Archive for the 'New Year’s' Category

Getting Serious About New Year’s Resolutions

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Getting Serious About New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions are a way of telling yourself that there’s something you want to achieve. Determine why you’re making the
resolutions in the first place, and create personal resolve to change the root cause.

1. Why are you making this resolution?

2. What are you willing to do differently that will make this resolution a reality?

Make the statements in the form of SPECIFIC personal actions and SPECIFIC personal achievements. The more specific you can make them, the more likely you are to make them happen.

Tell yourself EXACTLY what you intend to do.
Tell yourself EXACTLY what you will do, or are willing to do.

What are you willing to do?
What are you willing to change?
What are you willing to better?
What are you willing to sacrifice?
Are you willing to work harder?
Are you willing to get up earlier in order to give yourself more achievement time?
And what is it worth to you once it’s done?

Full article here.

-Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Little Red Book of Selling and eight other business books on sales, customer loyalty, and personal development.

New Year’s Tips: 5 Positive Ways to End Your Year

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New Year’s Tips:
5 Positive Ways to End Your Year

These suggestions work the same in late December, mid-March, early summer or while watching leaves fall.  Read this advice, and you’ll see the timing is universal. 

1. Watch a movie . . . that tugs at your heartstrings. This may be a favorite movie you’ve seen many times, or a new one that excites you, moves you or maybe even makes you cry. Just pick one that makes you feel good as opposed to sad. When the movie is over bask in the feelings that you feel.

2. Think about things . . . that make you feel proud. Spend some time looking back at accomplishments large or small, private or public, that make you feel good about yourself. It will be time well-spent.

3. Listen to music . . . that makes you smile. You know what music this is. This is the music that makes you dance, smile and maybe brings back fantastic memories. Pop it in your CD player or fire up your iPod.  Better yet, if you have an MP3 player, make a play list of all your favorites so you can listen to them back to back, anytime you want.

4. Talk to a friend . . . who believes in you.  Spend some quality time – on a walk, over dinner or with a cup of coffee – talking with a person who is supportive of you and loves you for who you are.  Enjoy the time together, listen to what they say, and thank them for being in your life.

5. Read a book . . . that inspires you.  Whether a self-help book, inspirational poetry or a story you identify with, find a book that you will not only enjoy reading, but will also learn from.

All of these actions will create positive feelings and memories. Each helps you look back and inspires you into the future. You can use these feelings and memories to not only feel better about yourself now, but to propel you with greater energy and enthusiasm for what is coming.

Potential Pointer: Choosing actions that help you understand yourself and your world better, makes you feel better about yourself. When you feel better about yourself, you take an important step towards creating a better future – for yourself and all with whom you work, live and play.

Submitted by: Thom A. Lisk,

Quotations for New Year’s

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Quotations for New Year’s

One of the secrets of getting more done is to make a TO DO List every day, keep it visible, and use it as a guide to action as you go through the day.
– Alan Lakein, Time Management Expert and Author

We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room-by-room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.
– Ellen Goodman

Now let us welcome the new year, full of things that have never been…
– Rilke

We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day. – Edith Lovejoy Pierce

A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.
– Anonymous

Most of us miss out on life’s big prizes.  The Pulitzer.  The Nobel.  Oscars.  Tonys.  Emmys.  But we’re all eligible for life’s small pleasures. A pat on the back.  A kiss behind the ear.  A four-pound bass.  A full moon.  An empty parking space.  A crackling fire.  A great meal. A glorious sunset.  Hot soup.  Cold beer.
– Anonymous

It is when things go hardest, when life becomes most trying, that there is greatest need for having a fixed goal.
– B.C. Forbes

Set a goal to achieve something that is so big, so exhilarating that it excites you and scares you at the same time.  It must be a goal that is so appealing, so much in line with your spiritual core, that you can’t get it out of your mind.  If you do not get chills when you set a goal, you’re not setting big enough goals.
– Bob Proctor

Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking our potential.
– Sir Winston Churchill

New Year’s: Self, Resolve

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New Year’s: Self, Resolve     
Enjoy New Year’s Eve but celebrate New Year’s Day as a time of renewed potential. Mindfully strategize for personal body ~ mind ~ spirit & business success in 2009.
As days lengthen, optimism naturally soars with the increasing daylight and the promise of spring.  This is the PERFECT time to list resolutions galore! Start with, “In a perfect world I would…” and fill in the blanks as far as your mind can wish!
Don’t ask ‘how,’ just state ‘what.’
Now categorize this random list under Body, Mind, Spirit or Business. Expand these lists again. Wow! All that change!? Of course! With one caveat:
Happily, you are always a work in progress! No rush! Rather than embrace the whole list, pick only ONE change under each heading and faithfully incorporate them into your routine for one month. Voila! New habits. Revisit your list and pick a new set of “Resolutions” each month for the full year. This quiet focus assures that you will easily create powerful new behaviors to serve you beautifully throughout your lifetime.
With resolve, 2009 can be the best year of your life! Make it so.
Post-it cue: I Resolve!                                                                          
Re-focus ~ Re-frame ~ Re-gain Self
Put one Post-it on your computer screen, one on your bathroom mirror,
one on your frig and one anywhere else you may spend repeated time during the day.
The act of writing imprints the truth on your mind.
Every time you see your handwriting again, it further imprints your mind.
To increase the value of this process, smile when you see your Post-its.
Smiling signals your mind to increase endorphins and imprint whatever makes you smile. 


“Heart of the Holidays” Book Review by Angela England

Christmas, Hanukkah, Heart of the Holidays, New Year's, Thanksgiving, Winter Solstice| No Comments »

“Heart of the Holidays”
Book Review
by Angela England

Type-A Mom Gift Guide – Gifts for Moms
Monday, 10 November 2008
Click here to see original post.

The perfect size for giving, a woman who enjoys reading could not get a better gift book for the Yuletide Holidays than this charming book, Heart of the Holidays: Holiday Inspirations Yuletide Treasures and Traditions by Sheryl Roush.

This delightful book came at the perfect time for me as I begin to look forward to the holidays and felt the stress of Thanksgiving preparation creeping up on me. Heart of the Holidays: Holiday Inspirations Yuletide Treasures & Traditions is written by Sheryl Roush and was published by Sparkle Press. As I curl up on the couch to feed my newborn, this holiday collection is easy to thumb through for a few minutes.

Not too heavy or bulky, the easy-to-read format of Heart of the Holidays, makes this book the perfect present to tuck into a stocking, present as a hostess gift for Thanksgiving and Christmas parties, or give on one of the days of Hanukkah. It makes the perfect book for bedroom end table, bathroom magazine rack, or to read just in bits and pieces if you are as busy as I am.

What Readers Will See in Heart of the Holidays

Heart of the Holidays presents readers with over 225 pages of delightful poems, quotes, stories, excerpts, songs, and inspiring sayings in six categories: Thanksgiving; Christmas; Yuletide Around the Globe; Hanukkah; Winter Solstice; and Ringing in the New Year.

I appreciated the range of quotes that were included by Sheryl Roush, covering the range from proverbial sayings, to traditional historic figures, to humorous quips by modern celebrities. For example, in the Thanksgiving section she quotes Oprah Winfrey saying, "The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate."

Not just quotes and songs, Roush has brought together the best of the holiday stories and essays available and gathered them altogether in one place. One of my favorites of these was in the Yuletide Around the Globe chapter, an excerpt from Helena Steiner-Hornsteyn, who says in a portion of Christmas in Sweden, "Even if you happen to live in a huge country mansion with a large dining room, on Christmas Eve you always eat in the kitchen together with those who mean something to you. Even if you are very sick you should appear for this meal to show the spirit of Christmas. Because at Christmas there are no barrier and no separations."

These thoughtful and uplifting samples are only a taste of what Heart of the Holidays by Sheryl Roush has to offer as a charming gift for a book lover, or harried housewife alike.

Where to buy Heart of the Holidays: Holiday Inspirations Yuletide Treasures & Traditions

JUST RELEASED: Heart of the Holidays the book plus the Heart of the Holidays BONUS MUSIC CD…. for only $19.95.

My Cat’s New Year’s Resolutions

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My Cat’s New Year’s Resolutions

*  My human will never let me eat her pet hamster, and I am at peace with that.

*  I will not puff my entire body to twice its size for no reason after my human has finished watching a horror movie

*  I will not slurp fish food from the surface of the aquarium.

*  I must not help myself to Q-tips, and I must certainly not proceed to stuff them down the sink’s drain.

*   I will not eat large numbers of assorted bugs, then come home and puke them up so the humans can see that I’m getting plenty of roughage.

*  I will not lean way over to drink out of the tub, fall in, and then pelt right for the box of clumping cat litter.  (It took FOREVER to get the stuff out of my fur.)

*  I will not stand on the bathroom counter, stare down the hall, and growl at NOTHING after my human has finished watching The X-Files.

*  I will not fish out my human’s partial plate from the glass so that the dog can "wear" it and pretend to be my human.  (It is somewhat unnerving to wake up, roll over in bed, and see the dog grinning at you with your own teeth.)

*  I will not use the bathtub to store live mice for late-night snacks.

*  I will not drag dirty socks up from the basement in the middle of the night, deposit them on the bed and yell at the top of my lungs (Burmese LOUD yowling) so that my human can admire my "kill."

*  I will not perch on my human’s chest in the middle of the night and stare into her eyes until she wakes up.

*  We will not play Herd of Thundering Wildebeests Stampeding Across the Plains of the Serengeti over any humans’ bed while they’re trying to sleep.

*  Screaming at the can of food will not make it open itself.

*  I cannot leap through closed windows to catch birds outside.  If I forget this and bonk my head on the window and fall behind the couch in my attempt, I will not get up and do the same thing again.

*  I will not assume the patio door is open when I race outside to chase leaves.

*  I will not back up off the front porch and fall into the bushes just as my human is explaining to his girlfriend how graceful I am.

*  I will not complain that my bottom is wet and that I am thirsty after sitting in my water bowl.

*  I will not intrude on my human’s candlelit bubble bath and singe my bottom.

*  I will not stick my paw into any container to see if there is something in it.  If I do, I will not hiss and scratch when my human has to shave me to get the rubber cement out of my fur.

*  If I bite the cactus, it will bite back.

*  It is not a good idea to try to lap up the powdered creamer before it dissolves in boiling coffee.

*  When I am chasing my tail and catch my back leg instead, I will not bite down on my foot.  This hurts, and my scream scares my human.

*  When it rains, it will be raining on all sides of the house.  It is not necessary to check every door.

*  Birds do not come from the bird feeder.  I will not knock it down and try to open it up to get the birds out.

*  I will not stuff my rather large self into the rather small bird feeder (with my tail hanging out one side) and expect the birds to just fly in.

*  I will not teach the parrot to meow in a loud and raucous manner.

*  The dog can see me coming when I stalk her.  She can see me and will move out of the way when I pounce, letting me smash into floors and walls.  That does not mean I should take it as a personal insult when my humans sit there and laugh.

*  Yes, there are still two very large dogs in the backyard. There have been for several years.  I don’t have to act as if I’ve just discovered the Demon Horror of the Universe each time one of them appears in my  window.

*  I will not play "dead cat on the stairs" while people are trying to bring in groceries or laundry, or else one of these days, it will really come true.

*  When the humans play darts, I will not leap into the air and attempt to catch them.

*  I will not swat my human’s head repeatedly when she’s on the family room floor trying to do sit ups.

*  When my human is typing at the computer, her forearms are *not* a hammock.

*  Computer and TV screens do not exist to backlight my lovely tail.

*  I am a walking static generator.  My human doesn’t need my help installing a new board in her computer.

*  I will not bring the city police to the front door by stepping on the speaker phone button and then the automatic 911 dial button.

*  I will not speed dial the overseas numbers.

*  I will not walk on the keyboard when my human is writing important emiognaioerp ga3qi4 taija3t v aa35 a.

*  Any critter that lives in the house (hamsters), stay in the house and any wild critters (frogs and earthworms) stay outside. I am not allowed to set the hamster free in exchange for finding a frog to put in the fish tank.

*  I will not stalk the deer in the apple orchard next door. They have sharp hooves and could hurt me if they weren’t laughing so hard.

*  I will not watch the guinea pig constantly as the guinea pig likes to sleep once in a while.

*  The goldfish likes living in water and should be allowed to remain in its bowl.

*  I will not put a live mole in my food bowl and expect it to stay there until I get hungry.

*  I will not eat spider plants and hallucinate behind the toilet.

*  I will not drag the magnets (and the papers they are holding up) off of the refrigerator and then bat them underneath it so that they adhere to the underside.

*  I will learn to relax at the vet’s office so they will start writing things in my records like "Good Kitty" and "Sweet Kitty" instead of the stuff that’s there now like "MEAN!!" "BITER!!!" and "GET HELP!!!!!"

*  I will not be miffed at my human all day and then kiss her on the nose at 2:00 a.m. to tell her that she is forgiven and can now pet me.

*  I will not scratch the children of lawyers, no matter how much they chase me or how hard they pull my tail.

*  If I MUST claw my human, I will not do it in such a fashion that the scars resemble a botched suicide attempt.

*  If I must give a present to my human’s overnight guests, my toy mouse is much more socially acceptable than a big live cockroach, even if it isn’t as tasty.

*  I will not soak my catnip toy in the water bowl to make tea.  I will not get high and sit there drinking my tea and kneading the floor afterwards.  I will not then get delusions of grandeur and make tea in the toilet bowl or the tub.  And I will not try to make tea with used socks, dirty panties or hair scrunches when my humans take the catnip toy away from me.

*  A warm pepperoni pizza is not a good place for a nap. 

*  I will not drag a golf ball up the stairs and bat it around the tile floor of the office at 3:30 in the morning.  Despite the fact it’s reportedly impossible for a cat to pick up a golf ball, not to mention carrying it upstairs, my human isn’t impressed with my resourcefulness at oh-dark-thirty. 

*  I will not swat glassware off the kitchen countertops just to watch it shatter on the tile floor.

*  I will not sit right behind my human when she’s fixing dinner and then loudly complain about it when she steps on me. 

*  My human did not buy that rare betta fish as an early morning appetizer before my breakfast. 

*  Things that sting do NOT make good toys.  This includes bees, wasps, and scorpions. 

*  No matter how frightening it may be, the vacuum cleaner isn’t actually trying to eat me. 

*  Items such as glasses and cell phones were not purchased as toys for me. 

*  "Breaking in" new furniture doesn’t mean using it for a scratching post. 

*  I will not try to help my human mop the kitchen floor by batting all the water out of my water bowl in the middle of the night. 

*  The kitchen table is not meant to be my pedestal where my loyal and devoted followers can worship my greatness.   I should not take it personally when I’m unceremoniously removed deposited back onto the floor. 

*  I will not bulldoze over my human in an attempt to dart out the door as my human is coming in.  This is an especially bad idea at night, and even more so when there are skunks in the yard. 

*  Skunks smell bad, are quick to panic, and don’t make good friends. 

-Submitted by Michelle Weisser

Chinese New Year: The Year of the Rat

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Happy Chinese New Year! 
The Year of the Rat begins Thursday, February 7  

What can we learn from The Year of the Rat?

In ancient Chinese astrology, it’s a distinction to be born in the Year of the Rat. Unlike the garbage, plague and lab rats of Western culture, the Eastern Rat offers us rich benefits to take advantage of during 2008. Charming and disarming, this Rat is bright and ambitious, curious and imaginative, hard-working and persistent. The Rat is motivated by money and status, a natural leader,  inspirational speaker, intriguing conversationalist and loyal friend. Do any of our Presidential candidates come to mind as you read this? 

The 2008 Rat is the Earth Rat, a sign of acquisition, and has a knack with money and for saving for a rainy day (Isn’t this intresting, in light of our rampant financial illiteracy and volatile market? I’m also reminded that it is China that’s financing the US occupation of Iraq and the upcoming stimulus package…). The Earth Rat also carries with it the image of a misty mountain, representing clouded perceptions and unexpected outcomes. The lesson for Rats is to see what is real, develop self-awareness and consideration of others – even to put others first. What I glean from this brief character sketch is that 2008 is a year for each of us to raise our accountability, produce better results and make a greater contribution –
by seeing through the illusions that keep us stuck in our comfort zones and by communicating more truthfully and clearly with ourselves
by extending our leadership, speaking and conversational skills
by stretching our listening, mentoring and influencing the development of others
by mastering basic financial skills, such as budgeting, saving, balancing budgets, utilizing compound interests and teaching these skills to others and by more active appreciation and consideration of our loved ones

I invite you to ask – in each of these areas – what are the actions that will move you onward and upward?  Through tapping into the power created by over a billion Chinese minds focused on the Year of the Rat, we will increase that power and be bouyed and boosted in our Rat endeavors in 2008.

-Pamela Kelly

Sparkle-Tude: Keeping a Goal-Focused Sparkling Attitude

Heart of a Mother, Heart of a Woman, Heart of a Woman in Business, Heart of the Holidays, New Year's, Tips & Trivia| No Comments »

Sparkle-Tude: Keeping a Goal-Focused Sparkling Attitude
by Sheryl Roush

  1.  Keep your self-talk positive, proactive and affirming.
  2.  Make sure the goal you are working for is something you really want,
      not just something that sounds good.
  3.  Write your goal in first-person “I am” or “I have” as already
      having achieved it.
  4.  Add feelings to your goal statement. (“I am excited about…”)
  5.  Ensure your goals are not in contradiction to any of your other goals.
  6.  Write your goal out in specific detail
       (numbers, target date, locations, size, pounds dropped, dollar amount).
  7.  Make your goal high enough, and know that you are deserving of it.
  8.  Treasure Map your goal with inspiring visual images in front of you.
  9.  Read your goal OUT LOUD each morning when you wake up,
      visualizing/feeling the completed goal (including smells, sights,
      sounds, feelings, tastes).
10.  Read your goal OUT LOUD each evening right before you go to bed,
      visualizing/feeling the completed goal (including smells, sights, sounds,
      feelings, tastes).
11.  Create a target (realistic) timeline for the goal, with a step-by-step plan.
12.  Set incremental benchmarks and highlight them on your calendar.
13.  Surround yourself with supportive, positive goal-setting people.
14.  Re-View, Re-Evaluate and Re-Write Regularly (every 3-6 months).
15.  Look for unexpected opportunities, unusual happenings that could
      relate to your goals, as these may be incredible and perfect opportunities
      in disguise.
16.  Reward yourself for taking incremental steps toward achieving
      your goal.
17.  Plan a celebration date of completion, announcing the party date
      to your friends.

Every time you make a decision during the day, ask yourself:
• "Does this take me closer to–or further from–my goal?"
• “Is this a distraction from–or attraction to–my goal?”
• “What is the NEXT most important thing to do?”
• “Is this my highest priority right now?”

My Goal: “I am/have_______________________________________________________________."

"Sparkle-Tude!" is Trademark protected by Sheryl L. Roush, Sparkle Presentations, Inc.
Sheryl Roush is an internationally top-rated trainer and in-demand keynote presenter, inspiring organizations and staff to bring their heart to work. Visit for availability and topics including communication skills, boosting attitude and creating positive work environments for enhanced teamwork, cooperation and productivity.

39 Tips for an Exceptional, Superb & Powerful Life!

Heart of a Mother, Heart of a Woman, New Year's, Tips & Trivia| 1 Comment »

39 Tips for an Exceptional, Superb & Powerful Life!

1.) Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.

2.) Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.  Buy a lock for the door if you have to.

3.) Buy a Tivo (DVR),  tape your late night shows and  get more sleep.

4.) When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, ‘My purpose is to________ today. Live with the 3 E’s  — Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.

5.) Watch more movies, play more games and read more books than you did last year.

6.) Always pray and make time to exercise.

7.) Spend  more time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of  Six.

8.) Dream more while you are awake.
9.)  Eat more foods that grow on  trees and plants and eat less foods that are manufactured in plants.

10.)  Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, and munch on raw almonds.

11.) Try to make at least  three people smile each day.

12.) Clear your clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.

13.) Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead, invest your energy in the positive present moment.

14.) Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like Algebra class …….but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.

15.) Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

16.) Smile and laugh more.

17.) Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

18.) Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

19.) Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

20.) You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

21.) Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

22.) Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

23.) Go on and burn those ‘special’ scented candles, use the 600 thread count sheets, the good China and wear your fancy lingerie now. Stop waiting for a special occasion.  Everyday is special.

24.) No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

25.) Frame every so-called disaster with these words:  ‘In five years, will this matter?’

26.) Forgive everyone for everything.

27.) What other people think of you is none of your business.

28.) Time heals almost everything. Give time, time!

29.) However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

30.) Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will.  Stay in touch with  them.

31.) Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

32.) Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need. God provides, remember?!

33.) The best is yet to come. (in Heaven) 
34.)  No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

35.) Do the right thing!

36.) Call your family often.

37.) Each night  before you go to bed complete the following statements: ‘I am thankful for  __________.’
Today I accomplished _________.

38.) Remember that  you are too blessed to be stressed.

39.) Enjoy the ride. Remember  that this is not Disney World and you certainly don’t want a fast pass.  You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the  ride.


Breathing in the New Year

Heart of a Mother, Heart of a Woman, Heart of the Holidays, New Year's, Tips & Trivia| 2 Comments »

Breathing in the New Year

According to Joseph Sweeney of Erie Massage Therapy in Erie, Colorado, one of the easiest things you can do for the New Year in taking care of your body, is to stretch your muscles frequently, stand up from the computer keyboard,  go for short walks outside and get fresh air, and practice breathing exercises.

One of the exercises is to inhale deeply through the nose to the count of six and exhale in out the mouth to the count of four (since it’s faster and more complete). Another tip is to TIGHTEN UP all your muscles on the INHALE, and RELEASE all your muscles on the EXHALE… isometric muscle contraction methods. Immediate benefits to you is instant relief and deeper relaxation, as well as increased muscle regeneration. "These exercises help you to get your muscles into a full and relaxed state" Sweeney comments.

10 Loving New Year’s Resolutions

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Let’s face it. We all make ’em, then we break ’em. That’s life! But mostly it’s because we set unrealistic ones. We’re going to lose that 10 or 20lbs that we’ve been hanging onto for the last five years! We’ll exercise more often. We’re going to change jobs, change our relationships, change habits. Aren’t we?
So here are 10 resolutions to think about…

  1. I will take better care of myself in whatever form that takes. It doesn’t have to be in large leaps. Small steps are enough.
  2. I will say NO more often and know that I’m being kind to myself.
  3. I will write a Gratitude Journal every night and give thanks for all the good things in my life.
  4. I will stop making excuses and start taking actions no matter how big or small.
  5. I will acknowledge the place in me that feels small and vulnerable and honor it with compassion.
  6. I will not apologize for my existence any longer. I’m too old for that.
  7. I will say THANK YOU when someone gives me a compliment without giving a story about why I don’t deserve it.
  8. I will treat myself once a week to at least two hours of alone time.
  9. I will acknowledge my fears, but assume I already have the courage to confront them.
  10. I will find someone to support me in my changes that will hold me accountable so I can truly step into being FEARLESS.

Jacqueline Wales, Fearless Fifties womens’ retreat facilitator and coach, Author of When the Crow Sings,

Starting New: A Moment of Choice

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Starting New: A Moment Of Choice

There are times in our lives that lend themselves to starting something new. The beginning of a new year, finishing school, leaving a job, or changing homes—these all are times that turn our minds to fresh starts. Their advantage is that they bring with them the energy of that event, creating a tide of change around them that we can ride to our next shoreline. But we can choose to start anew anytime. In any moment we can decide that a bad day or a relationship that’s gotten off on the wrong foot can be started again. It is a mental shift that allows us to clean the slate and approach anything with fresh eyes, and we can make that choice at any time.

Starting new is most powerful when we focus our attention to what we are choosing to create. Giving all of our attention to the unwanted aspects of our lives allows what we resist to persist. We need to remember to leave enough room in the process of new beginnings to be kind to ourselves, because it takes time to become accustomed to anything new, no matter how much we like it. There is no need to get down on ourselves if we don’t reach our new goals instantly. Instead, we acknowledge the forward motion and choose to reset and start again, knowing that with each choice we learn, grow, and move forward.

Making the choice to start anew has its own energy—it’s a promise made to you. The forward momentum creates a sort of vacuum behind it, pulling toward you all you need to help you continue moving in your chosen direction. Once the journey has begun, it may take unexpected turns, but it never really ends. Like cycles in nature, there are periods of obvious growth and periods of dormancy that signal a time of waiting for the right moment to burst forth. Each time we choose to start anew we dedicate ourselves to becoming the best we are able to be.

New Year’s Introspection

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January 1, 2008
Insightful Introspection

You may feel introspective today, with a desire for deeper insights about yourself. You may be trying to understand the origins of your desires, overcome limiting behaviors, or seek a better understanding of your motivations.

One of the best ways to feel more connected with your inner wisdom is to spend some quiet time alone in meditation. Simply find a quiet, private place where you won’t be disturbed and focus on releasing any worries or tension from your mind and body. When you feel completely relaxed, turn your attention inward and connect with your inner guidance. In this peaceful silence, you can ask specific questions, or allow insights and hunches to come naturally.

Connecting with our inner wisdom provides the insights and answers we seek in order to live more productive lives. Though we often feel that we know ourselves completely, we can still find ourselves stuck in destructive behaviors or limiting patterns. By taking time to connect more deeply with our inner selves, we tap into a consistent flow of knowledge, insight, and enlightenment that is available to us at any time.

As we connect with this spiritual wisdom, we gain a clearer understanding of our actions, and we can work on dissolving inner blockages and obstacles that may keep us feeling stuck. Our journey through life then becomes focused and productive, as we create lives that fulfill us on a spiritual level. The answers and insights you seek today can be found by tuning into the deepest and wisest part of your inner self.

Quotations: Making Positive Choices

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Quotations: Making Positive Choices

One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And, the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.
– Eleanor Roosevelt

Every act we perform is a choice, even if we are unaware that we have made a choice. Our unawareness of choice at the level of electrons and atoms gives us the illusion of a mechanical reality. In this way, we appear to be mere victims subject to the whims of a "higher being."
Fred Alan Wolf, Quantum Theorist

New Year’s Heart Message

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New Year’s is a time of endings and beginnings. One stress we sometimes experience at New Year’s is looking back on our resolutions and goals from a year ago and seeing how we have fallen short. Nothing robs us of Fyera! or ties our growth and fulfillment to a boomerang bungee cord faster than self judgment. The heart rarely judges and measures our progress. Usually, it celebrates our potential, appreciates our strides, and gives us direct and honest feedback about our gaps- all with love for exactly who we are right here right now. A fully blossomed rose is no more beautiful than a tight bud about to bloom- for each step of our progress and experience, the heart is always able to make room.

We do our end of fiscal year financial accounting, but what about our end of year energy accounting? It is our energy that is the most important resource we have. If we have energy, after all, we will be able to generate all the other resources we need including problem solving skills, hope, innovation, money, and above all, the stamina to ride through the tough times and remain committed to our visions and dreams long enough to see them realized. It is the power of the heart, as accessed through the tools of the beginner HeartMath webinar and the energy accounting tool in the intermediate webinar that replenished those things in me and gave me the power to be writing this for all of you! My heart’s message? “Don’t give up! Keep going! It’s getting easier! It’s getting there! Don’t quit! You’re almost there!”

The nice thing about having the heart on board is that as long as you keep coming back to listen to its signal, it will broadcast its messages to you in everyone you meet and every situation you greet.

-Sheva Carr,

New Year’s Resolutions: Attracting Your Soulmate

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New Year’s Resolutions

Christmas of 2005 I was feeling depressed. All of my younger siblings were scattered around the country celebrating the holidays with their spouse’s families. I, on the other hand, did not have a spouse. I had nowhere to go. I was single and alone, 3000 miles away from “home.”

Being the oldest of five children I always had lots of family around me. But this year was the exception to the rule. As I watched from a distance as my siblings created their own lineages, a friend took pity and invited me to spend the holidays with his relatives. As kind as that was, I found myself feeling even more lonely. As I adjusted to adopting someone else’s kin on Christmas Eve, a spark all of a sudden flickered inside of me.  I realized that, more than any other goal in my life, I wanted a family.

I had been living in Los Angeles for 14 years, a town where youth is a top priority. Seasons don’t change and neither do the faces of its inhabitants. Despite the heat, it is a city where time appears to be frozen. And yet, it is a fallacy. Time still marches on. I couldn’t believe that I was 35. For heaven’s sake, I still felt 25! I didn’t comprehend that the years were passing until I would visit with my growing nieces and nephews. It is in children’s faces that the years fly by.

Sitting by the Christmas tree, surrounded by someone else’s family, only served to feed the flame of discontent growing inside of me. I had enough. As fun and exciting as my single life had been, I was ready for the next step. I had done everything I had come to LA to do, and wanted the next adventure. I was over not having to be responsible for anything or anyone. I was actually bored with myself. I was ready to commit to a new future. Yes, finally, I was ready to find my husband and get married.

I had toyed with the idea in the past, but never before had I felt such conviction that now was the time. New Year’s Eve came and, once again, I was saddened to have another holiday pass by with no one to share it with. I sat myself down in the stillness of my empty apartment and wrote out my resolutions for the year.

With conviction and full intent I declared that 2006 was the year that I would meet and marry my soulmate! I wrote out a detailed list of what it was that I wanted to create for my future. I also devised a plan of how I was going to manifest my desires. This affirmation set that little flame ablaze and I was propelled into action.

I started to clear out everything from my past that might be perceived as an obstacle blocking me from being seen by my soulmate. I was determined to be the best that I could be so that I would attract the best man for my greatest Self. I had been practicing The Law of Attraction for about 8 years and I knew that if I wanted to create an extraordinary man than I would have to BE an extraordinary woman.

I knew that The Law of Attraction worked because I had created an exceptional life so far. I had all sorts of remarkable experiences in my work and traveling the world, although they had mostly been sole ventures. Now, I knew that it was time to focus my attention on designing my life partner. For I knew he was out there looking for me, just as much as I was looking for him.

After begrudgingly checking out online dating sites a few months earlier, I decided to revisit the web with a new attitude and responded to three prospects. I told all three that I “didn’t do email’ and if they’d like to talk they could call me.  On January 5th, 2006, he called. It was only five days after I had written my New Year’s resolutions. He had just returned home from the holiday celebration of Paramahansa Yogananda’s birthday at his church when he received my email. He too had been feeling lonely over the holidays, wondering when I was to come into his life, and moved himself into action to go out and find me.

He drove up from San Diego for our first date on January 6th. There was an instant connection and recognition. For our second date he flew up to San Francisco, where I was working for the week, to take me out to dinner. We knew right away it was meant to be. 

We were engaged by Easter and married in August. It only took me seven months to accomplish my New Year’s goals. We traveled to nine countries together in the year and spent each and every holiday together. The secret to my success was The Law of Attraction. Now, I am getting ready to start to manifest my next goal… a family. 

I now know that my holidays will be lonely no more. New Year’s resolutions can be very powerful if you hold a strong intention, and next year it is my intention to hear the pitter-patter of little feet running around the tree on Christmas morning.

— Karen Kripalani, Relationship and Life Coach, Author  of  “The Secret of How To Attract Your Soulmate and Get Married Within a Year,” 


New Year’s Eve Humor from Kids

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New Year’s Eve
Humor from Kids

Smarter then he should be, David Brett (age 10), watching the countdown to the ball dropping on T.V. from Time Square in New York on December 31, 2006,  "How can it be a good year if we begin it by "dropping the ball?"  "Good question" was my reply.  "Outwitted by a 10 year old" was my thought. 
~Michael Bruce

My first husband and I were never big party goers. We never went out on New Year’s Eve. As our daughters got bigger, we started staying up to watch the New Year’s Eve shows on TV. I would buy sparkling cider and we’d celebrate with toasts at midnight. I had only done this for a couple of years. It turned into a girls’ night when my husband stopped staying up with us. One year, as New Years approached, I had not really given it any thought. The girls were about 8 and 10. My younger daughter asked if we were ready for New Years? I asked what she was talking about and she said, "You know, the sparkling cider!" I had no idea we had a started a tradition, but apparently we had. I rushed out that afternoon and when the crystal ball dropped at midnight at Times Square, we were ready with our champaign glasses filled to the brim with sparkling cider. My daughters are grown and married with their own children now, but we still get together for girl’s nights with a video, popcorn and yep, sparkling cider!
~Joan Enguita,

Reprinted from Heart of the Holidays gift book, by Sheryl Roush

Christmas: In Three Words

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In Three Words

Memories, Flashbacks, Celebrations
Kisses under mistletoe
Cheery red check
Children wide-eyes
Excited laughing children
Frantic rushing parents
Presents under trees
Receiving favorite things
Proposals and rings
Families traveling far
Driving loaded cars
Sweet hot chocolate
Candy cane treats
Apple Rum Cider
Nutmeg and Eggnog
Making plans early
Late night parties
Singing holiday tunes
Cherished friends re-un
Love abundantly shared
Long airplane flights
Snowed-in delays
Families lovingly reunited
Tears of joy
Cats batting ornaments
Dogs chasing cats
Lights flickering on
Angels atop trees
Sweet treats galore
Frosting sugar cookies
Dipping cheese balls
Avoiding fruit cakes
Exchanging holiday recipes
Joyous carols sung
Hope-filled stockings hung
Crisp snowflakes fall
Card sentiments mailed
Monthly earnings spent
Playing in snow
Sparkling garland shines
Shopping last minute
World peace rings
Packing it up
Storing it away
Waiting another year
Anticipating next year
Doing it again

– Sheryl Roush, Speaker, Author,

Reprinted from Heart of the Holidays gift book by Sheryl Roush

Epiphany: Three Kings Follow the Star

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Lovers of carols and Christmas parties know that this season has 12 days, packed with golden rings, calling birds and various kinds of gentry, musician and domestic workers. December 25 is Christmas – and 25 minus 12 does equal 13. Do the math and you will see why shopping malls, newspapers, television networks, and other cultural fortresses annually deliver some kind of “Twelve Days of Christmas” blitz, beginning on December 13.

The problem is that for centuries church calendars in the East and the West have agreed that there are twelve days of Christmas and they begin on Christmas and end on January 6.

The twelve days of Christmas end with the Feast of Epiphany also called “The Adoration of the Magi” or “The Manifestation of God.”  Celebrated on January 6, it is known as the day of the Three Kings (or wise men/magi): Caspar, Melchior, and Balshazar. According to an old legend based on a Bible story, these three kings saw, on the night when Christ was born, a bright star, followed it to Bethlehem and found there the Christ child and presented him with gold, frankincense and myrrh.

January 6, the last day of Christmas, comes with its own traditions, rituals and symbols.  Carolers are going from house to house; in many homes the Christmas Tree is taken down and in some areas is burnt in a big bonfire.  For the children, this is an especially joyous occasion because, associated with taking down the tree goes the “plundern” (raiding) of the tree. The sweets, chocolate ornaments wrapped in foil or cookies (which have replaced the sugar plums) are the raiders’ rewards. 

The history of Christmas (the festival of the nativity of Jesus Christ) is intertwined with that of the Epiphany.  The commemoration of the Baptism (also called the Day of Lights, i.e. the Illumination of Jesus) was also known as the birthday of Jesus, because he was believed to have been born then of the Virgin or reborn in baptism.  In some records, Christmas and Epiphany were referred to as the first and second nativity; the second being Christ’s manifestation to the world.

In the fourth century, December 25 was finally adopted by the Western Christian Church as the date of the Feast of Christ’s birth.  It is believed that this change in date gave rise to the tradition of the “12 Days of Christmas.”  While the Western Christian Church celebrates December 25th, the Eastern Christian Church to this day recognizes January 6 as the celebration of the nativity.  January 6 was also kept as the physical birthday in Bethlehem. In the Teutonic west, Epiphany became the Festival of the Three Kings (i.e. the Magi), or simply Twelfth Day.  

~Emily De Shazo

Top 11 Self-Reflection Questions for Years End

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Top 11 Self-Reflection Questions for Years End
by Michelle L. Casto, Ph.D.

1. What worked in my life this past year?
What did not work?

2. What brought me happiness/disappointment?

3. Where was I successful?

4. What were my greatest challenges/lessons?

5. What am I most proud of? What do I most regret?

6. What attitudes and actions will I take with me into the new year?
Which ones do I want to keep in this year?

7. What limiting beliefs did I shift?
What negative emotions did I shift?

8. When did I follow my intuition?

9. How did I grow, improve, and expand myself?

10. How much love did I share?

11. What do I want my intention to be for 2008?

Michelle L. Casto, Ph.D.
© 2007

Dr. Michelle helps you come up with bright ideas for your life,  shine your bright light to the world, and graduate from a "default" life to your divine life, the one you were born to live. You can visit her web site at

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