Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Week 2 - The Plan

According to Jim Rohn, "all good things are upstream, but the natural flow of life is that downward, negative pull. To combat that downward pull, you need a plan, a map to help you reach your desired destination."

I remember when I was told I needed a degree to move forward in my job. I immediately registered at St. Mary's and worked steadily and dilligently to earn a degree. After a while, I realized my GPA was high enough to graduate with honors. Then I really put in the effort. I loved school. I liked the other students. I was the same age as the professors. It was fun, and I learned a lot.

The downward pull of that experience was my family. This sounds so negative. But I mean that if a better job was upstream, my family and the easier life, with no stresses were downstream.

As a single parent, I had to juggle family, school, and a full-time job with overtime. I feel like I cheated my kids out of so much when they were little. They were 6 and 8 when I started school. At first, we still went camping, biking, visiting. Then, as my school work became more challenging, we spent much of our time at home. I feel like my zest to get a degree and graduate with honors cheated my kids of their childhood. My daughter was 18 when I graduated -- actually, she graduated from high school a couple of weeks later. I asked them both to forgive me for spending so much of their childhood studying, and neither felt there was anything to forgive. Yet I still feel guilty.

You'd think they'd learn from this experience and go to college right after high school, but they didn't. My daughter is struggling to juggle a full-time job, school and a child. Now she's expecting another (YEA!), and it will be even more challenging.

Anyway, Week 2 is about the Plan. The main points are Develop the Plan. Establish times to spend working on the material. Keep a journal. Reflect. Set goals. Act.

Jim Rohn talked about turning nothing into something. Here are the steps:
  • Have ideas and use your imagination
  • Believe what you imagine is possible for you
  • Go to work and make it real
  • Appreciate and welcome the disciplines

To succeed in extraordinary times and unprecedented opportunity, we need to:
  • Learn multiple skills
  • Learn the disciplines
  • Be eager to learn
  • Argue later -- just take it in for now
  • Be a student, not a follower

One of Jim's famous quotes is "Giving starts the receiving process."

Laws of riches and wealth
  • Service to many leads to greatness
  • The Bitle says to find a way to serve many
  • JFK said to ask what you can do for your country
  • Zig Ziglar says if yo help enough people get what they want, you will get whatever you want out of life

The Questions for Reflection
List two ways in which you can associate with others who are of a positive mindset and who also want to move toward success.
1. Stay involved in Toastmasters
2. Stay involved in my Church

Make a list of at least five people you can associate with regularly in order to form a good support system for yourself.
1. DF - Toastmasters mentor
2. AAW - Introduced me to personal development
3. GLV - Toastmasters mate
4. My dad
5. TF - my manager

Action Steps
Take some time this week to dream and imagine your future. See what the future you (the life you desire to have, the person you desire to be) will look like one year from now.
I weigh 160 with shoulder-length hair. I've been working out in the gym at least 4 times a week for the past year, and my body has transformed quite a bit. I still have a ways to go, but I'm much happier and healthier than I was last year. I finally figured out a way to eat that is satisfying and at the same time allowing weight loss. Because of my weight loss, I was able to cut back on my medications, and that has helped save about $40 a month! Yea!

I was able to extend the warranty on my car so major repairs weren't a major drain on my budget. I have paid off my credit card and substantial amount of the loan I have just by cutting back spending.

My house is in good repair. I was able to barter with friends and family to have some things done like the sprinkler system for babysitting, web design and flyers for some minor repairs on the house. The lawn is beautiful, and I'm working to earn Yard of the Month soon.

I finished almost everything I needed to earn DTM, and I have a cruise waiting to celebrate. I was so blessed that 3 friends wanted to join me this time, so I'll have plenty of company.

My job is awesome. I have quite a bit of responsbility keeping the web up to date and marketing the programs. I didn't think I would, but I really enjoy the analytics part of my job. I guess having more time to devote to it helps. Having 2 people on my team also helps.

I've gone bowling a couple of times with my daughter and her kids and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm not as good as I once was, but I really had fun. Last year I realized I needed to set a regular routine so I could see my daughter and her family more regularly. I didn't want to be the grandmother they see only on holidays, especially since they only live 20 miles away. We've really had fun. Having a regular date made me look for things to do that were fun without being a drain on our pocketbooks. We started out by going to the library, then we explored and looked at Christmas lights, shopped at novelty shops, found museums and places to go that we'd enjoy. It has been a life-changing experience. I've never spent so much quality time with anyone in my entire life. I definitely suggest you try it.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Baby Steps in Personal Development

I started reading Zig Ziglar's Fleas, Biscuits, and Pump Handles as my nighttime reading and the Bible this morning. I read the first 4 chapters of Matthew. I usually start with Genesis and by the time I get to Exodus, I've quit. Zig's book is about building up your self-esteem. I really like it. I can hear Zig's voice the whole time I read it.

As a way to exercise my brain, I bought a book of logic puzzles. Man, they're tough. I got the first one, and the example, but I didn't do so well on the next one. I'm still working on #4. They are definitely challenging. I like working puzzles. Maybe once I get the hang of these, they'll help me work out other sorts of puzzles and problems.

Tomorrow is a Matlock marathon. Hopefully I won't lose ground because of Matlock. I moved my laptop back to the dining table so I can blog while watching TV, and my Jim Rohn notebook is here as well. I'm trying to make sure everything is easy to access and keep moving forward.

Jim Rohn said that the promise of the future is an awesome force. Until I heard this, I didn't realize my vision of the future doesn't go much farther than next week. I remember when I was about 16 and I was putting things in my hope chest. I never thought I'd actually live long enough to use anything that had collected in my hope chest. Now I see at the tender age of 59-1/2 that I still don't look into the future. I still live for now. I'm going to have to work on that. Right after my nap!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Things to Improve My Life

Before I decided to restart the One-Year Personal Development Plan, I sat down and made this list:

Things to Improve My Life

  • Send notes to family and friends on Sundays. One to a friend and one to one of my grandkids.
  • Make a date with my Dad to have lunch with him.
  • See my daughter and grandson every Thursday.
  • Workout with my son 5 days a week.
  • Read the Bible in the morning and something motivational in the evening.

Once again with feeling - Week One

I've been collecting the weekly emails from the Jim Rohn One-Year Personal Development Program (OYPDP) since February 4. I actually started at that time, but I got hung up on the goal-setting pillar. Once I got behind, I just gave up and collected the emails. I actually look forward to them every week although I don't even read them. This was my second time starting the program.

Our last Toastmasters meeting theme was "We can do anything for a month." I decided Nov. 1 that I would work out regularly for a month. Well, that lasted a week when I developed a sinus problem that included a nagging cough. I couldn't go to the pool, so I stayed home instead. I felt rotten that I wasn't working out. It was too tempting to hang out at home and watch TV with my son. So I decided the best thing would be to get a gym membership for him so we'd go together. So far it has helped. I went yesterday alone and today with my son and worked out in the pool for a hour. It felt good yesterday to say I'd gone to the gym. Of course, I don't do it for others. I have to find my motivation.

Jim Rohn said something on the CD "The Day that Turns Your Life Around" about looking at your future. I realized that instant that I don't really look at the future. I live for today. I put off the unpleasant for tomorrow. But that's all I think about the future.

So, what now?

For a couple of weeks, I've been thinking about starting the One-Year Personal Development Program (OYPDP) again. The only way to make this happen is to make some changes so that would be more feasible. I'll try not to get hung up on something that is difficult. I'll work on it and work it out and move on. I figure if it's important, I can go back to it. Nothing is set in stone. The important thing is to move forward, NOT quit.

Pillar One - Personal Development
Week One - The invitation.
A dear friend of 40 years introduced me to Jim Rohn, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale, and Napoleon Hill when I was newly divorced and without a clue. They have all (including my dear friend) changed my life direction. According to the OYPDP, many get the invitation and few accept it. Of those who accept it, many don't finish it. Twice, that was me. I'm hoping the Third Time's the Charm!

Personal development requires a plan. It's about association and influence, and it's about learning and education.

According to this lesson, true success is living the life you truly desire to live -- spiritually, physically, relationally, and mentally -- as you have defined it.

I'm tired of living paycheck to paycheck. I'm 59-1/2 and I figure it's time to make some major changes. It's easy to say "I should have" and think that the opportunities are over. But that's not the truth. The truth is that it's not too late to learn and grow. I have a huge library, and lots of time. Right now I'm wasting both. As of yesterday, I'm making changes. I printed the 37 lessons I have so far, put them in a 3-ring binder, and I'm ready and excited to get to it.I'm not going to do it week by week like the program was designed. I plan to do something every day. But I'm not going to stress if it slips. The important thing is that I finish.

I plan to celebrate the new me when I finish the program by taking a trip somewhere. Maybe a cruise either to the Mediterranean or from Puerto Rico to the South Caribbean. By the time I finish this program, I should be earning my Distinguished Toastmaster award. So I should be celebrating 2 BIG accomplishments in 2013.

The questions are:
Are you ready -- really ready? Are you tired of being where you are and excited to get where you want to be? -- YES!

Will you make the commitment to read? Think about one great book you have read and the changes it brought about in your life. Now imagine what this next year is going to do for you! -- "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill has helped me see the importance of thinking. Taking time to think about where I am and what might be has helped me make changes in my work life.

If personal development is whole life, then which area of your life is in the best shape? -- Spiritual, and it's not in that great shape.

Which is the worst? -- physical
Take some time to think through where you are so you can evaluate where you stand and how you are going to grow in the next year.

How disciplined are you? -- NOT at all.
Is it something you struggle with, or is it a strength of yours? -- I have absolutely NO discipline.

Which are you more focused on: intake (learning, gathering information) or output (doing, taking action)? -- Intake for sure.
We all have a bias, so to speak. The answer to this will determine how you need to make ajustments over the coming year. -- I definitely need to start taking action.

Four action points:
Write down three great books you have read and three great books you want to read. -- I've read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, The Seasons of Life by Jim Rohn, and The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason.

Jim Rohn recommends we read the Bible or something spiritual in the morning and something on the recommended reading list every night. I'm currently reading Fleas, Biscuits, and Pump Handles by Zig Ziglar. I'll read Seven Strategies for Wealth and Happiness and Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle by Jim Rohn.

Take at least one tangible action to make yourself stronger in the following area that you are weakest in: physical, spiritual or mental. -- Working out at the gym 5 times a week. And I'll find a book about health to read for inspiration.

Celebrate the fact that you have accepted the invitation to go on the journey of self-growth and personal development.