Handling Tasks: Do Less Things with More Intention

I think that sometimes we feel as if our actions don’t count because we do dozens of things very quickly in our day. As women, we’ve often been conditioned to do so much in such a short period of time. You jump from one thing to the next, never really being able to enjoy your day or live in the moment. At the end of the day, you might feel like you haven’t really accomplished anything at all.

So maybe it’s best to choose just one or two things to do each day with intention, dedication and care.

For instance, I decided on this particular day that I was going to clear out my refrigerator from top to bottom then reorganize it. This will make it much easier for me to see the foods I have available so that I’ll be more likely to eat them. My plan includes enjoying a delicious snack (maybe some cheese and salami), maybe a glass of wine or champagne and of course a great Audiobook.

cleanfridge

Photo courtesy of Flickr/angryjuliemonday

Now if I decided to do this task on a whim when I was already overwhelmed with things to do, I’d probably just quickly throw a few things out and take shortcuts. But because I’ve decided to do this ONE task with intention, dedication and care, it will be done right. And I will enjoy the fruits of this task for many weeks. I’ll remember that I accomplished something.

Here are a few other tasks that can be done with intention, dedication and care that you’ll remember long after you’ve done them:

  • Cleaning and waxing your car (wax on wax off).
  • Clearing out your garage and giving stuff away to charity (be sure to keep the receipt).
  • Removing all of your clothes from your closet and giving anything you haven’t worn for over a year away promptly to charity.
  • Spending hours perfecting a new look (hair, makeup, outfit).
  • Cooking a very tasty, very healthy meal for yourself and packing the leftovers in trays for future lunches.
  • Planting a small area of your yard with a colorful array of flowers, taking care to plan out how they will look.
  • Brushing and grooming your pet.
  • Taking down your entire bed, freshening the mattress with a shampooer, washing your sheets in your favorite detergent or replacing them with 300 count sheets.
  • Writing 1 short story, blog post or article that is carefully thought-out and researched.
  • Reading a book, taking a 2-hour online course or practicing a language.

Now if you tried to do all of these things in one day or one weekend, you would be overwhelmed and they would be done poorly. But if you commit to doing JUST ONE THING the job will get done THE RIGHT WAY. And you’ll feel better about your accomplishment for the day.

womansitting

 

As you can probably see, this idea (doing things with intention) is also about self-care. Pick tasks that are directly beneficial to you. Not only do you feel better about yourself for having accomplished something, you have also done something that will make your day, week or life much easier and more enjoyable.

You matter and your actions matter. Do something with intention, dedication and care this week.

Love Lynn

 

Update 10/10/16 11pm: Mission accomplished!
fridgecleaned

 


Lynn Gilliard is an author and blogger. Her new book You Matter encourages women to know and understand their worth. She is also the author of a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

 

Featured photo courtesy of Flickr/allkindsofnew

 

Watching TV Is an Escape… and a Potential Trap – Here’s Why #LoveLynn

I read a post recently that said you spend 12 years getting a basic education, four years in college and then the rest of your life working hard to pay bills.

When you put it like that life sounds pretty depressing doesn’t it? But the fact of the matter is that people *choose* this as their life — it doesn’t have to be that way.

Some people do what they love for the rest of their life. Some people choose to live an extremely modest life so that they can pursue their art instead of working at a job. Some people work 10 years then retire and travel the world. They all made a different decision.

Is Too Much TV Zapping the Life Out of Your Goals?
One of my mentors in my head, Zig Ziglar, said that one of the reasons why many people aren’t successful is that they spend too much time watching television. I had to take a look at my own schedule and admit that he was absolutely right. Whenever I turn on the TV, it’s like the hours fly by and I’ve barely gotten anything done. When I turn it off, I get so much work done.

Here’s an important question to ask yourself this week — how many hours per day do you spend watching television?

Television is a mental escape for many people. It allows them to take a temporary vacation from real life and visit the lives of others. Except in most cases those others are simply actors playing a role (not real). Even though we know they are actors, we often shape our lives and our thoughts based on what we see daily on television and in the media. That’s why I say it’s a potential trap, because in addition to losing time, you could lose yourself in the images you’re watching.

Watching TV vs Sleeping
I have a theory that the time you spend watching TV would probably be better spent sleeping. That’s because when you watch TV you’re in a sort of a mental sleep anyway, except that you are exposed to so many messages from the outer world that could be negatively affecting your life.

When you watch TV you are exposing yourself to the mindset and opinions of the writers of the show you’re watching. In many ways they shape public opinion and also how you perceive the world. That’s why it’s so important to evaluate what you allow yourself and your children to watch.

When you watch TV you also expose yourself to commercials that influence your behavior. How many times have you seen a fast food commercial on television and hours later or the next day you’re going through the drive thru, breaking your diet goals.

So I would say that sleeping for the same amount of hours per day that you watch TV would be preferable. Why? Because when you sleep you are regenerating your cells, rejuvenating your body, dreaming and exposing yourself to your own mind. It’s a chance to get in touch with your thoughts and possibly become inspired to do something really special with your life. Maybe you’ll even come up with an idea that will allow you to have a much better life story then just going to school for 16 years and working at a job you don’t really like for the rest of your life.

Not all TV is bad. Some programs and movies inspire and educate. But unfortunately the majority are solely designed to entertain and get the biggest audience so that money will be made. They aren’t written with your best interest in mind.

An Even Better Choice
Truth be told, neither sleeping nor watching television is the best use of those precious hours if you want to avoid a humdrum existence. I believe those hours are best spent working on your talent, trying new things, meeting new like-minded people and discovering your purpose. I don’t think our Higher Power intended for us to use them watching other people “live” in television, or just sleeping the day away.

A Different Perspective
This post is not meant to be judgmental — it’s meant to give you a different perspective on your day and on how you choose to design your life. If you’re not satisfied with the idea of working hard at a job until you can’t work anymore, then it’s up to you to change that narrative. It starts with making better use of the precious hours you’re given — the sooner the better.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a book of life and love advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Is It Really a Good Idea to Have a Plan A B and C?

Throughout much of my adult life I lived by the belief that it’s always good to have a plan A B or C in case your initial idea doesn’t pan out. In my mind, the plans after “A” would have been settling into a permanent job; plan B is a good job I like, “C” is not as good of a job and so forth down the alphabet.

But that conflicts with the teachings of my mentors who say that if you have a major goal, nothing should distract you from it. Many say that having a “backup plan” is a bit like predicting the failure of your first goal.

Now I feel the need to adjust the line of thinking that I’ve always clung to about having a backup plan. Now I think that it’s important to have a plan A B C D through Z that specifically moves you toward your ultimate goal or dream of choice.

I agree with my mentors, like Les Brown, who say that if you have a dream you want to achieve you hang onto it like a mad dog with a bone. At the same time it’s still a good idea to have a plan A B and C for pursuing that dream. That’s the key.

There could be many roads that lead you to your ultimate goal — some are smooth, “safe” and curved while others are more “tricky” or risky but they might get you there faster. Each of those roads to your goal are labeled plans ABC. The more backup plans you have the better in this case — if you believe in your dream, you will do what is necessary to achieve it.

Even if you do decide to put your plans on pause for a moment, that doesn’t mean that your “trip” is over. For instance, if you decide to pause a business venture and get a job, let that be a time to regroup, save some money and get refocused on your business plan. In this case, getting a job isn’t plan B for your LIFE… it’s just PART of plan B for achieving your ultimate goal.

Avoid negative people who try to discourage you. Keep learning and growing. And stay focused on your dreams and goals — they help give your life meaning and purpose.

“Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner.”
– Les Brown

Watch this motivational video by Les Brown: http://youtu.be/KlUMrzwmbyo

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a book of life and love advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Success Rarely Happens Overnight (Don’t Stomp on Your Sprouts)

Say one day you decide to plant a sunflower. After 2 weeks, there’s a tiny sprout. After 3 weeks there’s even more of a sprout but not quite a sunflower yet.

Do you give up on your sunflower, yell at the sun, stomp on the dirt and pour antifreeze over the sprout because it hasn’t become a full grown flower yet?

Or are you encouraged by the small bit of progress, and continue to water and feed your soon-to-be flower?

Choosing the first option sounds RIDICULOUS doesn’t it? Yet people do that all the time to their goals, dreams and pursuits of success. You make a bit of progress, but it’s not enough, so you abandon the whole thing after a short while. You don’t see the “fruit” from your efforts quickly enough, so you pour antifreeze all over your plans and scream at the sky.

One of the questions in my book Why Doesn’t He Love Me? is “Why do good things take so long to happen for me?”

We tend to be very impatient about progress. We want results now, or even better YESTERDAY.

Well a fact of life is that success takes time — it rarely happens overnight!

Pursuing a goal is like planting a seed in the ground. You water it, feed it and let the sun bless it. It grows slowly and perfectly until one day there’s a beautiful flower in the dirt.

And each seed has its own timeline. Some will be ready for harvest in just a few weeks, while others (like bushes and trees) take years to fully mature.

How many times have you given up on a new workout or nutrition plan, just because you didn’t see flatter abs and less pounds on the scale in 2 or 3 weeks? (Sometimes days!) It takes months and years for a shift in your diet and exercise plan to show significant results, and consistency is key.

Have you ever tried to learn a new skill, like dancing, playing an instrument, or painting and after a short time gave up because you didn’t think you were good enough?

Do me a favor right now and look up the early/first paintings of iconic artists like Salvadore Dali, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Many famous artists didn’t start off painting “perfect” masterpieces. There was a progression in their art that came with time, practice and inspiration. The same is true for many of your favorite musicians and entertainers.

Then there are the trials of starting your own business. You opened the business and no one flooded through your doors the first week. That doesn’t mean you and your business idea is a failure! It means that more time is needed, more new ideas or maybe even a slight shift in your business plan. Steve Jobs didn’t turn Apple into a multibillion dollar corporation overnight — it took many years for him to finally get his footing.

And sometimes, some seeds just don’t ever turn into flowers for any number of reasons. Maybe the seed didn’t get enough water or the weather wasn’t warm enough. That doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you or that you’re a failure — it simply means that you have to plant more seeds until you start to see some sprouts coming in. The soil’s still good! So keep planting.

“If you really believe in what you’re doing, work hard, take nothing personally and if something blocks one route, find another. Never give up.”
– Laurie Notaro

Don’t Stomp on Your Sprouts
If you are the type of person who gives up on your goals and dreams quickly, keep these words in mind:

Don’t stomp on your sprouts. Keep watering, watching over them and loving them instead — they need time and plenty of love to flourish.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a book of life and love advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

One Day… Why Not NOW?

A lot of us go through life, going through the motions. We wait for the day that someone will show up and vindicate us for all the hard work we’ve done. We wait for the day when someone will recognize us for the struggle we’ve gone through.

We hope for that “one day”… someone (maybe Jesus, maybe a boyfriend, maybe a woman friend) will come into our lives and say “I’m so sorry you had to go through all of that” or “You are a saint for what you’ve tolerated.”

And this very well may happen some day. But the longer you wait for it to happen, the more and more resentment and anger builds up.

So instead of waiting for that one day, why not make it happen today? You don’t have to wait for *another person* to let you off the hook. Let YOURSELF off of the hook. Tell your own self those things that you so desperately want to hear:

– you are so special
– you are amazing for what you do
– you are so hard working
– God is so proud of you

Whatever it may be.

Start living for YOU today.

One Day I Will… When…
There is another kind of “One Day” some of us secretly hold in mind. The one that says:

One day I will ___(fill in the blank)___ when I __(fill in the blank)___

– One day I will get a better job when I get my degree

– One day I will go to the spa when I get vacation time

– One day I will start my own business when my credit gets better

– One day I will move when I save enough money

This phrase is often an excuse to delay action today. Talk is cheap — action matters.

So if you really want to make those things happen, what can you do TODAY to make them more of a reality?

– Instead of waiting for your degree for a better job, start researching better paying jobs that you may be qualified for. You may find that you can make a lot more money RIGHT NOW doing something that you’re already skilled at.

– Instead of waiting for time off to act on going to the spa, make an appointment RIGHT NOW — even if it’s a couple of weeks from now. If cash-flow is an issue at the moment, you now have a clear goal in mind to save up $50 or so for a good massage and facial!

– If you want to start a business, you don’t need perfect credit to do so. You may need good credit to get financing, but there’s nothing stopping you from getting started on a business plan TODAY.

– If your ultimate goal is to move, do you have a clear idea in your mind of WHERE you want to move? Do you know exactly how much it would cost to do that? Even if you don’t have enough cash for the deposit or moving costs, you can take steps RIGHT NOW to get things rolling in that direction.

Let’s stop using that phrase “One Day” and start embracing the idea that there are actions and steps we can take TODAY to achieve our goals and get satisfaction out of life.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer, transformational blogger and author of Survive, Live or Thrive? a self-help guide for people who feel stuck in a rut, and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.