The Fine Art of Saying No (so we can still be friends)

michelehowe:

When saying “no” is really saying a “yes” to a great friendship!

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:

Unlike many women I know, I’ve never much struggled with saying, “No,” to a request that came my way which either 1) took time away from the people I’m most responsible for; this includes family/friends/colleagues, or 2) would drain my time/energy/resources away from the tasks/goals I had already prioritized.

I realize this sounds hard-hearted and clinical.

It’s not.

In fact, taking this hardline approach when asked to fill a position/volunteer/take over a project/assume the role someone else dropped…helps me to bring more heart and passion to my primary responsibilities.

Since we’re all given 24 hours in a day, it isn’t a difficult chore to estimate how much free time we have after our basic responsibilities have been fulfilled.

Work
Eat
Sleep
Exercise
Home maintenance
Relationships

Which leaves a pretty narrow margin for:

leisure
volunteering
hobbies
after work/extra work tasks

You get the picture.

It’s easier to politely say, “No,” when…

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Getting Prepared One Half Hour at a Time

success

A while back I reviewed, The Power of a Half Hour (Take Back Your Life Thirty Minutes at a Time) by Tommy Barnett.

To be honest, I was already in sync with this author’s premise that lives can be changed for the better by living in thirty minute segments because I’ve been doing it for years.

When my kids were small, I realized that it was going to be a challenge squeezing in time for writing/reviewing/exercising/eating/drinking/breathing…

So, I adopted the thirty minute plan some thirty years ago and it’s been keeping me on track ever since.

In Barnett’s book, he shares how valuable thirty minutes of preparation is for any type of success.

Preparation is necessary for any (and all) types of success.

As Barnett points out:

Whenever you see someone doing a complicated task with grace and ease, you can be sure without a doubt that the person has spent countless hours in preparation. Getting prepared is not the glamorous part, no matter what the task may be. But there will be no glamour realized unless you do the sufficient preparation.

How many times have you read about garage bands that toiled for ten or fifteen years in grungy clubs before they released a hit song that launched them to “overnight success”? It’s a more common occurrence than you might imagine. In our instant-gratification society we downplay all the hard work it takes to reach goals, but that does not change the need for a commitment to readiness.

Readiness.

I love the concept of always preparing for what may come next.

And if we’re as serious about succeeding in whatever we put our hand to in life…readiness is essential.

Readiness is also powerful.

As Barnett reminds readers:

Your preparation can have a lasting effect on people.

Or not.

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I Love my iPad – Let Me Count the Ways

michelehowe:

Still loving it…still feel the same way about social media!

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:

heartinsnow Last month (approximately eighteen months after I purchased my iPad 2) I finally read through the owner’s manual. This is a miracle. Truly.

I admit to being a voracious reader but I cannot for the life of me read through most instruction manuals and understand what they’re talking about.

Clearly, I have a brain anomaly.

During those frustrating moments when I would intermittently get stuck trying to figure out how to use my iPad, my son would tell me to just open an app and figure it out. Not helpful.

I felt like some ancient old-timer who can’t figure out anything without a youthful hand masterfully leading the way, tapping here and there and wha-lah magic! Problem solved.

So, when push came to shove (and the younger generation is too busy to help out) I finally re-opened the instruction app and read it.

And I was amazed at how user-friendly…

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Stand by Me in Those 10,000 Little Moments

michelehowe:

Peace. It’s always a good word.

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:

typewriterkeys Last year I picked a word to focus on throughout 2012.

That word was peace.

And boy, did I ever crave it.

There were moments when I felt it and lots of other moments when I didn’t.

Still, it stuck with me throughout 2012.

On the eve of 2013, I haven’t yet decided what will be my “word” for the upcoming year…but I am leaning toward trust.

Trust can encompass a lot of different areas of life.

But two stick out to me the most.

I have to decide day after day to trust God. Period. End of story.

Second, I have to trust that the 10,000 little choices I make will, over time, make me.

And, I’m fully aware that I need to rally my friends to stand by me, stand with me, and stand up for me, every single day.

Here are some insightful words on…

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Traveling Light – So We Can Manage the Heavy Lifting of Life

michelehowe:

Ah…the freedom of traveling light….I want to get better and better at it.

Originally posted on Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life:

luggage
And tomorrow, when out of habit you pick your luggage back up, set it down again. Set it down again and again until that sweet day when you find you aren’t picking it back up. Max Lucado

Getting so sick that you can hardly get up off the couch for any reason whatsoever reminds you of several important life truths.

1. Life is fragile.
2. Our physical health is fragile.
3. Our hearts and minds are fragile.
4. We are all dependent upon the goodwill of others.
5. We waste too much time burdening ourselves with stuff that doesn’t matter.

I’d like to think that I don’t need to bottom-out by illness very often to remember how fragile life is…but sometimes I fear that is what God uses to get my attention. Otherwise, I get busy (and stay busy) doing stuff that really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense…

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It’s Simple Math (Subtract to Add)

addingup

A dear friend of mine has been challenging me to consider how I’m using my time.

It’s been such a difficult thing for me to step back some and learn (re-learn) to be quiet.

For years, out of necessity, I was always moving from one task to the next. Now, with an almost empty nest, I’m finding I have some time on my hands.

What to do with this sudden elusive commodity?

Join a group?
Lead a class?
Start volunteering?
Write another book?

Any and all options are good ones.

Still, I realized that it’s too easy to stay too busy.

Maybe, just maybe, what I need most is time.

Time to be quiet.
Time to not be distracted.
Time to be still.
Time to listen.

So, I decided to subtract instead of add.

In the past few months, I’ve realized how hard it is to choose a period of relative quiet by eliminating what I can so I can prepare for what’s coming next.

By subtracting I’m adding.

How about you?

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Own the Moment…Being Quietly Kind

loganplant

When we have the opportunity to help anyone, we should do it. Galatians 6:10

Last summer, Logan “owned the moment” when asked to help carry plants from the yard into the garden. He was all about it as this photo shows.

Sure, it was a small thing. But I’ve come to believe life is all about the little moments.

Small kindnesses.
Little bits of help along the way.
Gestures of courtesy in a cruel world.
Stepping out to assist even when it’s uncomfortable.

Kind hearts are quietly kind.

Going about their business, not drawing attention to themselves. Just going about their day, leaving their world a little better than they found it.

Kind hearts are quietly kind. They let the car cut into traffic and the young mom with three kids move up in the checkout line. They pick up the neighbor’s trash can that rolled into the street, and they are especially kind at church. They understand that perhaps the neediest person they’ll meet all week is the one standing in the foyer or sitting on the row behind them in worship. Max Lucado

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