Priority Setting and Focus for the Foggy

Trying to keep your eye on priorities can feel like trying to capture lighting in a bottle- darn near impossible and kinda dangerous. After the initial excitement, energy and focus that comes from setting a goal and starting to work towards it, the sense of urgency and importance can fade over time. Your specific priorities can be lost in the fog of taking care of the day-to-day responsibilities, which usually don’t go away when you set a new goal. The kitchen still need to be cleaned, work deadlines still need to met, doctors appointments need to be made. . .  Suddenly that 30 minutes a day you promised yourself to write has drifted to the bottom of your to do list and you can’t remember what you wanted to write about in the first place. Ok so that sounds cloudy not dangerous.  Fair enough, observation. Let me ask you this, how many times have you found yourself thinking something along the lines of  “If I take eye off the immediate stuff of my job, taking care of the kids, getting groceries, everything will everything get off track and I’ll crash?” Probably more times than you might like to admit.  Here are 5 tips to help keep your priorities front and center.

  1. Create a visual of your priorities, all of them. Maybe you list them in bullet format. I like to use a Priority Wheel.
  2. Pick one or two to focus on- you’ll be more effective and successful if you concentrate your efforts and resources rather than spreading them too thinly.
  3. Create a priorities action log where you name your one or two priorities, and track the specific actions you are going to take by when and what support you need to do this. Put this in your calendar or someplace where you have to look at it every day.
  4. Be clear about the benefit to you by taking these actions and note this on the action log too.
  5. Name a reward you’ll give yourself for accomplishing the results you want.



Get Your Heart Pumping: Party Hearty

  • Wondering what to do this weekend?
  • Planning a vacation and wondering if your swim suit is going to fit?
  • Itching to help make the world a better place?
  • Have you been wanting to try a Zumba fitness class?
  • concerned about heart disease?

If you answered yes to any of these questions come on down to the  Zumbathon® at the Flowood YMCA this Saturday, February 26 from 12 pm- 3 pm. Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States, Zumba Fitness is partnering with the American Heart Association’s Go Red Por Tu Corazón movement to raise awareness of heart disease and to help women live heart-healthier lives.

Wiped out just thinking about a 3 hour Zumbathon®?  Not to worry, just come for an hour. We have three 1 hour block sets, just like a regular Zumba Fitness class.  See the flyer for all the heart pumping details.

Ten Zumba Instructors from the Jackson area, including yours truly will lead the Zumbathon®.

I promise not to make you do the splits. . . but if you ask nicely I might do them.

Believe in your heart what you deserve to have

“We cannot achieve more in life than what we believe in our heart of hearts we deserve to have.”- James R. Ball

If our mind establishes what might be possible, what our heart believe can surpass the limits of the mind. What do you in your heart of hearts, the deepest marrow of your bones, believe you deserve to have in life? A stable and fulfilling career. A home life shared with a deeply loved mate and 3 kids. A Garden filled the spring flowers, summer bounty, fall’s sepia beauty and winter’s sculptural glories? To be valued and respected? To fit back into those slim clothes? None of these things are outrageous even if they feel out of reach.

Gather up your courage, take a long look at the space between where you are now and where you wish to be in a years time in relationship to your goal. Ready? Now put that down on paper. Consider the skills and strengthens you can bring to bear in service of realizing this goals. In three months time how close ould you move to that goal using these assets? Got some ideas, great. Now tell me what you will do in the next week to get moving and then do it.

A Perfect Question

“I am learning to ask ‘What am I really reaching for?’ when I think I want a cookie, brownie or am avoiding taking care of a piece of business”, said my client Taliah. Frankly I could not be more proud of her. In three short weeks she has moved from an autopilot mode of operation, to being very present and mindful of her actions.  By asking herself this question Taliah is simultaneously creating more insight about her habitual patterns of thinking and doing (or not as the case may be). She is consciously comparing these patterns to her values and goals and is now taking actions that are in service of her actual priorities. The more Taliah does this, the more natural and dare I say automatic her reflections and matched actions will become.

It seems so simple to say if I don’t want to keep this weight on, I need to not eat cookies, but in truth for most of us this is harder to do in reality especially so now that it is girl scout cookie season (WHAT is it they put in Thin Mints?) Taliah’s question is just perfect “What am I really reaching for?” In other words what need am I trying to meet? And is this the best choice to help me meet this need? Is this a short-term gratification filler when I really need to be making a choice that has a big payoff in the future?

Taliah is asking a perfect question that stimulates developing insight. The other important thing she is doing is moving from insight to action.  A few weeks ago I wrote about the idea that insight is not enough. Insight is important but without meaningful action that propels you towards what you want, all the insight in the world can feel for naught. And for some folks it  can be detrimental, leading to spiral of feelings of inability. Sometimes gaining the insight is the easy part, taking action, doing something different developing new habits, takes time, steady steps that build and can be hard work. Like Mama always said, few things worth having come easy.


Excellence is a habit not an act. . .

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

Keeping with our theme this week- making change happen and new habits permanent, thank you Aristotle for this reminder. Try making it your mantra as you continue to make progress towards achieving the changes you want to make in your life.

Party Hearty

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States, Zumba Fitness is partnering with the American Heart Association’s Go Red Por Tu Corazón movement to raise awareness of heart disease and to help women live heart-healthier lives.  Here in Jackson we are hosting a Zumbathon® at the Flowood YMCA on Sat. 26 from 12- 3 pm.

Party Heart Zumbathon Flyer, 2.26.11

This is an especially personal issue for me. Heart disease has profoundly affected my family. A beloved Great Aunt had a heart attack. My Dad has had his own issues too. My Grandfather died of a brain aneurysm. My Stepmother’s Father died of a heart attack. My husband’s Grandmother had two heart attacks. A colleague of mine is facing open heart surgery in a few weeks. Me, I have been fortunate to date and have not heart disease related issues in great part due to exercise, diet and what appears to be counter-balancing genes from my Mom’s side of the family.

Ten Zumba Instructors from the Jackson area, including yours truly will lead the Zumbathon®.

Come get your Zumba on for a great cause!

I promise not to make you do the splits.

Great opportunities to help others seldom come

“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.” ~ Sally Koch

No doubt each of can think of a small gesture that made an impact, a difference in some way. When I was a in my late teens I traveled in europe alone. Like many folks I took trains from one city and country to an other city or country. One morning an older fellow traveler bought me breakfast, simply because I reminded him of his own daughter. Years later I was able to return the favor for an other young traveler.

What opportunities will you discover today to help someone else?