Achieve goals faster.

To achieve goals faster compress time-frames and work at them indirectly.

Write your goals in ink or publish them for others to see.

———————–

I read “The 12 Week Year” by Brian Moran and Mike Lennington a few weeks ago.

12 week year

The  main idea in this book I learned when I was working in Primerica and I read “Coach.”

coach

Art Williams would ask,  “What do you want to accomplish in the next 90 days?” Then, “What would you have to do each week to accomplish that?” and you would have to plan it out and break it down. Then he would ask, “What do you have to do the first week? … Okay do that tomorrow.” That is pretty much the basis of compressing time-frames.

“The 12 Week Year” shows you how to turn your year in to 4 periods. This idea originated in sales where sales people and business are evaluated in periods usually years and you try to improve over last year. There is always a surge right before the end of the period. You have to get it in before the deadline to count towards that period. The book also provides and example where you could apply this to a fitness goal.

When I read this I definitely liked the idea of aligning my time periods with the seasons. I think it would make me appreciate nature more. In an indirect way I would be more conscious of it. So when I read the book I decided to start my 12 week year on the next equinox which just happened last week.

I set my intentions for my current 12 week year. I plan to weigh 152 (lose 18 more pounds stated positively), to run 1 mile completely, and to blog what I learned from 6 books.

I think you could apply this to education, homeschooling or “after schooling.” I explained this 12 week year concept to Luna. She wants to finish her grades faster she just doesn’t always want to do the work. I will keep you posted on how she chooses to apply this and how it works for her.

I started this post yesterday at 4:00 in the morning. Just by chance later in the day I found a journal of mine from 2 years ago. I read through all of my entries from a 4 month period. In that journal I wrote about compressing time-frames and that it tricks your mind into doing something you would ordinarily think was too big of a goal. I also made a note that there is a difference between what we write in pencil and what we write in ink. Today I can revise that statement in that is there is a difference in what I may type into a personal journal and what I type and publish on my blog.

As for working towards goals indirectly, yes, I stated a number for my weight but that is not what I am focusing on. I am focusing running faster, farther, and for longer periods. When I started, as I wrote in my Get Up post, I couldn’t even run to my car. I can now run for 2 1/2 minutes without stopping to walk. My first runs in my neighborhood were only 20 seconds long then I would have to walk for a couple of minutes before I could try again.

Another follow-up to that post: I am still folding my laundry standing up and I can’t imagine doing it any other way. I am also parking farther out in the parking lot and running to my car. It was such a great feeling the other day when I ran to my car and I it was closer than I thought and I knew I could have kept running.

Good luck on your goals readers and let me know how any of you apply this.

 

 

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Today We Are Rich by Tim Sanders

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Hard work is always more beneficial than busy work.

——————–

Today We Are Rich by Tim Sanders

weare rich

 

The book starts with a story of the author’s childhood where his grandmother taught him the lesson of “Today we are rich” I thought it was a good lesson and something Luna could understand so I had her read just that Prologue.

In summary a homeless man was traveling and looking for work. The grandmother, a widow, had him do things around the farm things that she could not do herself and she agreed to pay him $10 if he worked until sundown. At the end of the day she paid him $20, they were not rich and this was a lot of money to them. She said “Today we are rich” because they were able to help someone less fortunate. She also gave the man some clothes and much needed shoes that had belonged to her husband.

Part 1 is The Case for Confidence

Part 2 The Principles of Total Confidence

  1. Feed your mind the good stuff
  2. Move the conversation forward
  3. Exercise your gratitude muscle
  4. Give to be rich
  5. Prepare yourself
  6. Balance your confidence
  7. Promise, made, promise kept

While it is all good advice, what resonated with me the most was the chapter about preparing yourself.

Tim Sanders relates a story of when he was in high school on the debate team. He did the most busy work. He had the most notecards, spent the most time preparing them and he wasn’t getting the results in the debates. His grandmother told him that he had to do the hard work not the busy work. He needed to really learn the subject and to recreate the debates and practice. He realized he was only doing busy work and not getting smart about his subject.
“Ten hours of getting smart will yield the same value creation as 40 hours of busy work.” page 181

It made me think about how we forget how hard learning something was as a child. We expect learning to be easy now that we’re adults and we already know so much. We forget the struggle. Now we just know things automatically like 2 + 2 = 4. We don’t have to use a strategy the information is just there.

As adults we quit, we think we made it through school and we are done with that portion of our life. The only way to grow is to go through that struggle. There are many things I want to learn and skills I want to master and I admit I am not currently putting in the time. I know I need to work on this and I think I am moving in that direction.
If you are not doing something that is hard you are not improving your brain enough.
There is another chapter that I feel is important to share but I started this blog post on 1/29 and my laptop crashed. If I don’t post what I have so far I don’t know when I will get it done. I am still trying to find a balance being a blogging mama.

Free Texting App

My husband informed me you can text for free on an old cell phone.

https://pinger.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/203670144-I-Want-to-Create-a-Textfree-Account

Textfree is an app that allows you text and gives you a number to use for free it works with a wifi signal.

My daughter can now text and my husband uses this on his backup phone which he usually uses as an mp3 player.

Give your old smartphone to your kid.

Many people don’t realize that a smart phone without a plan is still very useful and can connect to WiFi.

About a year and a half ago I switched to Straight Talk. They had a deal where if you bought a phone card, their version of a pre-paid plan, you could get a free phone. I didn’t like the free phone options so I chose a phone to purchase, but I accepted the free phone.

I put my daughter’s audio books and favorite music on the phone and intended to give it to her to use as an mp3 player. It turns out the video and camera features were even more exciting. I set her up with an email account and put it on the phone. I also set up the WiFi. She likes to watch videos on YouTube.

Maybe you readers are better off than I am and can purchase all these electronics for your kids. But for those of you on a budget this is a very valuable option.

I also set up Overdrive Media on Luna’s phone which is something you can probably access through your local library and she has a virtual library at her fingertips. The book automatically return themselves when then expire. No late fees, no lost books.

She has also learned that if you forget your charger you can’t finish your book which in this day and age is a good habit to learn.

Well the baby just woke up. I hope to fill you in more soon.

If you need specific help on how to do any of the things I mentioned and you can’t find the information on the internet ask a question in the comments and I’ll be happy to help.

 

Listen to “Get Up!” by James Levine

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Don’t read “Get Up!” get the audiobook put it on your portable and go for a walk.

The most important advice in this book:

  • Walk for 15 minutes after each meal
  • Stand more (while doing things you would normally sit for)
    • Folding laundry
    • Talking on the phone (better yet pace)

“Get Up!: Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It” by James A. Levine is to sitting what “Grain Brian” is to gluten.

getup

I purchased this book on Audible.com as the “Deal of the Day” on 1/12/15. I finished listening to it in 3 days. I joked with my husband that I would say this book was a real page turner but I wasn’t turning pages. This was the best $2.95 I have ever spent. This book has changed my life.

race photo

On 1/17/15 Luna had a Cross Country race. It was overcast when we got there to register. I got a good place in the bleachers where I had room for my stroller and I could stand and Katie could sit. Before reading this book I would have been looking for a good place to sit and see, no question about it.

Soon it was sunny and I wanted my sunglasses that were in the car. I didn’t want to lose my spot so when my Mother-In-Law got there I asked her to wait with the kids while I ran to my car. I seriously intended to actually run. It was quite a distance, around the stadium and into the parking lot. I didn’t want to leave baby Séamus for long. I could barely even run a few yards about the distance of crossing the street let alone all the way to my car and back. One week later after starting to use the things I learned in “Get Up!” I can park in the farthest spot in the parking lot and run all the way to the store.

I previously thought if I could just lose the weight then exercising would be easier, that exercising to lose the weight was impossible. Since my first pregnancy (19 years ago) I have been 20 to 40 pounds overweight, not obese just your average overweight American. I was 19 when I had my first child. So pretty much my whole adult life, I have been overweight.

I couldn’t run or do aerobic exercise my joints hurt too much. I wanted to lose the weight because I thought it would make me feel better, not about myself and the way I look, I wanted energy and not to ache.

Since listening to this book my first simple change was I started folding laundry standing up. I use the kitchen table to put the piles of separated folded clothes on and I work from the basket on a chair instead of me.

I was really amazed that I have more energy after I started sitting less.

My next step was I started walking on the trail behind Katie’s preschool after I drop her off and around the circle I live on in the afternoon and after dinner.

The book states that blood sugar spikes after a meal but if you go for a 15 minute walk the peak is half as much.

I know I am pre-diabetic, and if you are overweight even in the least you are too even if you don’t know it and your doctor hasn’t told you. If you have extra fat you are insulin resistant your body is storing fat instead of using the glucose in your muscles. It is as simple as that and it is only going to get worse unless you make changes.

So I took the information to heart and started walking. If it is just me with a stroller and I am walking at a quick pace I can make it around my circle, which I think it is shapped more like a jelly bean, in 11 minutes. If the girls are with me it takes a little longer.

I make sure I fix dinner early enough to walk before it gets dark. I put on my plate what I think should be a good portion, half of the plate is vegetables. Then after I eat that I go for a walk even though I am still hungry and could easily eat another plate full. If I am still hungry when I get back I go ahead and eat seconds, but most of the time I find I am not hungry anymore.

I have lost about 30 lbs. since delivering 7 weeks ago. With past pregnancies the first 10 lbs is baby and fluid and the next 10 lbs would come off in the first 2 months but anything after that was a struggle.

The best thing is I have more energy now that I am not sitting all the time. I want to stand, walk and even run for short bursts. I did not know I could feel this way and still be overweight and now I know the rest of this weight will come off.

So I implore you to take the advice go for a walk and listen to this book and find more valuable information for yourself. After I started listening to this book I went and looked at the reviews. I wondered if this book helped people as I hoped but didn’t believe yet that it could help me. The first review was a 2 star review that complained that the author didn’t give enough ways to incorporate standing more and the book was only a way for him to boast about all the places he traveled. I am so glad I didn’t read that first or I may not have bought the book. I think Dr. Levine’s talk of all the places he has been is only to illustrate the point that “sitting disease” is becoming a problem everywhere. I didn’t find it boastful I found it exciting to listen to his travels.

So listen for yourself and tell me what you think. I have been accused of putting a positive spin on everything. By the way there are plenty more 5 star reviews now.

 

 

The Power of Habit and QBQ

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I try to put the most important tips for you at the top of my post, but I am having a hard time distilling the information below.

If you keep reading you can find out about making/changing habits and asking better questions to improve your life.

If you are pressed for time, too much to read, check out the chart and bullets.

———————–

I just finished “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg

power of habit cover

 

Let me back up a bit. I have a few daily readers that I pick something from in the morning and try to focus on for the day. One is “Giant Steps” by Anthony Robbins.

giant steps

Day 13 said pick a goal and write a paragraph on why you must accomplish this goal. I read it, didn’t do anything but didn’t move my bookmark knowing I would come back to it. So Monday I figured this is not hard just do it. So I sent myself an email journal entry. Which is something I have been working on this week. This is what I wrote to myself:

This morning I read #13 again of Giant Steps. I choose 2 goals. Finish “the power of Habit” which I am 25% of the way through 2:46 of 10:53. By 12/4 Thursday evening. I absolutely must attain this goal by then because I have and appointment with the OB on 12/5 and I expect they will strip my membranes and I will deliver my baby. I can do this it will require effort. I will have to carry around my phone and earbuds and use every opportunity to listen to this book. I will pay attention while listening.

Not too exciting it was a note to myself I didn’t intend to share. Last night I was listening to my book and noticed I was 79% finished with my book. (Smart AudioBook Reader shows you the percentage complete and how much time is left at the speed you are on) and I remembered that I had made this goal and written this paragraph. Just the act of writing this down and making a plan I did it without thinking about it. Which I thought was pretty amazing. A long time ago in a Brian Tracy book he said that just by writing goals down and never looking at them again people are more likely to accomplish them.

So now I am going above and beyond my original goal and sharing with you.

Here is a diagram from the book explaining how to identify and change habits.

How-to-Change-a-Habit

I expect to have my baby tomorrow and this will be my last baby. I plan to get into the best shape of my life and lose that baby weight that stuck around after my baby who is 18 years old now.

I have to make new habits (really modify old bad habits and substitute new routines).

The other book I finished is “QBQ! The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life”by John G. Miller

QBQ cover

 

I already knew:

  • When you ask better questions you get better answers.
  • Your wants to answer questions and wants to make you right.
  • You brain will keep working on the questions you ask.

So I asked kept asking myself “How can I make Journaling easier and how can I make it a habit?” I will write in a journal every day for 2 weeks then not write in it for 2 months. I hadn’t figured out how to make it stick. I am still working on it but this prompted me to listen to the power of habit and write the paragraph I shared above. I put a notebook in my bathroom and wrote in it every day for a while then I took it in my car thinking I would write in car-line. This didn’t quite fix the “make it easier” issue I was having. I misplaced the notebook. I send myself emails but they are not quite so easy to access and read over and review which is one of the main reasons I want to journal. They get lost in my mess of an inbox. Now I am thinking at the end of the week I will copy and paste and print and put in a binder. Make those steps a habit then I will accomplish my intention.

So QBQ is about asking better questions not quite the same theme as I was working on but here is his format.

  1. Begin with “What” or “How,” (not “Why,” “When,” or “Who”).
  2. Contain an “I,” (not “They,” “Them,” “We,” or “You”).
  3. Focus on action.

So instead of “Why do bad things always happen to me?” “What can I do to make things better?” or “Why do other people ….?” “How can I …?”

Special offers and apps I found. Science Kits and Audible.

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  • Amazon Local has offers for Science kits for kids.
  • Audible has a deal and I love the speed feature in the App.
  • Smart AudioBook Player and @Voice Aloud Reader are 2 apps I am currently using to listen to books geared towards self-improvement they have speed features too.

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I ordered the Magic School Bus Yearly science package for Luna (age 7) with the amazon local voucher for half off. There is a contact us button on the page where you can ask about deals for other products. I wanted to order the Clifford yearly package for Katie (age 4). Someone did respond and tell me when they would run the deal but I could call and order for the deal price early.

http://www.theyoungscientistsclub.com/

I meant to write about this earlier but my pregnancy has been hard. The deal is now over but you can contact them and ask when they will offer deals and get the items for half price.

Audible currently has a deal until December 10th enter HOLIDAY14 for the promo code when prompted.

It is $1.95 a month for the first 3 months which is better than a free first month. So you can get 3 books for under $6.

I installed the app on my Andriod phone and I can listen to the books at 3 times speed. The audio quality sounds very clean. I love it. Sometimes the music sounds funny at the beginning or end of a chapter. I can finish books much faster. This play feature does not work on computers.

http://www.travelzoo.com/entertainment/more/-6-Holiday-Travel-Reading-List-from-Audible-Reg-45-1888183/?utm_source=localdeal_us&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=1888913_html_-_deal%3a148333&utm_content=1888913&tz_adid=1888913

I have been listening to books at fast speed for a long time and I had planned on writing about it and making a video to show how to do it on Windows Media Player but I found an app I highly recommend: “Smart AudioBook Player”

You can listen to books from 0.5x to 2.5x speed, It doesn’t sound as clean as audible but it is still worth listening to. You can also keep a list of characters and notes. I have used this feature to write bullet points from non-fiction books.

When you leave the app it saves your spot. Much more convenient than trying to use your built-in Music Mp3 player for books. It also pauses for other notifications like the email or Facebook notices and you can set it to auto rewind the last 3 seconds or whatever your preference. With my music player it was like it turned the volume off for the other notification so your “song” kept playing which doesn’t work well for a book because you missed a few important words.

I am using the free version. I am not sure if I have to pay $0.99 at the end of the month or the upgrade is for extra features. It is definitely worth the buck though.

I also found “@Voice Aloud Reader” (once again using the free version) It will read PDF’s and web pages to me (and I think ePubs too). I haven’t spent as much time with this app. I have not figured out how to make it read me my emails but I heard it does. I can also adjust the speed so I can listen faster too.

When I am at a stop light with a few screen touches I can tell it to read me a web page and there you go I am getting the information when I am driving again. With books I have not figured out how to mark my spot so that is slightly inconvenient.

So stay tuned once I have this baby and am back to myself you will be hearing about all the books I am listening to in less than half the time and how to make the best of these apps. (I expect to be induced in 2 days.)

Part of the point of improving myself is setting an example for my kids.

Magic School Bus Monthly Science Kit 50% off offer.

Amazon local is offering 50% off of the Magic School Bus Monthly Science Kit from The Young Scientists Club.

 

http://local.amazon.com/orlando/B00N9B8234?src=email&cid=em_dd_328_101_na_1_&ref_=pe_628140_124102570_sh_fd

http://www.theyoungscientistsclub.com/themagicschoolbus/

http://www.theyoungscientistsclub.com/videos/video-msb-scienceclub.html

Your child with get a science kit every month for a year. Each kit contains a booklet with instructions for 7 experiments and supplies.

When you purchase the voucher from Amazon you have 90 days to redeem it. So you can redeem it just in time for a Christmas gift.