Sunday, December 18, 2011

Success Lessons From a 9 Year Old

Friday night my 9 year old son crawled into bed with the notebook I use to track my various projects that are in the works. He was intentionally preparing for his town league basketball game the following day. He did this by creating a list of the things his team needs to work harder on and what he specifically was going to focus on during his game. It is said that going to sleep knowing what you will be intentional about the next day increases your chances of succeeding in those goals. He simply took a few moments before bed to prepare for the next day.

Saturday night came and he took the same notebook looking to identify 10 strengths of his team. I was impressed. Some of those strengths included work well together and good sportsmanship. At the end of the day reviewing what went well, things to be grateful for or one's strengths are another way to focus on the positive and increase one's chances of success.

At the end of the day....

*Identify goals and what you will be intentional about the following day. This can include a to do list, visualizations, or even some action items to make the next day more successful.
*Identify what went well, particular strengths of the day or even things to be grateful for. If it was a particularly difficult day, all the more reason to find the positive. Going to sleep with positive images will increase the chances that tomorrow will be a better day.

How can you incorporate one or both of these activities into you bedtime routine?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Last year, as the days were getting shorter and the nights were getting longer,  I found myself driven to see the sunrise every Saturday morning. I committed to myself and to friends that intention. Coincidentally, this was timed with the start of the new year. This meant getting up early enough to defrost the car, to layer clothing, select a coat, hat, mittens, and boots for climbing over the snow banks in the bitter cold. When the tide was low and there was ample room on the beach, I found myself taking long walks.  As a result of the curves of the landscape, I could enjoy the changed the view of the sun, the skies, and the reflections. Winter sunrises brought many beautiful surprises.

As the days got longer, the nights shorter and the weather warmer, I found myself setting the alarm for just after 4 AM to catch that 4:30 sunrise. By now I knew that it was well worth getting to the water's edge early to witness the wonders of the sunrise. The colors in the sky were breathtaking. A lengthy walk at low tide was peaceful and I could scan the sand for seaglass, star fish or driftwood. Early mornings were a treat!

I did this faithfully, even when clouds were thick and sometimes in the rain. One never knows what will await us at the horizon's edge.

This was not a New Year's Resolution! I am a believer that when one wants to commit to something you make the commitment when the time is right, and not just when the new year rolls around. This was a goal. It was my way of building in time for me. Time to be in awe of God's presence in my life. Through this journey, friendships have been strengthened and connections made. Now that the year is coming to a close, I reflect on this adventure and the sense of peace, satisfaction and accomplishment I experience as a result of committing to something and following through with it.  What was once a goal is now a ritual that will continue!

My question now is what am I willing to commit to next?

What are you willing to commit to that which will bring greater life satisfaction? Share this goal with friends or family that can support you in your journey. Commit your goal to paper and break it down into smaller steps. You don't have to wait until the first of the year to begin making every day better.