it might seem difficult, trust is all about surrendering. You might find that when we are not trying to control every aspect of our lives, we invite opportunity, interesting experiences and change happens almost seamlessly, it’s as though we begin to see things more clearly, differently with less trepidation. I have come to understand that when I coined the mantra to help my son it not only served him, but it taught me to go with the flow too.

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