everyday success


Checking In on Yourself

Twelve weeks from today is New Years’ Day 2018!  It’s hard to imagine that 2017 is almost behind us but I’m afraid it is – almost behind us.  We’re in the last quarter of the year and we’re racing towards the holidays.  Halloween is one thing, but in fewer than 7 weeks, it will be Thanksgiving and you know what happens after that.  In what feels like minutes, it will be Christmas and Hanukkah and a week later, we’re celebrating the start of the New Year.

It feels as if 2017 raced right by.  Before we know it, we’ll be thinking New Year goals and resolutions.  But what about this year’s?  Now is a very good time to look at 2017.  Has it been a good year for you?  A momentous year?  Or, have you encountered bumps in your road?  Take a moment to look behind and ask yourself:

What were the highlights of this year?  What will you remember forever from this year?  Did you meet a new friend, start a new job, have a new child or grandchild?  Could be you traveled or learned something new.  

As you think of the good parts, make note of each and remember to congratulate yourself for the role you played in making each of them happen, in making it a good year for you.

What were your challenges?  Some years may be better than others so, did you run into anything that made this year more difficult?  How are you managing?  Do you have the help you need to get you through?  Have you reached  out to others so you don’t have to manage alone?

There are so many other ways to look at your 2017 experience, here are a few more.

  • Goals  Did you start the year with goals you wanted to happen?  Did they happen?  If not, is there anything you can do in the weeks ahead to fix that?
  • Fun  Did you have fun or happy times during the year?  Did you make sure you smiled – and found things to smile about? 
  • Family & Friends  Our relationships make an immense difference in life.  What changed, either favorably or not, in your closest relationships?  What might you do in the next twelve weeks to strengthen or solidify these, especially with the holidays in mind?
  • Growth, Hobbies  It may look as if I’ve returned to the idea of having fun and you wouldn’t be wrong.  As you look back and then ahead to the remainder of the year, those things you do that are pure expressions of you – whether gardening or golf, hiking or learning a language – give us a deep and needed satisfaction.
  • Health  Checking up on your health is every bit as important as exercise and diet.  Do have need to check with your doctor, your dentist or anyone else?  How often do we mean to do these details but somehow our intense schedule gets in the way?  Remember you and your health!
  • Work and Money  What did you plan for your work this year?  Did it happen and, if not, what can you do between now and 1/1/18?  Whether we love our work or it is a means to an end, it does require your thoughtful attention.
  • Love Life  When you are married, partnered or otherwise committed, do you take time for just the two of you?  Taking time with your partner is immensely important.  Now, as a woman who didn’t marry til 50, I can assure those of you who do not have a current love, there is so much in our lives that is deeply fulfilling.  Instead of a romantic date, do the things in life you love doing.  I just bring up love life and romance because so many people forget to take time for the relationship.

We’ve twelve weeks during which we can add our own final spin on our year.  Plus, we’ll kick off our new year in strength.  May these be good weeks for you!

What Kind of A Person Are You? A Last Look – For Now

For the last time in this brief series, we return to considering what kind of person we are.  While this is the first time Everyday Success blog has addressed the subject, we’ll return to it now and again.  In the meantime, as always, we’ll appreciate your thoughts and ideas.

The idea for these posts came from a recent interview in which we learned that a fashion designer knew early in her life what kind of woman she wanted to be.  That made us wonder, what defines us a person.  

Your purpose in life.  This is a difficult question.  Some of us appear to know exactly what to do with their life while others of us struggle to find our place in the world.  It could be you’ve not even spent time considering your purpose.

If you’ve not yet identified your purpose in life, begin by reviewing the words you’ve gathered in response to all the categories we’ve considered in this series – physical presence, personality, relationships and values.  Then, start picturing your purpose.  Write and rewrite.  Trial balloon ideas to see what feels right for you.

While writing, ask yourself about your passions, the things you love doing.  What is it you are doing when you lose track of time?  Those are the things that bring you deepest satisfaction.  And, those are the things that offer a glimpse into your purpose. 

If, after writing and thought, you still struggle with identifying your purpose in life, start a dialog with a close friend, a partner or perhaps a sibling.  Be sure you choose someone who cares about your well-being.

This is not a test; there is no right or wrong purpose.  Purpose is uniquely you; it’s what you are all about.  Not only that, it may take you some time to decide what your true purpose really is. 

Your hallmarks.  Finally, what are your hallmarks?  Hallmarks are things that make you especially distinctive.  Hallmarks are different from all the other categories.  For example, a hallmark related interests might be your work on behalf of animal rights.  Or, a physical attributes might be your red hair or an artful and ever so visible tattoo. 

Some women have selected a piece of jewelry as a hallmark.  Others, like Carrie Bradshaw, make their love of shoes a hallmark.  Hallmarks are not your purpose.  Rather, they are a demonstration of a particular personal passion. 

Hallmarks speak volumes about who you are.  What would you say are your special hallmarks? 

In Conclusion

Now that you’ve thought more deeply about the kind of person you are, again, what are the three words you used to describe yourself at the start of this series? 

______________,  ______________,  ______________,  ______________

Were three enough?  As you’ve likely concluded after reading these blogs, there’s so much that describes each of us.  That's why we've added a fourth entry line above.  You may want to use ten words, maybe even more.  What kind of a woman are you?  What kind of a man are you?  The answer may not be clear to you today but your life’s journey will be guided by the kind of person you choose to be.

What Kind of A Person Are You? A Second Look

On Friday, we began thinking about what kind of person we are.  Why?  After reading recently that a fashion designer knew early in her life what kind of woman she wanted to be, it made us wonder, what defines us a person.  

There are so many ways to think about the kind of person we are.  Plus, there are so many descriptors within each category.  On Friday, we began by naming the countless ways to describe our physical presence and our personality.  Today, we’re considering our relationships and values – both contribute to how we define ourselves as a person.

Relationships.  It’s easy to name our relationships.  We’re employees, bosses and peers, we’re partners or spouses, we’re parents and we’re children.  Plus, of course, we are friends. 

But that’s not all there is to relationships.  How you participate in a relationship is as important as the fact of the relationship.  As a friend, do you initiate things with others or do you wait for others to make things happen?  How do you handle each of these relationships?  Are you a nurturer in your relationships?  Do you listen to the people in your life?  Do you like lots of relationships or just a few?  

What are the words that describe the essence of you in each of your relationships?   ______________,  _______________, ____________

Your values.  What do you value most?  Your marriage or commitment to your partner will likely top the list.  Your children are likely right at the top as well.  If that’s the case, then family values will make your list. 

Before we go further, though, let’s look at what values are.  They are the guiding principles of your behavior.  Values are the aspects of life where you attach greatest importance.  Usually, we carry some variation of our core values for life.

There are so many kinds of values and you know in your heart, which are most meaningful to you.  To get your thinking going, here are just a few of the values people hold dear.  Integrity.  Faith/religion/spirituality.  Personal vision of success.  Compassion, light-heartedness, balance.  Dedication, loyalty, commitment, allegiance, single-mindedness.  Your work.  Your life’s work.  Your leisure time activities. 

How you personally put your values into action is what makes you most special.  You may be big-hearted, hard-working, light-at-heart, an animal lover, conservative, liberal, libertarian, family-oriented, an artist, athletic, an animal lover, a civil libertarian, political, apolitical, musical, freedom-loving, kind. 

As you name your values, you may think your list is too great.  Not true, highlighting your most meaningful values is important.  These are the values you hold most dear, the values by which you live your life.

Once you identify your values, decide which you hold most dear, which identify you.  Make note of these.  ____________,  ____________,  __________

On Wednesday, we’ll take one last look as we consider the kind of person we are.  Until then, you may choose to add, cross-out or make any other kind of change as you express the kind of person you are.  We are each extraordinary.  Slowly, over time, we polish and perfect ourselves.

What Kind of a Person are You?  A First Look

A fashion designer recently said that she knew what kind of woman she wanted to be before she knew what kind of career she’d have. That made me wonder, what kind of a woman am I?  What kind of woman/man are you?  Interesting to think about but it's a question with a gazillion answers.

We often use monikers about ourselves and others.  I’m musical.  She’s elegant.  He’s all business.  They’re the nerds.   He’s so much fun.  She tells the best stories.  They’re collectors.

Before we go any further, quick, what are the three words you’d use to describe you?   ______________,  ______________,  ______________.

There’s the physical.   Are you agile, quick on your feet?  Do you walk like a dancer, with rhythm or is your walk more athletic?  Do you move with purpose?  Are you energetic or slightly lethargic?  Do you stand tall or is your stance a bit rounded?  Before we even get to size and shape, there are so many physical descriptors.  What are yours?   

There’s personality.   There are as many personality styles as there are humans.  Actions, thoughts, feelings and attitudes – these are the things that make up a personality.

Thoughtful, kind, angry, hard-working, lazy, wise, thoughtless, caring, sweet, mean, bitter, friendly, unfriendly, leader, follower, doer.  We could fill pages with personality characteristics.  What describes your personality? 

Don’t forget that our personality may have different shades or degrees – our public style, our friends and family style, our business style and on.  Still, our basic personality crosses the many parts of our life. 

On Monday, we’ll continue our look at some of things that express the kind of person you choose to be.  In the meantime, you might collect the words that best describe you.

United We Stand: When Things Fall Apart, We Come Together

When there is a catastrophe . . . when the wind destroys, the waters flood, the fires burn . . . when there is a natural disaster, we come together. 

When an evildoer offends, when a transgressor’s acts devastate, we come together.

Some of us are first responders, those who aid victims or douse flames, remove debris or recover the salvageable.   First responders are on the scene immediately.

Others of us work behind-the-scene whether by hugging, holding or feeding, whether by cleaning, restoring or rebuilding.  Some send letters of love and care. 

We are forever changed yet we are united in our humanity.  We stand together. 

Some among us donate material goods or provide expertise to help the injured get back on their feet.

Still others help to underwrite the costs.  From lemonade stands to on-campus drives to individuals reaching deeply into their pockets to companies making a statement of their belief in community.  Each stands united with victims of calamity. 

It’s an investment of spirit.  Whether it’s time and talent or financial and material gifts, in the time of disaster, we are there for each other.  We stand united.