Friday, December 30, 2011

Five Question Friday #27

1. What's the oldest piece of clothing in your closet?
Probably my t-shirt signed by Trace Adkins and his band.

2. How many random blog readers have you met?
Personally, I haven't met any. Maybe one day I can meet a few.

3. Do you let your kids stay up till midnight on New Years Eve? (Or, if you don't have kiddos yet, did you get to stay up until midnight as a child?)
As a child, I usually got to stay up until midnight. That is, if I could make it. We always watched the Dick Clark's New Year's Celebration. 

4. What are the gas prices where you live?
Gas at our local NEX is $3.15.

5. What is one resolution that you know you should do but are too afraid to try?
Hmm... I can't think of one. I know that I am going to work on taking a picture a day of Lyric and going to post it to my blog and write about it and try to loose ten pounds.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fill In Blank Friday #28

1.   New Years is a great excuse for a fresh start.

2.   One of my New Year's resolutions will be to lose at least 10 pounds. Blog everyday!.

3.  A New Year's resolution I've made in the past was to wear more sweaters, and I have worn them more than I ever have.

4. The most time consuming resolution I ever made was  I couldn't tell you, because I can't remember.

5.  This year I will be spending New Year's Eve most likely doing nothing besides watch the New Year's celebrations on t.v, take pictures of Lyric and chill with Chris.

6.  If I could wish one thing for my new year it would be to take a picture of Lyric every day and to blog everyday and upload at least one picture of Lyric to my blog as well.

7.  2012 is going to be filled with laughs, learning, and love.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

We Want To Know #30


{1} What was the best part of 2011?

The best part of 2011 was watching Lyric grow up to being a gorgeous little girl and me and Chris celebrating our first anniversary.
{2} What do you look forward to in 2012?
What I look forward to the most is to continue to watch Lyric to continue to grow and many laughs and smiles.
{3} Do you actually keep your New Year resolutions?
I try to but, they don't usually last the first few months. But this year, I plan to. 
{4} What are your top 3 resolutions for the new year?
To take at least one picture a day of Lyric and blogging about it on my blog
To loose at least ten pounds
To go for a walk at least three times a week before we call it a night
{5} Do you have any fun new years traditions or plans?
With it being our first New Years as a family, we haven't got any traditions yet. 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

30 Challenges for 30 Days of Growth

30 Challenges for 30 Days of Growth
We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.
- Aristotle
Scientists have suggested that, with a little willpower, it takes roughly 30 days for a person to form a new habit.  As with mastering anything new, the act of starting and getting beyond the preliminary stage where everything feels awkward is 80% of the battle.  This is precisely why it’s important to make small, positive changes every day over the course of at least a 30 day period.
It’s like the old saying:  “How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.”  The same philosophy holds true for making changes in your life.  Trying to bite off more than you can chew will only make you choke.  But taking smaller, manageable bites, one at a time – eating a little healthier, exercising a little, creating some simple productive habits, for example – is an amazing way to make positive changes and get excited about life.
And when you start small like this, you won’t need a lot of motivation either.  The simple act of getting started and doing something will give you the momentum you need, and soon you’ll find yourself in a positive spiral of changes – one building on the other.  When I started doing this in my life, I was so excited about it that I started this blog to share it with the world.
Below you will find 30 challenges to be accomplished over the course of 30 days.  If carried out diligently each of them has the potential to create a new positive habit in your life.  Yes, there is some slight overlap between a few of them.  And no, you don’t have to attempt all at once.  Pick 2 to 5 and commit the next 30 days, wholeheartedly, to successfully completing the challenge.  Then once you feel comfortable with these habits, challenge yourself with a few more the following month.
  1. Use words that encourage happiness. – Typically, when I ask someone “How are you?” they reply, “I’m fine” or “I’m okay.”  But one lazy Monday afternoon last month a new colleague of mine replied, “Oh, I am fabulous!”  It made me smile, so I asked him what was making him feel so fabulous and he said, “I’m healthy, my family is healthy, and we live in a free country.  So I don’t have any reason not to be happy.”  The difference was simply his attitude and his choice of words.  He wasn’t necessarily any better off than anyone else, but he seemed twenty times happier.  Spend the next 30 days using words thatencourage a smile.
  2. Try one new thing every day. – Variety truly is the spice of life.  You can see or do something a million times, but you can only see or do it for the first time once.  As a result, first time experiences often leave reflective marks in our minds for the rest of our lives.  Make an effort to try something new every day for the next 30 days.  It can be a whole new activity or just a small experience, such as talking to a stranger.  Once you get the ball rolling many of these new experiences will open doors to life changing opportunities.
  3. Perform one selfless act every day. – In life, you get what you put in.  When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life.  Do something that’s greater than you, something that helps someone else be happy or suffer less.  I promise, it will be an extremely rewarding experience.  One you’ll likely remember forever.  Obviously your options here are limitless, but if you’re looking to assist an ordinary person in need without leaving your chair, check out GoFundMe.
  4. Learn and practice one new skill every day. – Self-reliance is a vital key to living a healthy, productive life.  To be self-reliant one must master a basic set of skills, more or less making them a jack of all trades.  Contrary to what you may have learned in school, a jack of all trades is far more equipped to deal with life than a specialized master of only one.  And besides, learning new skills is fun.  Check out this articlethis article, and this book.
  5. Teach someone something new every day. – We all have natural strengths and talents that can dramatically help those around us.  What comes easy for you is no doubt challenging for others.  We tend to take these gifts for granted, often hardly noticing what we have to offer, and thus we rarely share them with others.  Inner happiness and zeal come from using these inherent gifts on a routine basis.  What do people thank you for?  What do people routinely ask for your help with?  Most people’s passions and talents help others in one way or another.  Perhaps for you it’s painting, teaching math, cooking a good meal or leading an exercise class.  For the next 30 days devote some time each day to sharing your talents and expertise.
  6. Dedicate an hour a day to something you’re passionate about. – Take part in something you passionately believe in.  This could be anything.  Some people take an active role in their city council, some find refuge in religious faith, some join social clubs supporting causes they believe in and others find passion in their hobbies.  In each case the psychological outcome is the same.  They engage themselves in something they strongly believe in.  This engagement brings happiness and meaning into their lives.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.
  7. Treat everyone nicely, even those who are rude to you. – Being nice to someone you dislike doesn’t mean you’re fake.  It means you’re mature enough to control your emotions.  Treat everyone with kindness and respect, even those who are rude to you – not because they’re nice, but because you are.  Do this for 30 days and I guarantee you’ll see the rudeness around you dissipate.
  8. Concentrate on being positive at all times. – The real winners in life cultivate optimism.  They have the ability to manufacture their own happiness and drive.  No matter what the situation, the successful diva is the chick who will always find a way to put an optimistic spin on it.  She knows failure only as an opportunity to grow and learn a new lesson from life.  People who think optimistically see the world as a place packed with endless opportunities, especially in trying times.  Try to spend the next 30 days looking at the bright side of things.
  9. Address and acknowledge the lesson in inconvenient situations. – It’s important to remember that everything is a life lesson.  Everyone you meet, everything you encounter, etc.  They’re all part of the learning experience we call ‘life.’  Never forget to acknowledge the lesson, especially when things don’t go your way.  If you don’t get a job you wanted or a relationship doesn’t work, it only means something better is out there waiting.  And the lesson you just learned is the first step toward it.  Over the next 30 days keep a written log of all the lessons life taught you.
  10. Pay attention and enjoy your life as it happens. – When I watched the Academy Awards a few months ago I realized that most of the speeches actors and actresses make when they accept an award go something like this:  “This means so much so me.  My whole life has been leading up to this moment.”  But the truth is, our whole lives have been leading up to every moment.  Think about that for a second.  Every single thing you’ve gone through in life, every high, every low and everything in between, it has led you to this moment right now.  Ask yourself this:  How much of life are you actually living?  If you’re like most people, the answer is likely:  “Not enough.”  The key is to concentrate on a little less on doing and a little more on being.  Remember, right now is the only moment guaranteed to you.  Right now is life.  Spend the next 30 days living in the now, for real.
  11. Get rid of one thing a day for 30 days. – We have so much clutter surrounding us at any given moment (at the office, in our cars, in our homes) and we’ve become so accustomed to it that we no longer notice how it affects us.  If you start cleaning up some of this external clutter, a lot of internal clutter will disappear as well.  Choose one needless item each and every day and get rid of it.  It’s that simple.  It might be difficult at first, so expect some resistance.  But after some time you will begin to learn to let go of your packrat tendencies, and your mind will thank you for your efforts.
  12. Create something brand new in 30 days or less. – Creation is a process like none other.  Putting to use your innovative faculties and constructing something with your own two hands will leave you with an indescribable sense of wholeness.  There is no substitute for it.  The only caveat is that it must be related to something you actually care about.  If you are creating financial plans for clients all day and you hate it, that doesn’t really count.  But if you can find something you love, and create something related to it, it will make all the difference in your life.  If you haven’t created something in a while just for the sake of creating, do so.  Take the next 30 days and let your creativity run wild.
  13. Don’t tell a single lie for 30 days. – With all the seemingly innocent, white lies that trickle out of us, this is way harder than it sounds.  But you can do it.  Stop deceiving yourself and others, speak from the heart, speak the whole truth.
  14. Wake up 30 minutes early every morning. – Get up 30 minutes earlier than usual so you don’t have to rush around like a mad man.  That 30 minutes will help you avoid speeding tickets, tardiness and other unnecessary headaches.  Give it a legitimate try for 30 days straight and see how it impacts your life.
  15. Ditch 3 bad habits for 30 days. – Do you eat too much fast food?  Do you play too many video games?  Do you argue with your siblings?  You know some of your bad habits.  Pick 3 and quit doing them for 30 days.  Period.
  16. Watch less than 30 minutes of TV every day. – Entertain yourself with real-world experiences.  Great memories are the product of interesting life experiences.  So turn off the television (or the computer if that’s how you watch your TV programs) and get outdoors.  Interact with the world, appreciate nature, take notice of the simple pleasures life has to offer, and just watch as life unfolds in front of you.
  17. Define one long-term goal and work on it for an hour every day. – Break your goal down into bite-sized pieces and focus on achieving each one piece at a time.  It really is all about taking baby steps, and taking the first step is often the hardest.  Spend an hour every day for the next 30 days working toward something you’ve always wanted to accomplish.  Take a small dream and make it a reality.  Read Getting Things Done.
  18. Read one chapter of a good book every day. – With the Web’s endless stream of informative, easy-to-skim textual snippets and collaborative written works, people are spending more and more time reading online.  Nevertheless, the Web cannot replace the authoritative wisdom from certain classic books that have delivered (or will deliver) profound ideas around the globe for generations.  Books open doors, in your mind and in your life.  Read an online book list and find a good book to grab at the library today.  Then spend the next 30 days reading at least one chapter a day until you reach the end.  Here’s another book list.  And another.  And another.
  19. Every morning, watch or read something that inspires you. – Sometimes all you need is a little pep talk.  For the next 30 days, before you eat breakfast, or leave the house, watch a motivational video or read something (quotationblog postshort story, etc.) that inspires you.
  20. Do something every day after lunch that makes you laugh. – Watch a funny video clip on YouTube, read your favorite comic strip, or find a good joke online.  A good chuckle stimulates the mind and can give you a renewed level on energy.  The best time for this laugh is during the lull in the mid-afternoon, when you need it most.
  21. Go alcohol and drug free for 30 days. – This challenge depends on your individual circumstance.  If you are a heavy user of alcohol or a particular drug it is not recommended that you quit cold turkey.  You need to see a physician and ease off of the substance slowly.  But if you are a casual user, quit right now for 30 days.  If you’re looking for a natural energy boosting alternative to a substance, check out 50 Natural Ways To Boost Your Energy.
  22. Exercise for 30 minutes every day for 30 days. – Your health is your life.  Don’t let it go.  Eat right, exercise and get an annual physical check-up.  The 4-Hour Body is an insightful and entertaining read on this topic.
  23. Get uncomfortable and face a fear every day. – With a strategy of continuous small steps into uncomfortable territory we are often able to sidestep the biggest barrier to positive change:  Fear.  Sometimes we’re afraid we’ll fail.  Sometimes we’re subconsciously afraid we’ll succeed and then we’d have to deal with all the disruption (growth) and change that follows success.  And other times it’s our fear of rejection or simply our fear of looking like a fool.  The best way to defeat fear is to stare it down.  Connect to your fear, feel it in your body, realize it and steadily address it. Greet it by name if you have to: “Welcome, fear.”  Fear can be a guiding friend if you learn how to swallow it, and listen to it only when it serves its true purpose of warning you when you are in danger.  Spend an hour every day for the next 30 day’s addressing a fear that is holding you back.
  24. Cook one brand new, healthy recipe every day. – Cooking is fun, challenges your mind, and if done correctly, provides vital nutrients to your body.  Win-Win-Win.  How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman is great tool for this challenge.  Packed with 900 pages of simple instructions on how to cook everything you could ever dream of eating, it’s pretty much the greatest cookbook ever written.  Prepare one new, healthy recipe every day for the next 30 days.
  25. Spend 10 minutes every evening reflecting on what went well. – For the next 30 days spend 10 minutes every evening pondering the small successes that occurred during the course of the day.  This process of positive reflection will remind you of all the tiny blessings in your life, and help you to celebrate your personal growth.
  26. Have a conversation every day with someone you rarely speak to. – People are interesting creatures, and no two people are exactly alike.  Interacting with different people will open your mind to fascinating ideas and perspectives.  So for the next 30 days strike up a conversation daily with someone you rarely speak to, or someone you’ve never met before.  Find out what makes them tick.
  27. Pay down debt and don’t create any new debt for 30 days. – Live well below your means.  Don’t buy stuff you don’t need.  Sleep on big purchases.  Create a budget and savings plan and stick to them.  For the next 30 days pay for things in cash and micro-manage every cent you make and spend.  Read I Will Teach You To Be Rich.
  28. Let go of one relationship that constantly hurts you. – Keep people in your life who truly love you, motivate you, encourage you, enhance you, and make you happy.  If you know people who do none of these things, let them go and make room for new positive relationships.  Over the next 30 days, if relevant to your situation, gradually let go of one person in your life who has been continuously hurting you and holding you back.
  29. Publicly forgive someone who deserves another chance. – Sometimes good relationships end abruptly because of big egos and arguments based on isolated incidents.  If there’s someone in your life who truly deserves another chance, give it to them.  If you need to apologize too, do it.  Over the next 30 days give your story together a new chapter.
  30. Document every day with one photograph and one paragraph. – For 30 days bring a camera with you wherever you go.  Do your best to take one photograph that represents a standout experience from each day.  Then, before you go to bed each night, write one paragraph in a notebook or journal that highlights your day.  If do it all digitally you can unite your daily photograph and paragraph in one digital space (like a personal blog), which can be easily reviewed in the future.  Many moons from now these old photos and journal entries will ignite your recollection of interesting memories you would have otherwise forgotten.
As you progress through these challenges remember, personal growth is a slow, steady process.  It can’t be rushed.  You need to work on it gradually every day.  There is ample time for you to be who you want to be in life.  Don’t settle for less than what you think you deserve, or less than you know you can be.  Despite the struggles you’ll face along the way, never give up on yourself.  You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and twice as capable as you have ever imagined.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fill In Blank Friday #27

1.   The best way to spread Christmas cheer is greet strangers with a "happy holiday's or whatever".

2.   The thing I love most about Christmas is just getting to spend time with family. It's relaxed and not rushed and I love the cozy feel that comes along with Christmas.

3.  The holiday season is a time for counting your blessings and spending time with family .

4. My favorite thing to eat at the holidays is    punch bowl cake! If you haven't had it you are truly missing out!

5.  I will be spending Christmas with Chris, Lyric, and Tara.

6.  Tis better to (give or receive?) give. I love gift giving and finding the perfect gift for that perfect someone. Although...I love receiving gifts as well :).

7.  I'm dreaming of a peaceful and relaxing Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

We Want To Know #29


list 5 things...

they can be

A. What you want for Christmas?
B. What you have to get done before the holiday?
C. Your Christmas traditions?
D. 5 favorite Christmas songs?

I am going to do my top five Christmas songs... They are in no particular order.

Christmas Canon by Trans Siberian Orchestra

His Favorite Christmas Story by Capital Lights

Where Are You Christmas by Faith Hill

Grown-Up Christmas List by Kelly Clarkson

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer

Sunday, December 18, 2011

30 Things to Start Doing for Yourself - Marc and Angel Hack Life

30 Things to Start Doing for Yourself
Remember today, for it is the beginning.
Today marks the start of a brave new future.
Our previous article, 30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself, was well received by most of our readers, but several of you suggested that we follow it up with a list of things to start doing.  In one reader’s words, “I would love to see you revisit each of these 30 principles, but instead of presenting us with a ‘to-don’t’ list, present us with a ‘to-do’ list that we all can start working on today, together.”  Some folks, such as readers Danny Head and Satori Agape, actually took it one step further and emailed us their own revised ‘to-do’ versions of the list.
So I sat down last night with our original article and the two reader’s revisions as a guide, and a couple hours later finalized a new list of 30 things; which ended up being, I think, a perfect complement to the original.
Here it is, a positive ‘to-do’ list for the upcoming year – 30 things to start doing for yourself:
  1. Start spending time with the right people. – These are the people you enjoy, who love and appreciate you, and who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways.  They are the ones who make you feel more alive, and not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be, unconditionally.
  2. Start facing your problems head on. – It isn’t your problems that define you, but how you react to them and recover from them.  Problems will not disappear unless you take action.  Do what you can, when you can, and acknowledge what you’ve done.  It’s all about taking baby steps in the right direction, inch by inch.  These inches count, they add up to yards and miles in the long run.
  3. Start being honest with yourself about everything. – Be honest about what’s right, as well as what needs to be changed.  Be honest about what you want to achieve and who you want to become.  Be honest with every aspect of your life, always.  Because you are the one person you can forever count on.  Search your soul, for the truth, so that you truly know who you are.  Once you do, you’ll have a better understanding of where you are now and how you got here, and you’ll be better equipped to identify where you want to go and how to get there. Read The Road Less Traveled.
  4. Start making your own happiness a priority. – Your needs matter.  If you don’t value yourself, look out for yourself, and stick up for yourself, you’re sabotaging yourself.  Remember, it IS possible to take care of your own needs while simultaneously caring for those around you.  And once your needs are met, you will likely be far more capable of helping those who need you most.
  5. Start being yourself, genuinely and proudly. – Trying to be anyone else is a waste of the person you are.  Be yourself.  Embrace that individual inside you that has ideas, strengths and beauty like no one else.  Be the person you know yourself to be – the best version of you – on your terms.  Above all, be true to YOU, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.
  6. Start noticing and living in the present. – Right now is a miracle.  Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you.  Right now is life.  So stop thinking about how great things will be in the future.  Stop dwelling on what did or didn’t happen in the past.  Learn to be in the ‘here and now’ and experience life as it’s happening.  Appreciate the world for the beauty that it holds, right now.
  7. Start valuing the lessons your mistakes teach you. – Mistakes are okay; they’re the stepping stones of progress.  If you’re not failing from time to time, you’re not trying hard enough and you’re not learning.  Take risks, stumble, fall, and then get up and try again.  Appreciate that you are pushing yourself, learning, growing and improving.  Significant achievements are almost invariably realized at the end of a long road of failures.  One of the ‘mistakes’ you fear might just be the link to your greatest achievement yet.
  8. Start being more polite to yourself. – If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend?  The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others.  You must love who you are or no one else will.
  9. Start enjoying the things you already have. – The problem with many of us is that we think we’ll be happy when we reach a certain level in life – a level we see others operating at – your boss with her corner office, that friend of a friend who owns a mansion on the beach, etc.  Unfortunately, it takes awhile before you get there, and when you get there you’ll likely have a new destination in mind.  You’ll end up spending your whole life working toward something new without ever stopping to enjoy the things you have now.  So take a quiet moment every morning when you first awake to appreciate where you are and what you already have.
  10. Start creating your own happiness. – If you are waiting for someone else to make you happy, you’re missing out.  Smile because you can.  Choose happiness.  Be the change you want to see in the world.  Be happy with who you are now, and let your positivity inspire your journey into tomorrow.  Happiness is often found when and where you decide to seek it.  If you look for happiness within the opportunities you have, you will eventually find it.  But if you constantly look for something else, unfortunately, you’ll find that too.  ReadStumbling on Happiness.
  11. Start giving your ideas and dreams a chance. – In life, it’s rarely about getting a chance; it’s about taking a chance.  You’ll never be 100% sure it will work, but you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work.  Most of the time you just have to go for it!  And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be.  Either you succeed or you learn something.  Win-Win.
  12. Start believing that you’re ready for the next step. – You are ready!  Think about it.  You have everything you need right now to take the next small, realistic step forward.  So embrace the opportunities that come your way, and accept the challenges – they’re gifts that will help you to grow.
  13. Start entering new relationships for the right reasons. – Enter new relationships with dependable, honest people who reflect the person you are and the person you want to be.  Choose friends you are proud to know, people you admire, who show you love and respect – people who reciprocate your kindness and commitment.  And pay attention to what people do, because a person’s actions are much more important than their words or how others represent them.
  14. Start giving new people you meet a chance. – It sounds harsh, but you cannot keep every friend you’ve ever made.  People and priorities change.  As some relationships fade others will grow.  Appreciate the possibility of new relationships as you naturally let go of old ones that no longer work.  Trust your judgment.  Embrace new relationships, knowing that you are entering into unfamiliar territory.  Be ready to learn, be ready for a challenge, and be ready to meet someone that might just change your life forever.
  15. Start competing against an earlier version of yourself. – Be inspired by others, appreciate others, learn from others, but know that competing against them is a waste of time.  You are in competition with one person and one person only – yourself.  You are competing to be the best you can be.  Aim to break your own personal records.
  16. Start cheering for other people’s victories. – Start noticing what you like about others and tell them.  Having an appreciation for how amazing the people around you are leads to good places – productive, fulfilling, peaceful places.  So be happy for those who are making progress.  Cheer for their victories.  Be thankful for their blessings, openly.  What goes around comes around, and sooner or later the people you’re cheering for will start cheering for you.
  17. Start looking for the silver lining in tough situations. – When things are hard, and you feel down, take a few deep breaths and look for the silver lining – the small glimmers of hope.  Remind yourself that you can and will grow stronger from these hard times.  And remain conscious of your blessings and victories – all the things in your life that are right.  Focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t.
  18. Start forgiving yourself and others. – We’ve all been hurt by our own decisions and by others.  And while the pain of these experiences is normal, sometimes it lingers for too long.  We relive the pain over and over and have a hard time letting go.  Forgiveness is the remedy.  It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened.  It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.
  19. Start helping those around you. – Care about people.  Guide them if you know a better way.  The more you help others, the more they will want to help you.  Love and kindness begets love and kindness.  And so on and so forth.
  20. Start listening to your own inner voice. – If it helps, discuss your ideas with those closest to you, but give yourself enough room to follow your own intuition.  Be true to yourself.  Say what you need to say.  Do what you know in your heart is right.
  21. Start being attentive to your stress level and take short breaks. – Slow down.  Breathe.  Give yourself permission to pause, regroup and move forward with clarity and purpose.  When you’re at your busiest, a brief recess can rejuvenate your mind and increase your productivity.  These short breaks will help you regain your sanity and reflect on your recent actions so you can be sure they’re in line with your goals.
  22. Start noticing the beauty of small moments. – Instead of waiting for the big things to happen – marriage, kids, big promotion, winning the lottery – find happiness in the small things that happen every day.  Little things like having a quiet cup of coffee in the early morning, or the delicious taste and smell of a homemade meal, or the pleasure of sharing something you enjoy with someone else, or holding hands with your partner.  Noticing these small pleasures on a daily basis makes a big difference in the quality of your life.
  23. Start accepting things when they are less than perfect. – Remember, ‘perfect’ is the enemy of ‘good.’  One of the biggest challenges for people who want to improve themselves and improve the world is learning to accept things as they are.  Sometimes it’s better to accept and appreciate the world as it is, and people as they are, rather than to trying to make everything and everyone conform to an impossible ideal.  No, you shouldn’t accept a life of mediocrity, but learn to love and value things when they are less than perfect.
  24. Start working toward your goals every single day. – Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.  Whatever it is you dream about, start taking small, logical steps every day to make it happen.  Get out there and DO something!  The harder you work the luckier you will become.  While many of us decide at some point during the course of our lives that we want to answer our calling, only an astute few of us actually work on it.  By ‘working on it,’ I mean consistently devoting oneself to the end result.  Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
  25. Start being more open about how you feel. – If you’re hurting, give yourself the necessary space and time to hurt, but be open about it.  Talk to those closest to you.  Tell them the truth about how you feel.  Let them listen.  The simple act of getting things off your chest and into the open is your first step toward feeling good again.
  26. Start taking full accountability for your own life. – Own your choices and mistakes, and be willing to take the necessary steps to improve upon them.  Either you take accountability for your life or someone else will.  And when they do, you’ll become a slave to their ideas and dreams instead of a pioneer of your own.  You are the only one who can directly control the outcome of your life.  And no, it won’t always be easy.  Every person has a stack of obstacles in front of them.  But you must take accountability for your situation and overcome these obstacles.  Choosing not to is choosing a lifetime of mere existence.
  27. Start actively nurturing your most important relationships. – Bring real, honest joy into your life and the lives of those you love by simply telling them how much they mean to you on a regular basis.  You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be everything to a few people.  Decide who these people are in your life and treat them like royalty.  Remember, you don’t need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends you can be certain of.
  28. Start concentrating on the things you can control. – You can’t change everything, but you can always change something.  Wasting your time, talent and emotional energy on things that are beyond your control is a recipe for frustration, misery and stagnation.  Invest your energy in the things you can control, and act on them now.
  29. Start focusing on the possibility of positive outcomes. – The mind must believe it CAN do something before it is capable of actually doing it.  The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful.  Listen to your self-talk and replace negative thoughts with positive ones.  Regardless of how a situation seems, focus on what you DO WANT to happen, and then take the next positive step forward.  No, you can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control how you react to things.  Everyone’s life has positive and negative aspects – whether or not you’re happy and successful in the long run depends greatly on which aspects you focus on.  Read The How of Happiness.
  30. Start noticing how wealthy you are right now. – Henry David Thoreau once said, “Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.”  Even when times are tough, it’s always important to keep things in perspective.  You didn’t go to sleep hungry last night.  You didn’t go to sleep outside.  You had a choice of what clothes to wear this morning.  You hardly broke a sweat today.  You didn’t spend a minute in fear.  You have access to clean drinking water.  You have access to medical care.  You have access to the Internet.  You can read.  Some might say you are incredibly wealthy, so remember to be grateful for all the things you do have.