Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Heading to new Blog Site

If you are interested in following my work I will be starting a new blog site simply called Janice Aanenson. On here you will be able to follow my writings, my non profit work and a few other things I have up my sleeve.
Check it out and have fun.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Weed be gone?

For those of you who have been reading my blog throughout the past year, you probably noticed the ads that are placed at the bottom of the posts. They are ads from companies and businesses trying to match what I am writing about with their product.

June 1st my post was about weeds and flowers and if any of you noticed the ad was from weed control system. It made me giggle as my post was not about literal weeds but those things that grow in our personal garden that take over our lives!

I have seen a number of 'guessing ads' as I have written. I write about potholes and they give us ads on tire rotation or I talk about lessons I learned from my dog and they gave flea and tick control. Some computer in the background is looking for words in my posts and trying to match them with a product.

It got me thinking today that maybe we all do a little to much guessing about what we really are talking about or listening to. When I talk about positive living and removing barriers what do you see in your mind picture? Do you see a crane loading up a concrete barrier or do you see yourself cleaning off a desk that is so full of papers you feel disorganized? When I talk about creating the life you want do you see others taking care of it as if they were the contractors and your life depends upon them? Or do you see yourself building a personal bird house - side by side, top, how you will hang it, the size of the hole to get through, and the type of nails to use?

To many times we guess at what we mean personally. We may speak in non-concrete or abstract language about what we want and how we are going to get there. Do you catch yourself saying "when I retire I want to be happy" or "I want enough money to live on so I can quit my job". That is abstract talk and not at all concrete in nature...in short it will NOT get you to your goal.

When I say "by the time I am 55 years old I will own lake front property in the Brainerd Lakes area and work part time writing and speaking about positive and purposeful living" you know exactly what I am going to do. No guessing, nothing abstract and very concrete.

If you want your weeds to be gone you need to put down the barriers of non-concrete and abstract language. You need to be crystal clear as to what, when, and why you are doing things. It isn't easy, but to live positive and with purpose you much understand what your needs are in great detail.

So, complete this line: By the time I am _____I will_________________________and do ______________! Have fun and let's see what type of ad the computer comes up with for this post!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Are you gardening weeds or roses?

I look back on 2010 and wonder how in the world I was able to blog nearly every day! Now, I seem to have run out of words to write. It is June 1st tomorrow and for the past 3 weeks I really have been busy and doing things! Really, I have.

I have written a number of chapters to my books, worked full time, went fishing a couple times, took a weekend Harley ride trip, planted a garden, planted flowers, lost a dear puppy companion, planned a couple vacations, helped out a number of friends, was on a radio talk show, cleaned the house and I am sure I completed a number of other items off the to-do list. So why haven't I written about them?
Well it occurred to me that sometimes life gets busy! Busy is a great way because being busy means you are living and growing and learning.

I am all about planning and writing goals and objectives, but for a while here I was planning so much I wasn't getting things done. It was like I was planning so much that the plans became the weeds that get in the way of a beautiful garden. I started to wonder where the days went as the list of weedy things to do and plans/goals/objectives grew.

There is a saying that goes something like this "You can pray to God for help, but sometimes you have to work for what you want as well!" And there is another saying that goes "she who plants weeds cannot expect to grow roses". Both came to mind today as I was driving home and taking stock of what the last month has meant to me.
We sometimes get so busy with planning that time goes by and nothing gets done! Plans are only as good as allowing for time to make the plans a reality, but when plans become down time that allows the weeds to grow in your personal garden you have to get off your knees and get to work! You have to move out of planning and into action.
I didn't plan a lot of the 'things' I did this year; in fact I have planned little since March. I decided that I had thought enough about my plans and dreams. I had written and rewritten my goals and plans so many times I was dreaming about it. I was letting the planning become my weeds! It was time to grow...it was time to do...it was time to take some changes and see what I could accomplish.
I know there are many who believe in making sure you always have a plan, but sometimes your plan becomes the weeds...they get in the way of the flowers.
As we begin June we begin the growing season. It is time to get rid of the weeds and start growing your personal flowers. Take action and plant your garden! So today I will continue to grow roses and work hard to keep the over planning over analyzing and over thinking weeds from my garden.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Passing of a Companion

It has been a weird kind of month so far. We celebrated Mother's Day with all the flowers and glory it deserves. Some of us celebrated Cinco de Mayo with all the beer and Mexican food you could eat. Some of us celebrated birthdays with cake and friends. Some of us said goodbye to loyal companions.

I did all of the above.  I could chat about the celebrating side of the past few days, but I wanted to share a top ten lessons learned from my good old Brandy.

Brandy and I have been companions for around 8 years now, but I have known her since she was about 4 months old. She was my folks dog and they gave her to me 8 years ago.  I had to put my little 14 year old puppy down as she was suffering from a bad case of arthritis and it got to a point when she looked at me I knew. It was a very difficult day and it has been a difficult week just wondering what to say about it. Tonight I think I know.

Lessons Learned from my Brandy

1. You can grow very close to someone or something very quickly if you trust them and allow them to trust you.
2. It is always appropriate to have a little bite to your bark as it lets others know you are someone that deserves a little respect.
3. Never be afraid to play in the yard even when you think no one is watching.
4. Also take the opportunity to enjoy a nice walk in the park.
5. It is okay to ask for a little comfort by laying your head on their lap.
6. You can live peacefully with other breeds and types. Don't let fear get in the way of living in peace.
7. Having a treat a day keeps your tail wagging.
8. The grass is cool under a tree on a hot summer day.
9. Play in the snow like you have never seen it before.
10. Know that unconditional love goes both ways.

I lost a true companion and friend last week, but the lessons I learned from her will stay with me forever.
Here is to all of us who have had this experience and are now remembering the lessons that have made us who we are today.

Brandy will be waiting at The Rainbow Bridge

Monday, May 2, 2011

Relaxed and Ready for the World

I took a little break from posting here as I explored a few other options. The weather hasn't cooperated with the fishing part of my world so I have had a lot of time to sit, relax, and think about the future. In short, asking myself "what do I want to be when I grow up?" I don't think any of us can ask this question enough, at least I can't.

I find that life presents a fluid stream of opportunities. Some you jump at, some you wade into and others you walk by.

During some of the days within the past 3 weeks I have walked by the chance to do outdoor tasks due to the relentless rain and snow. Other days I have waded in a bit to test the waters - baking more, cleaning more, a few Harley rides, and fishing video creation to name a few. On the other days I have jumped head into the waters and come out refreshed and ready to swim. A new job, a new opportunity, new book ideas, writing a few chapters throughout the nights, and even more scripting for the fishing videos. Head over heels I have jumped in and checked it out.

What I have found, in my jump, is that there are a lot of people out there, some call them friends, that were and are more than willing to make sure I stay in the water. Working on new projects at work, creative writing and story ideas, help reading through chapters, working on blogs and videos, moral support and at times just making sure I am staying in the deep end.

As I look back on the last 3 weeks I wondered how all of this became possible. How did I get the jump in point without really knowing how to swim? It was today on my drive home from work that it hit me! Had I not told some of my closest friends my dreams and passions I probably would not have taken the jump. It was by their support and words of encouragement that gave me the feeling and strength to live my passion and try something new.

It reminded me that we all need a lot of support surrounding us during our time on earth. They are earths little angels that are placed in our lives to help us along the way. They are daily reminders of who you are and are more than willing to help you become who you want to be -- if only you let them in on your secret passions.

I am definitely relaxed and ready for the next chapter (s) in my life. A great job takes care of a lot of hours, but there are a whole lot of other things besides work I can accomplish as well.

Take the time to think about all that is possible in your day. You have 24 hours every day to make a difference in your life! Don't waste them, don't stop them from happening, rather embrace every second and get ready for the world!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Receiving while Giving Back

The post today is about finding ways to give back to your community. It doesn't take much and there are a lot of places that need your participation. Walk a dog at a shelter, go and visit with someone at a senior living complex, buy locally raised farm goods, help your neighbor clean up their yard or attend a fund raiser for your favorite charity. I guarantee you will receive so much more than you will ever give!

For anyone in the Minneapolis area, check out this event! All Proceeds go to help the Simpson Housing Services  who's mission is to "house, support and advocate for people experiencing homelessness." You give a little and receive something very cool!
The first ever Art 4 Shelter benefit for Simpson Housing Services is happening on May 5th, and we want you to be there!
Art 4 Shelter is an exhibit and sale of over 1000 original artworks on paper by emerging and established artists. Each 5"x7" piece will sell for $30. A list of participating artists is continually updated on the Art 4 Shelter website (art4shelter.org) and will be posted the night of the event.
The works themselves will be signed only on the back. You may end up with a work by a famous artist, or be the first to discover an unknown talent. Either way, you will end up with art that you love while supporting Simpson Housing Services!
This event is free and open to the community. We look forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sun, Rain, Snow, Sleet

Part of our happiness and positive living seems to revolve a lot around weather. Maybe that is why I love to watch the weather station. There is something exciting about finding out what is going to happen tomorrow or the next day and with some accuracy. Now I know most of us think that the weather person is suppose to be always right, but I am glad they aren't! Where is the fun in always being that prepared!

Okay, back to the weather. So this weekend the weather report was sunny and 70 degrees with light winds. Yesterday and today came and sure enough the weather was sunny and 70 degrees. I got up in the morning knowing I didn't need to wear a sweater and that I could ride the motorcycle to the dealer without getting wet! Pretty good prediction and I was able to plan.

Now the weather is suppose to change so I now have time to plan what I will or will not do for the next 5 days. I will need a coat and maybe a sweater. I won't be riding nor will I be cleaning up the lawn. Whoa! I get to see 5 days out and know so much.

As I am watching the weather I start to think how wonderful it would be if we could predict our lives out 3-5 days? What if we knew exactly how we would act, react and feel? What if we could forecast our positive and purposeful living?

Well folks we can and maybe with the same accuracy as the weather guru on T.V.! It is all about planning and looking at the pieces that impact the outcome. Let me give you an example.

Let's say we look at the pieces for my next few days:
1. I know I will be working out with the personal trainer tomorrow
2. I know I need to go grocery shopping this week
3. I know I have a few calls out to friends in search of a Financial Planner
4. I know the ice is not out so I won't be fishing and
5. I know the Harley is in the shop so I won't be riding.

Okay, so this is everything I know right now.

I know that I will have a positive impact on my health by continuing with my personal trainer
I know I will feel better about my health by working out
I know that I am getting closer to financial freedom by getting a financial planner
I know I can fish by next week
I know I will get the Harley back end of this week
I know I have money to go grocery shopping

What would my prediction be for the next three or four days?
I predict I will be sore from working out but will be better off because I went
I predict that with my action towards financial freedom I will be debt free and able to look at the future retirement plans soon
I predict that the ice will eventually be gone and I will go fishing
I predict that my friends will get back to me and I will be spending time with one or more of them by the weekend!

To many times we just wait and see what happens! I am here to say "BE THE WEATHER"! Write down what you know is happening, what you know will most likely be your action or reaction and then predict what the outcomes will be! If you never plan or predict you can never know. Here's to positive and purposeful planning and predicting!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Time Stands Still!

Have you ever gotten so much into a groove that time seems to stand still? For me time has stood still for 6 weeks now!

Don't get me wrong - time standing still has been an amazing adventure, but it seems like yesterday it was mid February after being laid off. Between that time and now I have been amazed at how much I have gotten done - ceiling in a laundry room, new job, loving the job, motorcycle ride, garage cleaning, closet cleaning, outside trash cleaning, donated a ton of new sweatshirts, and even had time for family and friends. Time has just stood still and allowed me to do so much.

I guess we all go through the stage of time being on our side or not, but when you can be 'in the zone' for six weeks it is pretty incredible. I asked myself tonight why? Why have my stars been so aligned and so 'in the zone' lately?

Well, let's explore. Six weeks ago when I had no job I sat down with a stranger who became an instant friend. She said one line "Congratulations, now you can have the life you want instead of the life you have!" Whoa. I thought she was just being an excellent life coach, but after 6 weeks of learning and growing more into myself I understand how those words are so true. You see we all have a life - good, bad or in between we all have a life. But do you have the Life that you want? Do you know the life you want?

It comes down to you and you alone! When I had no job, no prospect of a job I thought I was crazy to not feel crazy. And then I remembered, a job is only one piece of my life and although I wanted a job it wasn't the only thing I wanted for my life. I want friends, deep relationships, financial security, time to play, energy to explore, an open mind, a learning environment in which I can become more; in short I want a life I am proud to call my own.

It didn't happen overnight but I had a conviction like never before and I knew if I would stop and visualize the life I wanted I could accomplish just that. I have been 'in the zone' for 6 weeks and it isn't going away...nor do I want it to go away. It is a high like none other when every day you wake up and you know you have the best life possible and time stands still again!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ability to see past Mother Nature

Many times during the Spring we are all faced with the environment around us that includes clouds, cold, rain, snow and a number of other "Mother Nature" events.

We rarely get our perfect day and actually have it come true. Too hot, too cold, too cloudy, too rainy, too sunny...okay, maybe not too sunny, but you get the picture. Mother Nature gives us what comes NOT what we order.

This can also be the case in our personal lives. We feel at times there is a Mother Nature involved in our day to day personal issues and occurances and as with the weather sometimes it is too hot, cold, cloudy and so on.

Now I am a firm believer in a Higher Power as I know for me personally guidance and direction is necessary, but I also believe that no matter what I believe if I don't include action and attention in my day to day life I go crazy over the hot, cold, clouds, rain and personal weather.

The movement from waiting into action and attention is necessary, but not easy. It means you need to take accountablity for who you are and the life you live every day! Crazy, I know, but true! If you just let Mother Nature handle things - they of course will be handled, but you will have no say in the matter.

I like to think that I should be in control over my life. I have control over my actions and reactions. I have control over what I do and how I do it. Even when my personal Mother Nature acts up and out of control I know I control my actions and reactions.

Today, look at your day and everything that happened "to you" or "by you". What could have you changed? What could have you controled? What was your action and reaction to Mother Nature?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The sounds of Spring

It is easy to see the signs of Spring. Robin's in the yard, brown grass, melting snow and tree buds are everywhere the eye looks.
You can smell Spring as well. It smells like wet dirt from all the snow melting over the ground. It smells like new growth and there is a freshness in the air so when you open the windows to get a little 'fresh air' you can smell the difference.
The sounds of Spring are also there. Birds singing, kids playing, baseball bats clinking and as of today Harley's running.
I love the signs and smells of Springs, but I really love the sounds of Spring. There is something about hearing the 'ting' coming from a baseball bat that just makes me smile. There is something about the sound of loud Harley pipes starting up for the first time in 4 months that really makes me smile as well.

I know so many people just never stop to see, smell, and listen to Spring. It is an incredible energy from knowing the world around you is alive. It invigorates you and you feel like you can do anything.

Starting my Harley was just one Spring event that I got excited about today. Meeting up with old friends tonight also is making this Spring day even more special.

So, what are you doing today to get excited? Excited about Spring and excited about your future! Spring means growth and exploring a new. What is your personal sound, sight, smell or Spring Event?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

April showers already?

As I sit looking out the window this morning I am watching the rain hit the deck in numbers. As long as winter seemed, it seems like spring rains are coming much earlier than I expected. Now I am not complaining, I love spring for so many reasons and it is my favorite four seasons coaching phase of growing and learning, but what do we do when it comes earlier than normal?

It reminded me of life. We sometimes don't have the opportunity to pick the exact day or time something will happen, sometimes the rains come when they want...not when we want. Many of us think or want to be in control of every step in our lives, but sometimes the rain comes early. Sometimes the growing comes early and sometimes late.

It is what we do with our personal time lines that makes or breaks us. If you are so set on one way and do not yield to the world around you and within you it will be frustrating and filled with fear. None of us know the exact time of growing, learning, feeling, or experiencing. What we know is that we will do each of these four things.

So, as you look out your world window today notice how it changes - with or without you. Take that vision and transform it to your life. What does your short term future look like? Does the timing matter or is it the event that matters? Planning for the event with a time frame is one thing..spring coming today is another.

Write down what events you need to complete in the next month as spring starts. What are you doing to grow, learn, feel and experience? Not tomorrow and not the next day, but within the growing phase. The rains will come on their terms, so control what you can. Control your plan.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Be a Personal Master to your Young Grasshopper!

One of my favorite shows growing up was Kung Fu. No, not the fighting but the lessons. There was aways a lesson at the end of each episode. The Master would say "Remember this Young Grasshopper" and then give some profound yet meaningful hint to life.

Some days I feel like the Master, but most days I feel like the Grasshopper and the Master is a Voice in my head!
I think to be able to hear a Master you must be willing to listen to your heart. See! That sounds just like something Kung Fu Master would say! Profound yet very meaningful. Sometimes I become my own Master's voice in my head. Here are a few examples.

This morning on my way to work I saw two cardinals sitting in a pine tree. I was sitting at a light so I had a little time to watch them. As I sat there watching my Master voice came and said "Sometimes you need to sit still to see all the beauty around."

Tonight as I was working out with my Personal Trainer I had a 30 second break between sets and with nothing to say or do my Master voice came and said "A 30 second recovery can make you stronger."

I wasn't sure what to write this week for the blog posts until one of you wrote me a quick note asking for more posts. As I read the words my Master voice came and said "Even in your silence your words speak loud."

It is like I have a fortune cookie mind! I love this about me and when I catch my Master voice speaking to me I listen.

As you go into your Friday remember to listen. Not to those around you or to the world around you, but to your personal Master Voice. It takes practice and it takes time to really appreciate the corniness that sometimes comes from it. Just do me a favor and stop and listen. What do you hear?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

5 Minutes to Prepare

I have a hard time comprehending the devastation in Japan from the events the past few days. Towns washed away, people missing, continuous shaking, and no basic supplies. Hard to imagine how people can ever survive such an ordeal but many did.

As I listened to the news last night one reporter said that the hardest hit town had a 5 minute warning before the water rushed in. Five minutes to move to higher ground and get out of the way. Five minutes to determine what was most important and literally run.

It put life in perspective a bit. The rest of the world had hours to prepare for the smaller water waves to hit and still boats were washed out to sea and a person even lost his life. All day to prepare and still loss of life and property.

I think many of us take for granted that we are okay and will be okay. We would rather go down to the water and see the water, rather than prepare for the water.

It is like life. Most of us would rather see what happens rather than plan for what is going to happen. We wait around all day to see if things get worse or better rather than spending 5 minutes to assess and move.

Five minutes of warning. Five minutes that will change the life of millions. Five minutes that has changed the world. I dare say that maybe each of us should take 5 minutes today to prepare and plan. Be it a to-do list or a living will, 5 minutes to prepare. It could literally change your future!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Old Friends, New Support

It occurred to me, after the comment from Suzan on yesterday's post, that I haven't done a great job at asking for support from my readers. In fact I have been a little scattered in my writings - jumping from one topic to the next and back again in a week. It is how my mind works, but it isn't how others learn best.

Most of us like a plan. Well laid out and something to follow. My blog has been about events that have happened and not in any particular order or with much collective meaning. There are days I really reach someone and you are great at letting me know but after 330+ posts I have only around 30 comments.

This got me thinking this morning that I need to make sure the book has a flow, has a meaning, and follows a plan. Here is where I need your support.

If you have been a daily or weekly reader I need to hear how everything comes together for you. When you read a post that makes sense or hits a part of your soul, what was it about the post?

I can write the book how I think it should flow OR I can use my old friends in a new support way.

Feel free to send me an email on your thoughts: janice@fourseasonscoaching.com

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Turning Something into Something Better!

No, not another recipe or meal. This time it is about the blog.

I started fulfilling a dream today that I would turn my blog into a book called "365 Days of Positive and Purposeful Living". Makes sense :o) Actually it will be a daily reading/devotional type of book that will have a number of activities strategically placed along the way. People who read and work through the book will be able to take the words and make action plans.

I am excited and yet nervous as after reading all my blog posts again, it is clear I will need to write more 'self help' type of posts. A large number of my posts were stories and insights, not really daily reading deals.

This excites me as I am really liking the idea of writing my thoughts down. Nervous because I am not sure what more I can find to write about, but then I never thought I could write 330 posts to date. So, I will keep writing and working.

It is good to take a dream and turn it into action. I like that and I will continue to do just that!

Here is to making one of your dreams come true....at least start!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Making something from nothing!

Have you ever noticed in life that sometimes the best plans are no plans? It really is amazing how things can just come together when you think you have absolutely nothing.

Tonight as I was thinking about what to make for dinner I decided to use up a few of the leftovers in the fridge. Red peppers, garlic, tomatoes, onions, chicken and asparagus. I wasn't sure what I was going to make but it all sounded interesting. I checked the online cookbooks for roasted peppers and found a recipe that called for nearly everything I just mentioned.

It is now cooking and it smells great in here. I actually made something from nothing.

There is a life story in here. Sometimes we are faced with having all sorts of activities and thoughts in our lives but we really have no idea how it will all come together. We struggle with it and most of the time (like much of the food in the fridge) parts of the recipe get pushed to the back or worse yet goes rotten.

The next time you don't know what to do, pull it all out! Everything in your life that doesn't seem to make sense - pull it out and write it all down! Look at it and put it in an order. Key ingredient, veggie to add later, a little oil here or garlic there....the pieces of our lives become ingredients to a wonderful meal.

Take the education and mix with a dream, add a pinch of motivation and a dash of passion and I guarantee you will make "something from nothing"!

Bon Appetit!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

March Madness!

I know "what in the world does Positive and Purposeful Living have to do with March Madness", but hear me out!

We all know about March Madness, it is the last push for many sporting teams to make it to their ultimate goal - a championship! They work harder, they set their sites on only one thing - winning, they play as a team, they get the needed sleep to perform at a high level, they listen to their coach, they go out every day knowing that if they are the best they can be they will come out on top!

Okay, now ask the question I started with! "What in the world does Positive and Purposeful Living have to do with March Madness?" I think the answer is clear!

March is the end of the winter months where we have reflected and planned for what is to come. What we want to achieve. March is the beginning of spring and when we begin to put our plan into action! Just like the sports team!

We start working harder, we set our sites on our personal goals, we surround ourselves with positive people, we sleep better, we listen to our life coaches or those with influence around us, and we go out every day knowing that if we are the best we can be today we will achieve our goals!

Yes, it is March Madness time. Time to figure out what your ultimate goal is for this spring and summer! Working out, eating right, healthy living, quiting smoking, adopting a child, expanding your business, traveling, caring for a loved one, gaining patience, loving deeper, motivating others...the list of goals is yours to make!

You have thought about it and you have planned for it - It's March Madness time folks! Time to execute on your plan!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

More Altitude and Less Attitude!

This is a saying they use on some phone commercial on TV. A mountain climbers is being snotty about his cell phone coverage at the top of a mountain and the guide says "Let's have a little more altitude and a lot less attitude!"

Have you ever wanted what would happen if everyone had a little less attitude and strive for a little more altitude in life?

I am a strong believer that a positive attitude will get you 98% of the way towards purposeful living as much as a negative attitude will hold you back and bring you down.

The word attitude means to have a position assumed for a specific purpose (Websters Dictionary). Usually you think of attitude as being cocky or stuck up or just plain difficult, but it really is assuming a purpose or position for a certain reason.

So, what if we assumed a purpose, aka attitude, of achieving altitude! What if working and living 'up' was our specific purpose? What if we strive for more altitude and less negative attitude?

It really gets to be simple to do as it all goes back to purpose. What is your purpose? What is your life's passion? What drives you? What is it that will bring you to purposeful living? What will give you more altitude?

If you really look at the answers to these questions there will be only one thing to really do! Have a little less attitude - at least attitude that will get in your way.

So, today during the first weekend in March make a personal statement! Make a statement that you will strive for more altitude with less attitude! Live with purpose and live positively!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

When it snows --- go skiing!

I was having a terrible day yesterday. Not that anything terrible happened, but it snowed again. This winter has really been filled with snow, snow and more snow.

Usually I wouldn't complain as the lakes are so low that all the snow will really help them out. I also usually don't complain as I love winter! It is clean, fresh and different.

Yesterday I found myself done with it! Yes, done with winter and done with snow! I am ready to move on to spring - the growing season!

It then hit me! In my Life Coaching I use the four seasons to represent the stages of growing. Winter is the time of reviewing and assessing as you prepare for spring growth and opportunities. Like the snow this season I have had a long reviewing and assessing time in my life. New challenges, new bosses, being laid off, decisions to end the Coffee Matters part of my business, creating a new budget, new friends, family members having major health issues...the list of events goes on and on!

Yesterdays snow took the cake and although I am heading north today to do one of my favorite things of Ice Fishing, I still was just terribly moody. I finally put on my coaching hat this morning and said "when it snows --go skiing!"

You see sometimes you may be ready to move on, but there may be another plan from a higher power that says SLOW DOWN and SKI! Or fish, or rest, or relax.

As much as we think we are in control of our lives we have to remember that there is a higher power that has a say in it as well.

So, today as the white surrounds me and I drive 5 hours I am going to pray for patience, pray for understanding, and pray that I go skiing!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Creating the Life you Dream!

I have to say that I sleep very well at night. I fall asleep quickly and don't wake up much for anything. The interesting thing about the time I spend in bed is that my dreams are so vivid and real it seems like reality! It got me thinking this morning that maybe my dreams ARE my reality or SHOULD be my reality!

I dream about how to fix things, what solutions will work, what our next home will look like, who my friends will be when I grow old and even the types of dogs I will have. It really is crazy in my head, but it all works so well.

I go to bed with an issue or a thought and 7 or 8 hours later I wake up with the solution! Now, this doesn't happen for many but that doesn't mean it can't! I get that maybe some of the nighttime dreams you really never want to come to life, but maybe there are a few that you do want to make your reality.

I seriously don't think I come up with the solutions at night, rather it confirms my plan. You see you have to work to create the life you dream about! It doesn't happen overnight. If it did I would be dreaming of winning the Lottery every night! No, creating the life you dream is about really thinking about what you want in life and making a plan on how to get there!

Most people want to try and do this themselves - others may think they are weird, others won't like it, others won't agree. Hearing one of those zingers usually stops most of us in our tracks and we put that dream in the back of our minds. We stew about it but are scared to every talk about them again.

Here's the deal...who cares what others say or think! Your dreams should be your reality! Your dreams are the best part of who you are as it gives you hope, faith, and belief in yourself! Dreams are your reality!

If you want something the only way you will get it is if you go after it! You will not be rich if you never work, you will not have deep and lasting friendships if you are unwilling to be a friend, you will not find love if you do not love yourself! Your dream is your reality ONLY if you are willing to play the leading role!

As we come to the end of February and move into spring it is time to clean house and mind and begin to create! You plant flowers and gardens why not ideas and dreams!

Creating the life you dream isn't easy but it can be done! What is your dream? What is your reality?

Friday, February 25, 2011


A friend reminded me this morning that life is like a computer - sometimes you have to de-fragment it in order for it to work a little smoother. Well I agree.
This past week has been a great de-fragmentation week. I guess I have more time on my hands with the lay off last week, but it has been good time. No, GREAT time!

As normal I started by writing a list of 'to-do's. Change this, change that, sign this and send that. All very transactional and all very much needed. As I was on the 10th or 11th written item I stopped and thought to myself if I have a to-do list I also need a to -NOT do list as well!

It was amazing how many things I was able to think about NOT doing! It became longer than the to-do list! This was my de-fragmenting moment. It was the moment I thought to myself "my to-dos really are the important things and the to-not dos are things that I just have to stop!"

Here are a few of the to-not do list:
1. Do NOT make the layoff a negative
2. Do NOT fall into bad eating habits because of this
3. Do NOT stop exercising
4. Do NOT stop letting others help you
5. Do NOT get down on yourself for not being able to help everyone else get through this
6. Do NOT just take a job, find a perfect position to grow and love

You get the picture...some very good de-fragmenting in my head! Had I not done this I really believe I would not be in the state I am today. I am stress free, looking forward to the future, and ready to take on the challenges that lie ahead. I am eating healthy and working out. I am letting others work through the emotions while being there if they need me. I am looking at a position that would be so perfect for me it is kind of scary!

As the weekend approaches, take time to de-fragment! What are you going to do and what are you going to stop doing!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Leaving a Lasting Impression

There is something wonderful about life when you realize you have left an impression on others.
This week the notion of leaving a lasting impression has a large part of my life. I have received emails, phone calls, and pictures all showing how little ideas, leadership styles, helping others, believing in myself, and having a positive attitude have impacted others.

I want to thank everyone for all their support as I transition from one job to my career passion. It has meant so much to see, hear, and feel the support. In celebration of all of you, here are a few photo's I would like to share.

Becoming Purple - Live with a positive attitude, remove obstacles, and build alignment and community around you!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Talking through a Dream

It has been a wonderful two days of having nothing to do, in fact I have gotten so much done it is hard to believe it has only been two days since my position was cut.

Today I had a meeting with a friend of a friend. My friend and I are both very passionate about helping others make the most out of life. She has been a wonderful connection that I made during my college 25th Anniversary.

The friend of this friend owns a small diner in St. Paul. One stop inside the diner and you can tell it will be an amazing experience. The walls are covered with positive sayings. The tables have positive comments and the people who eat and work there are the most positive I have ever met. It is a place you could really never get enough of.

So I went to talk to her, Lisa, about my situation and the first thing she said after I told her I had been laid off was "GREAT! Now you can do what you want to do in life!" Gracious! Not expecting that and then I remembered she is also a Life Coach and every challenge is an opportunity.

I told her about me and what I had a passion to do and she was so into it. Then she said "so who do you know in the industry?" I don't know anyone personally but said a couple names of guys I knew of in the industry and she said "so have you called them yet?" My head was spinning. Seriously, call Ron Shara or Babe Winkleman? Just like out of the blue "hey want to have coffee?"

Well as I was trying to think of what to say next she said she had learned many things but one of the most important was to reach down to others to help them up and up to others to help you up! Everyone starts somewhere! No one starts exactly where they are today, so if you don't reach up for help and reach down to help, you really are missing the boat!

So, now I reach up. Nervous, yes. Crazy in thought, yes. Motivated, Yes!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The art of staying positive in difficult times...

Well today is a very difficult day for me. As of 9:30 this morning I became unemployed. Lay Offs are never fun and I am not sure which side of the desk I would rather be on. Last time I was on the other side and now I was the one that was getting the news.

Now it has only been 3 hours and I don't have everything figured out and ready to move forward, but I have to think about staying positive and focused on my future. Of course that is what my head is saying...my heart maybe needs a few more days.

So, next steps are now to move forward and find my true passion and love and follow that. I don't know where it will take me, but I will update you all as I can.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

So what's next?

Sorry to keep a few of you hanging on describing the "Plan" after my last post and thanks to all that wrote me a special email or message telling me how wonderful my plan is and how much they believe in me. I guess the old saying is true that you are always harder on yourself than anyone else could ever be!

So, here is my plan. Like I said early failure is an option and in failure comes great insight. For me the failing Coffee Matters Store has given me so much insight I am seriously more excited now in life then I have ever been!

I have found my passion and that is motivating others. My problem was that I wasn't sure of the venue in which to do this. I love speaking in front of others and love workshops and conferences. There is something about 100 people writing down what you are saying and laughing at your corny stories that makes me feel good.

My other loves are outdoors and fishing. I feel the most alive when I am outside. Not in a building or in an office or in a car, but outside.

So the question from all of this was and is: How does one motivate others while being outside? Well, there in lies my next vision! Have a show on TV that reaches large numbers of people where I fish or camp or do something outside while sharing motivational insights and stories!

They fishing and outdoor shows on TV now are all men with the exception of 2 women who own a deep sea fishing boat down in Texas. What I would like to do is take people out fishing and share my love of the outdoors while providing insightful and practical stories and ideas around living positive and purposeful lives!

Here are my 2011 Goals:
  • Create You Tube Videos of me giving practical fishing advise.
  • Take out as many people I can this spring and summer to fish and 'chat' on the boat or shore.
  • Write my two books from my dissertation and blog posts
  • Develop an approach that incorporates positive and purposeful living with outdoor activities. The activities are a way of being in a place to reflect on positive and purposeful living.
What do you think? Need more planning, but at least I won't have to look at big blue bins in the garage anymore!

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Emotions of Failure

This week I was 'lucky' enough to get my taxes done. The only wonderful thing about this is that I have a dear and longtime friend who is my accountant AND I usually get something back. So it really is a nice thing. A night with a friend who knows me as well as anyone and a little money in my pocket by the end of February.

This year though I am faced with a bittersweet event. After 4 years of trying to make a go of Coffee Matters and GAB Matters, I have decided to close the small businesses. It was my first try at starting a business and I know it won't be my last, but this one was filled with the emotions of failure.

I have always believed that failure IS an option.When talking with others I look for the opportunities of learning and growing through failure. I actually promote that failing will teach you more than success any day! Well this may be true, but what I have not experienced is the emotions of failure; nor have I ever addressed them.

At first I wanted to try and justify my work - I tried, if only I had the marketing money, it was a thought before it's time, I don't have the energy needed, I am not interested in selling things...the list goes on and on. Now, some of these may actually be facts but I found myself trying to rationalize why I failed in my first business!

My brother asked me today why I hadn't posted since Monday, but since I have made the decision to close the company down, I have had an emotional brain cloud of failure over me. He made a few jokes about it and of course my accountant and a few friends said "it's the right thing to do" and even I know it is the right thing to do. But now what? What will I spend my energy on? What will I plan for? What will I do?

Not a hard question to answer, but I will write more tomorrow about my plan. The emotions of failure should not be taken lightly. They can make you feel so very negative and without purpose...time to look for the silver lining!

Monday, February 7, 2011

The 360 Degree Leader

I have never enjoyed reading. I didn't grow up with it like many kids do and as I have gotten older I have found that sitting and reading just has never been something I really enjoy. Well, that is unless the book has some helpful hints or ideas about how to improve myself as a person or a professional.

I started this blog to begin to write and after I finished my PhD I found a lot of topics to write about. I haven't had to do the kind of research and reading I did during my PhD and it wasn't until a few weeks ago when I felt like I needed to learn about leadership more that I began to read again.

I am reading a book by John C. Maxwell called The 360 degree Leader. It is about how to be a leader no matter what your status or rank is in life. Half way into the book I am realizing that my dreams and passions for moving up are not as accurate as I would have hoped. In fact I don't know how much higher I want to go on the professional ladder as I don't believe I have fulfilled my abilities at my current level.

It is interesting reading this book and seeing myself in a whole different light. Not as someone who has to bang her head against a wall when things don't seem to go right, but someone who can see below, above and around and have a very large impact.

I always thought that if I was the boss I would be so much happier as my vision and ideas would be the future. I thought that I would have more freedom to do what I wanted and when I wanted. Through reading this book I have realized that with responsibility there is less freedom and less time to do what you want. You have so much riding on your ideas and vision that you have to work twice as hard to make them a reality.

Leadership isn't about a title, it is about dedication to the vision that is set no matter what your rank is. I guess it all comes down to attitude and understanding that you can have a major impact to the world but being 'the middle man'. It's kind of nice to know that you have such ability and it doesn't come from a title.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Numbers Freak!

I am a numbers freak. It's true! I love numbers, math, calculations, ROI's, percentages...anything that has to do with numbers I get excited about. I don't know why really. Maybe because you can show so much of life through numbers. How many fish did you catch? How much weight have you lost? How many miles did you run? What time do you go to work? How much money did we spend? How big is my tax refund? The questions around numbers is amazing and you rarely get a clear picture of the magnitude of the outcome without numbers!

If I said (or someone else says)--I have caught some fish and lost a few pounds and ran for awhile, and work in the morning, and spent less than I made and will get a nice tax refund you really get no perspective to the magnitude of the effort! In fact you short change your efforts by being vague.

If you want to really move towards excitement and exciting others you need to use numbers! Seriously! How many of us would be okay with our accountant saying "You will get some back on taxes"! What is your next question? Right - How much is some? You want specifics!

I have always wondered about this blog and if I am making any sort of an impact on others. Yes I hear from time to time from a few readers, but I didn't understand the magnitude (or if there is one) of my effort! It left me questioning the value of my effort and if I should continue.

How many of us do this to ourselves? How many times do we underestimate or even forget to estimate the value of our effort through numbers! It doesn't matter what you do or who you are numbers can help motivate you! This is why I am such a numbers freak!

So, in honor of my effort with this blog I want to share with you some of the statistics of this blog. Maybe it will be a reminder to all of us that we need to see numbers sometimes to understand the impact. Here you go.

365 Days of Positive and Purposeful Living has:
  1. Been viewed 5,377 times in the past year! That is over 15 times a day someone is checking this blog out.
  2. Been viewed at least 20 times by people in the following 10 countries: USA (4,598), Canada (118), Russia (102), United Kingdom (56), Denmark (42), India (37), Netherlands (36), South Korea (25), Australia (24), and Italy (20)! Again at least 20 times and that does NOT include me posting from a few of these countries! I have had 102 views from Russia! Seriously, I do not know anyone in Russia so this is amazing to me! Overall, this blog has been opened and read in over 37 countries! This is seriously amazing to me!
  3. 72% of the people who have read a post use Microsoft Windows!
  4. 2% of all posts were read on an ipad last year and this month that is up to 7% . Great to know!
  5. Finally, the post that received the most traffic were: Taming your Gremlins (2/9/2010), Minor Adjustments! (1/25/2011), Personal Expectations (4/8/2010), What happened to all the Exhibits (8/31/2010), and The Great White Bear Tour - Journal (11/28/2010)
 So, now I know the numbers and now that I know them I think I have a better idea as to the future of this blog! Correct? Numbers will help me plan my future posts, ideas, systems, and comments.
Ah yes, it is good to be a numbers freak!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

In honor of Groundhog Day

There are a lot of things we can predict and some things I we can't. A groundhog seeing it's shadow or not really is a tough prediction for me to understand, but I like the point of an early spring.

So, in honor of the Groundhog, here are my predictions!

I predict that:
...I will have a better tomorrow then today.
...I will be more effective if I pay attention to those around me.
...I will be happy if I understand what makes me happy.
...I will live with purpose if I live with passion.
...I can do all of this as long I have a positive attitude!

There, my predictions! You see I don't need a groundhog, a horoscope, or the stars to predict my future...I get to determine my next step, my next day, my next thought. So, I predict I will continue to find the good around me and in me and make the best of everything I have.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Red sky at night, sailors delight!

If you have been around sailors or boaters or fishing fanatics you have most likely heard them say "Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sun at morn, sailor take warn".

I say it a lot and most of the time it actually works out. Red sky at night usually means there is a high pressure building in and the weather will be fair the next day. Some days, of course, the red sky is brilliant red if their is a forest fire someplace west of here.

The red sky at morn is meaning a low pressure is coming in from the east and thus means storms are on their way...again given that they is no major pollution issue east of here.

Tonight there was a brilliant red sky as the sun was setting and yes there is a high pressure coming over us and tomorrow's forecast is for cold and sun. In the summer it usually means hot and dry. Red in the morn is muggy and hot in the summer (storm weather) and in the winter a red morn means you can expect some possible snow coming your way.

What does this have to do with positive and purposeful living? Well let me tell you! Side note: I giggle every time I write 'well let me tell you' as I seem to try to connect things a lot!

Okay so here you go. What if you could look out your personal life's window every night at sunset and know if you were going to have a brilliant sun and blue sky day coming your way? What would you do if every morning you woke up and if you saw a red morn you could prepare yourself for a not so great personal day? What if your life was related to the weather?

Now, I know most of you have lived through this past winters ups and down and looking at the weather forecast for this week it could great crazy out there this week. But what if? What if we could see ahead?

Well in short we can and we don't need the sunrise or set to see ahead. What we need is to pay attention to our attitude! How many times do you go to bed thinking positive and purposeful thoughts? How many times do you wake up in the morning and feel anger and frustration just by getting up?

Our personal sky is all about attitude! Yes, it is! Attitude leads us to either the red sky at night, let's all take delight or red sky at morn, others around us be warned!

The challenge is to have more red sky at night events. That is where your positive and purposeful living comes from! That is where you feel alive! That is the high pressure feeling like you can conquer your world!

Ah yes, red sky at night....make that YOUR delight!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Story on a Restaurants Wall - The Mexican Fisherman

Yesterday, as I was sitting and having a sandwich, I looked up to read a story that was framed on the wall. I wanted to share it with you all. It speaks to remembering how much of life we miss because we are so busy working to hard at it. Enjoy!

The Mexican Fisherman
A boat docked in a tiny Mexican village. An American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.
"Not very long," answered the Mexican.
"But then, why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?" asked the American.

The Mexican explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The American asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

"I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, and take a siesta with my wife. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs...I have a full life."

The American interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you!

"You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers.

"Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge enterprise."

"How long would that take?" asked the Mexican.

"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years," replied the American.

"And after that?"
"Afterwards? That's when it gets really interesting," answered the American, laughing. "When your business gets really big, you can start selling stocks and make millions!"

"Millions? Really? And after that?"

"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta, and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying your friends!"

Friday, January 28, 2011

Yoga for Dummies

I am sure there is a book out there for people like me, but I am learning a bit of Yoga through the Wii system and I like it.

Now don't laugh as i am sure it isn't really close to what happens in an hour class, but maybe some day I will feel comfortable enough with my balance to actually attend a real class.

I guess what I am finding is how learning how to pay attention to your balance and breathing is hard work! I never knew Yoga had that in it...well maybe I did as I know a Yoga Instructor and she keeps telling me that. Anyway, as I was trying the poses tonight I was forced to clear my mind and think only my balance and breathing. Kind of cool just clearing the mind after a long week and paying attention to something I do more than anything else....breathe.

My posture improved, my mind was calm, and my body stress was released. Maybe that is why so many people have said I should try Yoga! Wait!! That would mean they know something about me that I refuse to agree with! Okay, you got me. I can be a little stressed and a little fast moving in body and mind.

Ah Yoga---breathing and balance. Sounds a little like positive living to me!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

When will I learn?

One of my goals of living a positive and purposeful life is to pay attention! Viewing all that is around you allows you to figure out where you need to make minor adjustments to gain a better balance and a more positive life.

Last night I went Cross Country Skiing. Yes it was fun and yes it was a learning moment, but I forgot one important thing, a good hat to cover my ears! I froze my ears a few years ago and every time I am in a cool wind or cold weather I wear something warm over them. I have learned, well I thought I had learned.

This morning I get up with a crazy ear ache and bells ringing galore all because last night I didn't wear an appropriate hat over my poor little ears! So when will I learn?

I guess it was a great reminder of why I have hats and ear muffs in every coat I own. After having to come home today because of the headache I got from the issues with the ears, I thought again--learning moment!

So, when you start looking at positive and purposeful living remember it isn't always about epiphanies or major events. Some days it is about remembering what you learned and following the learning.

Here's to my ongoing joy of learning!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Minor Adjustments!

Good morning everyone. Nice to see you still here, or at least I hope I still have a few readers.
Today I wanted to talk about making minor adjustments. This concept came to me this week with the creation of a Biggest Loser team - TEAM LIFE MATTERS!

There are 20 of us working to support each other during our individual quest for healthy living. The response has been amazing and fun and even though it has been only one day, I have found myself excited to have friends in healthy living passion.

This morning when I woke up I was thinking about what has made the difference this past week as we all started planning our attack to the challenge and it came to this - Minor Adjustments!

I could have a goal of losing 40 pounds, eating fruits and veggies galore and going to the gym 6 times a week. Yes, I could and for a long term goal those are great, but how do you start when you are faced with a seemingly daunting task of 40 pounds? How do you think day to day about 40 pounds? Well you don't!

Life isn't about losing 40 pounds overnight it is about making minor adjustments. Adjustments on walking up the escalators or just riding, adjustments on eating a seconds or not, adjustments about watching someone else workout or actually working out, adjustments about going once a week to the gym or not at all.

Most of the time, life isn't about making dramatic changes it's about making minor adjustments! Adjustments to the day to day things that happen around us. Taking the stairs, eating less, walking an extra block or thinking a positive thought. Very minor adjustments with great impact!

So today I vow to pay attention to my ability to make minor adjustments every day. In thoughts, words, and actions. Won't you join me?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

House Cleaning

The house, like my life, needed a good cleaning out! Getting rid of the clutter, scrubbing the dirt, throwing out old habits and putting meaning back into the day.

I love long winter days just for this reason. A time to look around and house clean. What means something to you? You keep. What doesn't matter to you? You get rid of. What is holding you back? You let it go. What is dirty and not healthy? You stop.

The past few weeks I have been in this mood. Now I was told "it's about time" but it took me some time to get to a point that my physical environment life caught up with my personal self life. You have to get to this point on your own and Lord knows I have arrived.

Old furniture, old carpet, old self, old clothes, old everything is gone. It is a new day and a new life.

So what has been happening since this change? Well I started a Healthy Living Team - Team LIFE Matters, I have started on a number of books and video projects, I have went ice fishing twice and have more planned, I have begun to look forward at the next home on the water, I have changed, yes, I have changed.

I have gone through the winter quiet and come out with a spring renew attitude. An attitude that puts me on top of my world and ready to see every day as an opportunity to improve. It is a great feeling. It took a long time to get here again, but the journey has taught me so much. I have changed.

Sometimes just hearing others story of 'getting it' helps others move forward, so today I share my story of house cleaning inside and out!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Is it cold enough to go fishing?

Silly question if you live in Minnesota right now, as -30's is making some really good ice!

I am always amazed at people who think I am just crazy for going out in zero degrees to fish, but it just is my thing. It clears the mind to watch and wait for bobbers to go down and flags to go up. It isn't about the cold or catching, but the true giggly feeling I get when I get a bite!

I am excited this week as I joined "The Fishing Fanatics" here in Minneapolis. A group of 104 people who plan trips out year round just to fish. I love it! They also do a lot of education for newbies in the sport which is again, right up my alley! What a perfect group for me to join!

So, tomorrow fishing with friends, next weekend fishing tournament, weekend after that a quick trip to Fargo, and then three more weekends after that of tournament and plan old good time fishing! Ah, I love winter!

Videos are coming soon so stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Are you lying there because you don't want to be somewhere else?

There is a quote from the movie Serendipity that goes "Maybe we’re lying here because you don’t wanna be standing somewhere else."

It is said when one of the main character is looking for a woman he met and he travels across the states to find her rather than stand at the alter with the woman he is engaged to marry.

I like this quote because it speaks to how much we need to take changes and never settle. If you think something is better for you out there, then lie there rather than stand somewhere else.

All of us have those times in our lives that we wish and dream for something different. We may get lucky enough to get a taste of that dream or wish, but how many of us would fly across the states and go after it? How many of us just stand somewhere because it is safe, because it is planned, or because it is comfortable?

When it comes to that time when you can either stand where you are at or lie down at something new are you willing to give yourself permission to go and try. Go after your dreams? Go after your purpose? Go after your passion?

Yes I know the world puts all sorts of restrictions on how we live but the world cannot put restrictions on our dreams and wishes. The world cannot decide if we will stand where we don't want to be or lie where we think we should be. It is up to you! It is up to me! Each of us responsible for our position.

You want to make your dreams come true? You want to change your world? If so then think. "Maybe we’re lying here because you don’t wanna be standing somewhere else."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Is anyone else ready for spring?

I must be as the snow is getting old and when I see the sun I think of warmer days.

When I started my coaching business, it took a long time to figure out what to call it. The name had to fit what I wanted to relay to my clients as well as the process. I like metaphors and feel they give a real life example to personal issues. So I thought long and hard about a metaphor that would relay what I believe to be my approach to coaching and consulting. I landed on Four Seasons Coaching.

Just like there are four distinct seasons to a year (well in Minnesota there is) there are four distinct processes in purposeful living. Discovery, changing, growing and evaluating.

Winter is the discovery phase - it represents a time when you can think and process your life. We have resolutions, celebrations, and time to just be.

Spring is the changing  phase - it represents a time when you take what you have learned through discovery and make adjustments to attitudes and lifestyles. You become excited about the future. This season is the time of new beginnings.

Summer is the growing phase - it represents a time to take your adjusted life and grow into it. Learning new skills or abilities happens during this phase. It isn't hard to see how this phase goes with summer with gardens, fields and trees all growing and thriving.

Fall is the evaluation phase - it represents a time when you take stock of what you have grown into and began planning for more discovery. The leaves fall and the season begins to change and plans are made on what to do next summer.

This winter has been a season of discovery for me. I have discovered that as much as I love work, I really would love work more closely aligned with my passion of helping others live purposeful lives. Now this doesn't mean I am going off and quiting my job and hoping for the best! NO, it means that I have discovered past ambitions that I want to explore this spring and summer. A fishing show, books, talk radio, and traveling. All were discovered while shoveling snow, ice fishing, reading, working, and just having quiet time.

But now I am ready for spring! Both literally as well as figuratively. I am ready to start trying things, making videos, talking about my passion on radio, writing books and so much more. My 'to-do' list no longer speaks only to fixing this or washing that but it has "make video of set up", "send script to Jodee", and other 'to-do's that are related to my purposeful life goals!

I have 4 ice fishing tournaments that I will participate in during the next 6 weeks and each will be a video presentation on you tube. I have talk radio happening sometime in March and I am working on turning this blog and my dissertation into books. This is all because of the winter phase of discovery.

Living positive and purposeful doesn't just happen. You have to take the time to discover, change, grow and evaluate! The results are amazing when you do!

Here is to all of us looking forward to Spring!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Proof of Janice taking care of Janice

Part of my goal of living with purpose is to make sure that I take care of myself. I don't always remember to do this and many, if not most of, the time I am more concerned about helping others live their passion rather than dedicating time to my passion.

For me there is such a desire and passion to fish it feels less like a hobby and more like an obsession.

Suzan with the First Keeper Walleye

Janice with her first Keeper Walleye

Professional Ice Bobber Watcher

The past few months my concentration has been on my family, friends, work, and pets. It is what it is and I don't regret the concentration I have for them, but there comes a time when Janice needs to concentrate on Janice. This past weekend was all about Janice taking care of Janice. No hosting, no problems, no worrying about others feelings, no fixing anything and no spending energy on all that is around me. This weekend was about me and my passion!

As we drove north (350 miles north) I noticed my mind removing thoughts of work and general life and moving more into excitement of the catch. Excitement to see what a Walleye looked like again. Excitement of staying in a cabin where below me was 2 feet of ice and 25 feet of water. I didn't sleep in the car (normally I am napping within 20 minutes of leaving home). I was in tune with my surroundings and excited about the time I could spend taking care of me.

It was a glorious weekend. Cold with -24 temps---makes good solid ice; fish were biting a bit---even if it was a little slow; friends were giving me grief left and right---and I them; and memories were made.

Checking Rattle Reel

It was a weekend that reminded me what I need to do more of -- Janice taking care of Janice.

In the 'busyness' around us all, remember to take care of yourself. It is the key to taking care of others as we all know that when you are not healthy in body, mind and soul you are not healthy for those you love.

Here is to each of you caring enough about yourself to enjoy yourself!

When the fishing is slow you find ways to be silly!

Froze and Beautiful

I love pine trees!

Monday, January 10, 2011

What a weekend!

Well I have pictures as well as video from this weekend so when I get home I will get them all sorted out and posted, but it was quite the weekend.

Fishing was slow, but we managed to keep 10 on Saturday of which 4 were eaten for a fresh fish fry on the lake. Sunday we moved over to another bay and met my fishing buddy Mike and we kept 12 walleye/sauger and 1 monster perch.

I pulled a 21" walleye out of the the hole mid-day but with a size rule that all fish over 19.5 inches need to be released immediately it was released quickly without a chance even for a picture. Knave witnesses though so hopefully that will do.

The fishing was slow, but the weekend reminded me of how much of my life's satisfaction comes from spending time with Mike and Suzan 3 miles out on a lake with 3 feet of ice below us. We talk and giggle and give each other a hard time, we change hooks often, depth often, and did I mention giggle and talk?

Life's satisfaction this weekend wasn't about catching the most fish, it was trying to catch fish with two wonderful people! If I could do that once a week I was seriously be the happiest person alive.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Where did I put the bug jigs?

Okay, I would guess many of you have no idea what a bug jig is but for anyone who fishes walleye hanging out deep you probably have your favorite lure that you bring with. I like to try a variety of jigs or lures - Lindy Spoons, Swedish Pimples, Bug Jigs, and Glowies...they all make for a fun time.

Red, green, pink, yellow and white, each color and lure has a time and place.

So why write a blog about this? Well, one of my true dreams is to be a TV personality. Probably something many of you didn't know about me, but I love to act and love to teach. I have always dreamed of having my own fishing show. This dream came up again over the New Year's when I was sitting and watching the fishing shows and again noticing that all of them were hosted by men. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying this is all bad, but I keep thinking about all the women out there that love to fish and love to be outside and love to connect? What can we do about them? About people like me?

I wrote a Facebook post about my dream and I got a huge response and support, so this weekend I will try and take a few videos of the fishing process as well as hopefully the catch. Now I can't see the video being all about fishing because that isn't want fishing is all about for me. It is about dreaming, learning, and being part of group that has a passion and desire to connect!

Now I know my dream is big but like they say "you can't win if you don't try". I will need to buy some software to help with the video editing part but I hope that when I return on Monday I will have something to share with all of you as well as the world.

So, find the bug jigs, pack up the car and head out. It's going to be a great weekend of dreaming and making dreams begin!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Where did the week go?

Is it really Thursday already? Seriously, where did the week go? I remember starting the week but not so much anything in between.

I guess I have been a little preoccupied this week with the excitement of heading out to the frozen waters for the weekend. That as well as coming back from time off and getting back in the swing of things.

I caught up on my "to-do" lists left over from 2010 as well as got a bit ahead for 2011 as well. Still I have no idea how it got to be Thursday!

I am not sure where this blog post is going but thought it was my reality today to tell you all that some weeks just go by to fast and maybe it is time to slow down and enjoy.

So for all of you that feel e same way about this week or others, enjoy a few minutes of reflection.

Monday, January 3, 2011

How hard was it this morning?

Whoa! I haven't taken time off and stayed at home for a very long time. I was able to sleep in, sit on the couch and do nothing, and just hang out. It was great, but this morning I felt the impact of time off. It was with mixed emotions that I got up at 6:15 to start my 'normal' routine again. A new year but the same routine I have had for over 7 years now.

Get up and go to work! There could be worse things. I could get up and not have a job to go to or anything to look forward too. I am lucky but still it was hard to awake knowing my time away was over.

The saving grace to the day was actually getting to work. There is something inspiring for me to go in to work and be greeted by folks with "Happy New Year"! Something inspiring about seeing people renewed and smiling. Something inspiring about going into a routine I truly enjoy.

As the day went on there were the normal issues and problems, but through each of them there was something different, something special about the day. Maybe it was that everyone had a few days off to think about 2010 as well as plan for 2011. Maybe for just a few hours this weekend people took stock in what was and is important to them and today they showed that spirit in them.

How hard was it this morning? Not to bad. I felt like I needed a nap around 1pm today, but all of a sudden it was 5pm and I was back home feeling good about my day.

Starting a year inspired and surrounded by inspired people is an amazing feeling. May each of you enjoy that for yourself this week.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

It is a Crisp and Clear Morning!

I am not sure where December went but all of a sudden you can tell it is January! The temperatures have fallen and even with the morning sun the air feel crisp.

Maybe it is because we had all the snow we receive in a winter in December or maybe it is because I am excited to go ice fishing next weekend, but there is something about January I really love. It is the beginning of the year but also the middle of a long winter!

The temperatures are falling making good ice for fishing. The days are getting longer but the sun doesn't seem to warm like it does in December. You can almost count the days until the first thaw now. Everything is still. The snow crunches below you. The hustle of December is gone. Just everything about January is crisp and clear!

It is like you can take a deep breath of the cleanest air you will ever get. Crisp and clear!

I know for many this is the time of the year when you start going a little stir crazy being inside. You long for spring so you can get out and walk the dog, start planting seeds for the garden, and spring clean, but I hope today you sit back and enjoy the January day. Find some good in the day. Notice the crisp and clear morning and marvel in the world around you.

You may surprise yourself! You may actually enjoy it! You may actually find yourself watching a sunrise and saying "whoa what a wonderful day", I know I am.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


The first day of the first month of the eleventh year! If there was ever a day to celebrate Number 1 today would be it!

Let's celebrate Number 1 - that means you! You are Number 1!

Maybe a quick cheer to help you all get in the mood! "We're Number 1, We're Number 1"! Okay, not much of a cheerleader type. I apologize for any of you who are doing the whole kick and hair thing right now.

But you ARE number 1! You should be the most important person in your life! You should be the ONE person you take care of before anything or anyone else! YOU should be Number 1 in your world!

Now this doesn't mean that you get to go and 'screw' the world, many do and all of a sudden they have the "Me Me" attitude. There is the difference. Being Number 1 and "Me Me" have no place together!

The "Me Me" world assumes everyone else is there for you! It is an attitude that you are the center of their world and that they need to do everything to make you happy! Remember, everyone is a Number 1 so they don't have time for you to be their center!

Being Number 1 in your world means living your passion. Not the passion of others or what you think your passion should be. It means looking at yourself and living with your personal life's passion.

You are Number 1 in your world when you live your passion every day of the year! It starts today! Live your passion and be your Number 1!

Time to celebrate folks! "You're Number 1, You're Number 1"!