#242 Begin Weight Training

It helps us to build bone also which staves off osteoporosis. Stronger bones and muscles means more stability and flexibility, reducing potential for injuries.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#242

Begin weight training

Truth is, building muscle is good for you. We know working out and aerobic exercise helps us to burn calories, burning at least as many calories as we consume is the way we keep our weight stabilized. The more muscles we have, the more calories we will burn and consequently, we can either eat a little more or loose a little weight.

Benefits

For women in particular, weight training is beneficial to women. Muscles burn more calories than fat and so our metabolism increases. Strength training helps us gain strength without building large muscles or bulking up. It helps us to build bone also which staves off osteoporosis. Stronger bones and muscles means more stability and flexibility, reducing potential for injuries. Additionally, our posture is better and we significantly reduce our tendency for back pain with a stronger core. All of these result in better mood and quality of life.

Getting Started

Squats, push ups, lunges, and planks are great muscle building exercises. The key is to do sets and build up slowly. Alternating sets and repetitions is one of the primary suggestions of trainers. If you’re unsure where to begin, a trainer is a smart way to get your challenge started. Their expertise is invaluable when it comes to what do do for what kind of result. Once you get established in a routine, there are plenty of apps, videos, and TV channels that will help you stay motivated and progressing.

Regardless of your age, there is a workout designed to keep your muscles strong and healthy. All you  have to do is …

Start weight training.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#243 Start Your Day with Motivation

Grab your tablet, your smartphone, or tune your smart TV to a speech geared to energize your mental energy and listen to something inspiring instead of the morning news while you eat breakfast or prepare for the day.

#243

Start your day with motivation

Your Daily Start

How do you start your day? Do you grab a cup of coffee and turn on the news? Pick up a newspaper? While it’s helpful to check traffic and weather to get your commute organized, it can be a real bummer reading or listening to the day’s headlines. When you get ready for your day do you pick through your closet and reject most of the pieces you grab? Are you frequently complaining about a bad hair day? Are you reeling with negative self talk about your weight, your wrinkles, or your schedule?

Make a Shift

If any of the above is true, is it any wonder that your day starts on a low note? Shifting that routine just a little my in fact completely turn around a dull perspective and give you a much more positive beginning each day.

Instead of listening to the news and all of its negativity, begin your day with something uplifting. Once again, we are living in a time when any information we want is at our fingertips via the internet making motivational messages only a few keystrokes away.

Watch & Listen

This is not a new concept… YouTube channels such as BeInspired and TED Talks are libraries for morning motivation. Searching motivational speakers will return inspiring lectures from Oprah Winfrey, Tony Robbins, Les Brown, Brene Brown, Brian Tracy, Marianne Williamson, and hundreds more. Almost any topic you find interesting is covered from finance and professional development to spirituality and personal growth. What area of your life do you want to grow? Grab your tablet, your smartphone, or tune your smart TV to a speech geared to energize your mental energy and listen to something inspiring instead of the morning news while you eat breakfast or prepare for the day.

The way we view life is greatly determined by the lens we begin our day with. Technology makes it easier than ever to make that choice for ourselves. Make your day better by making the decision to…

Start your day with motivation.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#244 Rearrange Your Furniture

It takes imagination to consider how things may appear in another configuration. It employs our capacity to think in spacial terms; recognizing angles, depth, and size.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#244

Rearrange your furniture

As strange as it sounds, one of my fondest memories as a child was coming home from school to find that my mother had rearranged the furniture yet again. It was a habit of hers and I’m convinced that she had a personal goal of discovering an unlimited number of placement combinations.

Control

Perhaps it was something unexpected that brought delight and pleasure to my young and spontaneous mind. Maybe it was the anticipation of change, something new and novel.  Maybe it’s just as simple as giving an ‘old’ thing new energy. Sometimes, if the only thing we can find to have control of is moving furniture, then it creates an opportunity to empower.

Creative Energy

Rearranging your furniture also allows you to engage your inner creative. It takes imagination to consider how things may appear in another configuration. It employs our capacity to think in spacial terms; recognizing angles, depth, and size.

Feng Shui

When we move into a space we are sometimes in a hurry, not thinking about the best layout and furniture ends up staying in its original location. Other times we replace furniture that may not fit as precisely as its predecessor. And of course there is the consideration of Feng Shui, the Chinese practice of organizing items in our home in such a way as to create good ‘qi’ – meaning good ‘energy’.  Depending on what elements (wealth, health, love) you want to attract or support in you life, you’ll want to place certain pieces of furniture in specific areas of your room. Additionally, getting rid of everything that you don’t love is imperative – even if Great Aunt Ellen gave it to you.

Take a look at the area you are sitting in now… allow yourself to imagine the space a little differently and then…

Rearrange your furniture.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#245 Go to a Fair

This is where you’ll find the Grand Champion Bull and the best tasting jar of bread and butter pickles. These local fairs are a breeding ground for the future …

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#245

Go to a Fair

All American

Is there anything more American than a County or State Fair? Similar to a festival in that it brings communities and/or groups together, a county or state fair is designed for the exhibition of animals and events associated with agriculture. This is where you’ll find the Grand Champion Bull and the best tasting jar of bread and butter pickles. These local fairs are a breeding ground for the future of at least one part of our food supply chain. In addition, they are platforms for students and adults across the nation to show off their hard work in textiles, with animals, food, and plants, as well as heritage and crafting projects.

New Stuff

If you are looking for a new hybrid Azalea, chances are you’ll find one at a State Fair. Would you like to motivate your children to take up sewing? A stroll through the textile area will offer a glimpse into the creations of other children in her age group. Do you want to know how to get the best egg production from your Long Island Red rooster? Talk with people who won ribbons in that category. If you’re interested, even the vendors are touting their newest and shinest machinery, gadgets, and electronics to make your endeavors higher producing, more efficient, and/or less costly.

Food

As if all that isn’t enough to entice you, some of the best local food can be found at County Fairs. There is typically a ‘food barn’ where local women have set up a pop up restaurant of sorts – home cooking at it’s finest (at least in some locals), usually to support the community 4-H programs that are represented there. Comfort food like Grandma’s Chicken & Dumplings or Uncle Pete’s Fire Chili (perhaps a Blue Ribbon Winner) are most likely on the menu.

Entertainment

Of course there are rides and games to make the environment charged with excitement and anticipation but maybe the icing on the cake is evening entertainment which, varies of course by location and Fair size. There will likely be tractor pull competitions, demolition derbies, or big ticket concerts most evenings of the fair. Additionally, it’s a common platform for Country music artists early in their career, giving us an early introduction to some great musicians. Typically a fair runs a week, give or take a couple of days.

A simple Google search for county or state fair with the addition of your state identity (i.e., New York county fair schedule) should give you all details so that you can grab the fam and …

Go to a Fair

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Photo by Matthew Miner on Unsplash

#246 Do Something Unexpected

The term ‘go big or go home’ is novel and sounds brave but could be financially or emotionally expensive and perhaps not a good way to get your feet wet with the experience of variety.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#246

Do something unexpected

Are you predictable?

Is there someone in your life that finishes your sentences? Do people make decisions for you based on historical data? Are you in a stagnant place; doing the same thing day in and day out? When life becomes too certain or too predictable, it can become boring. While we all need certainty to some extent, too much of it is not a good thing. Stability is a great thing but it needs to occasionally be sprinkled with variety with the understanding that tolerance for the unexpected is totally personal.

Take Control

For those of us who covet certainty, it’s a good idea to take some control of the variety we need and the best way to do this is to get up and do something unexpected. Make sure you’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to experiencing any change up in routine. I’m not suggesting any wild or crazy things necessarily although if you’ve always been skittish about heights and suddenly express an urge to go bungee jumping, that may make sense. However, leaving a job that sustains your livelihood without another way to meet your obligations probably won’t be in your best interest overall.

Take a Risk

In order to step out of your comfort zone and do the unexpected – you must assume some amount of risk. For this reason, it is suggested that you start small – especially if you are just now stepping out. The term ‘go big or go home’ is novel and sounds brave but could be financially or emotionally expensive and perhaps not a good way to get your feet wet with the experience of variety. Be responsible and take calculated risks or the whole ‘certainty’ issue becomes more cemented.

Benefits

Doing the unexpected builds confidence both in yourself and in you for those around you. It requires courage and bravery to step out into the unknown. Even if you are certain of the results, doing something that no one would anticipate can be a recipe for surprise and entertainment; both of which contribute significantly to feelings of happiness.

Do yourself a favor and keep life interesting by making a commitment to …

Do something unexpected.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#247 Go to a Festival

We rode the Ferris Wheel and stood in line for the Tilt-a-Whirl no matter the summer temperature knowing we could get snow cones before going home.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#247

Go to a festival

In the summer months, there seems to be a festival for just about anything you might find interesting. If you live in the Chicago Metropolitan area, there are more than 40 festivals in the month of July alone! While many of them appear to celebrate or focus on food such as the Roscoe Village Burger Fest or the

Tacos y Tamales Festival, others focus on drink (Chicago Craft Beer Festival & the Chicago Whiskey & Wine Beach Festival).  Many of them are themed around the arts or music as well. Each weekend there are several to choose from and the choice may be difficult.

Carnivals

Large cities offer a plethora of opportunities for festival fun but small towns get in the mood as well. As a child, my sister and I looked forward to the Fireman’s Carnival each summer. It was a traveling group that made the rounds through all of the small towns in our county and surrounding area. We rode the Ferris Wheel and stood in line for the Tilt-a-Whirl no matter the summer temperature knowing we could get snow cones before going home. The memories made that week each year are some of my favorite childhood reflections.

Finding them

With an internet connection finding a festival to attend is easy. Most large communities have Facebook pages or independent websites touting the ‘things to do’ each weekend. More generic sites dedicated to promoting Festivals in general also exist… Festivals.com allows you to enter a zip code to discover what’s happening in that locale and it is one of many like minded sites. It’s a great resource when you find yourself in an unfamiliar city and want to get a taste (perhaps literally) of the local scene.

Check it out, look at your summer calendar and make plans to …

Go to a festival.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#248 Sit in a park

The temperature falls instantly by ten degrees as the air is cooled and pushed by the water cascading 20 feet across the entire back of the park.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#248

Sit in a park

So, it’s Sunday afternoon and you’re at the park. Perhaps you’re walking through. Maybe you’re having a picnic. Could be you’re biking, running, or playing your way through the terrain… when was the last time you simply sat??

Why a park?

Generally, parks are green spaces created with our pleasure in mind. Pleasure because they offer an open space (open is relative here) where we can go for an outdoor experience. Of course that often means some kind of activity and yet all those benches that we see in parks aren’t only for rest in between activity. You might also sit on a blanket in the park or on a rock. Perhaps you prefer to plunge right down in the grass, allowing yourself to feel the ground specifically beneath you. The goal is to find a spot in the park and to sit alone and quietly there; contemplating or observing everything in your sight.

Parks are a great place to find a few quiet moments – perhaps not quiet from the perspective of sound – but from our individual lives. There in the park, we can slip away from responsibility, from demands of work and family, and utilize the energy of the outdoor environment to rejuvenate.

Be Mindful

As you sit there – in the park – take time to be mindful. Notice the grass, the sky, the people, the sounds, the temperature, and the textures. Pay attention to details… color differences, movement, and decibels.

Allow it all to move through your sight line without attachment and if you can… practice gratitude or compassion with each observation. (i.e., “I’m so grateful for the sensation of the sun on my face.”)

Sitting alone in a park can be an experience all in its own.

Paley Park

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One of my most favorite memories is finding the jewel of Paley Park in New York City. Walking east along 53rd street, just past MOMA, there’s a small break in the storefronts – almost unnoticeable – and yet with a glance you are immediately lured into an open square canopied by trees and flanked by a wall of water falling into a pond. The sounds of Manhattan cease and your senses are filled with nature. The temperature falls instantly by ten degrees as the air is cooled and pushed by the water cascading 20 feet across the entire back of the park. Without hesitation, I pulled up a chair and allowed that space to evaporate the metropolitan energy from my mind; replacing it with a lightness and freshness that can only be induced by Mother Nature.

Create your Own Moment

Understandably, most readers won’t be running to Paley Park anytime soon (highly recommended if you find yourself in NYC) and yet there are dozens of options near you at any given time as our culture is rather park-minded overall. A local town square, a community green space, a state game land, or a national treasure all offer opportunities to get grounded if we just take a moment and …

Sit in a park.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.