Can You Give It Fifteen Minutes?

Fifteen minutes might not be time to accomplish a lot, but fifteen minutes here and there adds up to great productivity. It’s the little things that count. Just as you can nickel-and-dime yourself broke, so you can second-and minute yourself unsuccessful.

Seconds are attached to minutes; minutes are attached to hours; hours are attached to years, years are attached to a lifetime; a lifetime is attached to eternity. Time matters. Make it count. Everyone is allotted 24 hours in a day. How you spend it is up to you.

Everyone is pressed for time. When I feel overwhelmed with a lot of projects and looming time constraints, I ask myself “Can you give it fifteen minutes?”

Fifteen Minute Organization – Question: How do you eat an elephant? Answer: One bite at a time. The office, the files, the closet may seem totally out of control but can be organized into manageable bites in only fifteen minutes. Work for fifteen minutes on one section today, and another tomorrow, and another the next day, and “Walla”, the job is done – in your spare time.

Fifteen Minute Planning According to My-Time Organizing System, “for every minute you spend planning, you can save from four to ten times that amount of time in execution”. Wow, what a trade-off; organization for more time. Devote fifteen minutes every afternoon before leaving the office to plan the next days events. Make a list of scheduled appointments, determine what you need for each and do advance preparation. Make a written list of important projects.

Spend fifteen minutes at home, before retiring, so tomorrow will go smoother from the get-go. Decide what you will wear and have it front and center in the closet. Include shoes and accessories. Refill your brief case and have it, keys and purse, by the door ready to leave. Place errand items by the door or in the car (returns, laundry for cleaners, books to the library, etc.).

Fifteen Minute Reading – So much to read, so little time. Our world is filled with information overload. Allocate a few minutes daily to sort through reading materials; clip, label, and keep legitimate articles and recycle the rest. Break your reading down into reasonable time frames.

A tome like the Bible can be read through in one year by spending fifteen minutes a day. Let me show you how simple it is. There are 365 days in a year. Subtract 100 days off for all those unplanned reasons. The Bible contains 1,186 pages. Divide 1,186 pages into 265 days, gives you 4.48 pages a day, or fifteen minutes for mind and soul nourishment.

Fifteen Minute Refreshing – When you are too busy to take a break is when you need it most.
After a short respite you returned relaxed, refreshed, and with renewed creative ideas. The benefits far outweigh the small amount of time given.

Fifteen Minute Energizer – What is worse, the task or the dread? Dread and procrastination are energy wasters. It takes more energy to begin a task than to keep it going. Overcome the Law of Inertia by asking yourself, “Can you give it fifteen minutes?” This gentle nudge is often all that is needed to get the ball rolling.

All have been allotted 24 hours per day; how you spend it is up to you. Redeem the time by manageable fifteen-minute increments


Action Steps to Change

The only thing permanent in life is change. Only, if you do not set the parameters for change, then someone else will do it for you. Take positive control of your life by applying the following action steps to change.

1. Make definite decision to change. Wishing and thinking and planning will not bring about change. Decisive thinking plus action will.

2. Recognize the positive about change. See change as good and embrace it. Focus on what you gain, rather than what you give up.

3. Picture it. Imagining is a powerful tool to bring thoughts into reality. See yourself with skills, abilities and attitudes you want to develop, then watch in wonder as they come into being.

4. Better late than never. We often fall into the trap of “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Yes you can! And it will add spring to his step and life to his years. Give change a chance to prove itself.

5. Get out of your own way. Assess how you are sabotaging your efforts. Get rid of the mentality of “I can’t help it. This is just the way I am.” No it is not. It is the way you have habitually and mentally become.

6. You will never know unless you try. So try! At the same time, remember, “Trying is lying”. So do not just try, actually do it!

7. Stop the insanity – apply the breaks. Evaluate how you are plunging head long into destructive habits or attitudes, put on the breaks and steer into another direction.

8. Use positive self-talk. Utilize the creative power of the spoken word. You cannot hold two conflicting thoughts at once. Let the positive override the negative.

9. Visualize change in increments and grow into it. Growth comes from the acceptance of our limitations.

10. The key to the ability to change is a changeless sense of who you are. When you respect yourself and others, there is no level of success you cannot attain. Learn to please you and allow God to release you from being a people pleaser.

11. Change and expect nothing in return. Why? Because you are doing it for you. Let the positive change be its own reward.

12. You do not have to go back to square one. When you fall, get up and go on.

13. Saying “No” is one area is saying “Yes” in another. “Yes” to power. "Yes" to empowerment. “Yes” to caring. “Yes” to loving. Yes” to responsibility. "Yes” to discipline. “Yes” to wholeness. “Yes” to healing. “Yes” to humility. "Yes” to clarity. “Yes” to consciousness. “Yes” to life.

Nothing grows without changing. Keep dreaming and keep saying “Yes” to change. Ray Kroc of McDonald’s fame said, “It is better to be green and growing than to be ripe and rotting.” Do not rot. Keep growing, and change is growth.


Building Families of Strength

I originally entitled this article Strong Families. While writing, I began to see that being strong is an end product, the result of something well-built; the robustness and durability of something nurtured and cared for.

Strength implies potential. Building indicates an ongoing, continuous process that could include remodeling if necessary. Having a solid foundation on which to fall and rebuild upon. Being supportive; not necessarily agreeing with actions but always accepting the individual.
Families of strength are team players. A universal concept of team is a number of people working together on a common task for the good of the whole.
The word origin of team, originally spelled teem, is English meaning offspring. A team is a number of related animals or people (related by working or playing together), and to teem means to be full to overflowing, as with children in a house.” Readers Digest, Family Word Finder
A team participates in giving and receiving. They appreciate differences, enjoy each others company and have fun together.
Families of strength have a faith foundation. They acknowledge a power outside themselves greater than present circumstance that gives purpose to their existence. They play together, work together, worship together, pray together, laugh together, cry together and become involved in helping others.
Families of strength are consistent. There may be rare exceptions, but rules apply across the board, evenly for everyone. The atmosphere of the home is accepting and learning. Disruptions are dealt with in a mature manner. They disagree, get mad, and move past the hurt.
Our house changed. Our neighborhood changed. I went to a new school. But nothing important really changed…. Though we moved a lot, our essential life stayed the same. Regardless of where we lived, Mom sat by me at night listening to Dick and Jane stories… home and my sense of my family and my place in it were always the same. Mother and Daddy saw to that.”
Naomi Griffith, Red Clay and Vinegar
Families of strength develop open and honest communication. There are no hidden agendas and truth is told even if it hurts or puts self in a bad light. Families of strength listen for understanding rather than to prematurely jump to conclusions and pass undue judgment.

Communication begins at birth with a parent differentiating a hungry cry from an in-pain-cry and continues for a lifetime. Communication is expressed through more than words; tone of voice, facial expressions, body stance and manner of dress speaks volumes.
Families of strength understand that pain is a part of life. Their lives are not disrupted by upheavals. Painful situations are accepted and dealt with. They embrace it as an opportunity on which to learn. Problems are viewed as a challenge in which to grow individually and to grow together corporately.
Suffering is inevitable; transcend it by not being surprised when it happens. Like the Phoenix, families of strength rise from shattered foundations. They adapt. Families of strength overcome with the unit intact.
Families of strength build history together. Successes and failures are uniquely influential in building character. Become aware of the strength of your own family. Notice how well-built it is. Appreciate its robustness and durability as you continue to nurture and care. Embrace the love.  
For success coaching, counsel or speaking engagements, contact Mona at 254-749-6594 or mona@solutionprinciples.com


2016 and Time to Take Charge of Your Life

Consider this: You personally have an internal force driving you to succeed. You have a heat-sensing mechanism that pulls you like a moth to a flame. Everything you do is actually your choice.

I love ironies. How fitting (?) that in the dead of winter’s cold and bleakness, we human beings are spurred to look beyond the immediate and project a better tomorrow.

Ah, the unyielding spirit of mankind. We have internal drives that push us to tackle another mountain or face another day or simply breathe another breath. These forces are internal and are not controlled by external powers, people or past experiences.

Dr. William Glasser, founder of Choice Theory Psychology, states that all human beings are motivated by five genetic instructions:

1. Survival or self-preservation (the need to have a full tummy and be safe)
2. Belonging (the need to fit in; to love and be loved)
3. Power or achievement (the need to be the winner or the first or the best; or at least not lose)
4. Freedom or independence (don’t tell me what to do!)
5. Fun or enjoying (the need for pleasure and entertainment)

These needs are universal. All seven-plus billion being currently living on planet earth, all those that ever have lived and all those that ever will live – all have these five needs. All have the same needs, just different expressions of getting the need fulfilled. We all eat. Universal tastes and menus are mucho varied.

Even though DNA has previously been said to mean “Do Not Alter”, the science of epigenetic are proving otherwise. Not alter in its entirety – the survival instruction is still there to keep you alive – but – through training - may be modified to cooperate rather than to dominate. The pleasure need never goes away. Through discipline and counsel, the obese can slim down, the addict can be restored to sanity and the perverse can live well behaved.

This is nothing new. People have been changing up or down the spectrum from time immortal. What is relatively new is a simplified correction course pioneered by Dr. William Glasser:

Choice Theory Psychology - everything we do is a choice (whether we are conscious of it or not
Take Charge of Your Life strategies - easy to learn, easy to apply and with amazing results
Reality Therapy method of counsel and self-evaluation

We can take charge of our own life by listening to and heeding our own wisdom heart. By becoming aware of our genetic instructions and how they may have run amok. By realizing we are choosing every action we take and re-think, thus reprogramming and reinventing ourselves – becoming our best self.

“Whether you think you can or think you think you can’t -- you’re right.”
Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company

Ah, yes, the unyielding spirit of mankind. I like to look at Spirituality as being a sixth need, thus making our internal motivators a purring six-cylinder. Spirituality (the need to connect to the invisible; Divinity, dreams, goals, generations past, generations future and mysteries of life.

May 2016 be your best year yet as you courageously take charge of our life.