5 Steps To Creating Clear Focus For Your Team

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Do you often dream of a more focused and enthusiastic team?

Author, Dan Miller provides some great suggestions on how you might help develop a clear focus in his book 48 Days To The Work You Love that could be applied to team environments.  In summary, he says that visualizing, defining, destination, future and success in all areas of life all play a key role in building confidence, boldness, and enthusiasm.

What does this look like in a real work environment?

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What Songs Inspire, Motivate And Pump You Up?

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I am going to admit when I first thought to start writing about how music can be used for motivation I went on a search for songs. You see I am that person who loves to dance when the first beat rings into my ears, but I am also the person who has no clue when you ask what her favorite song is. I believe they say that is recall memory which I am pretty sure is missing from my brain.

So if you were to take a guess at what happens when searching for songs that fit into certain themes, what would you say happened? Well, nearly 2 hours later and many dancing steps and singing outbursts I have narrowed it down.

The initial reason for my search of music freedom was, of course, the 4th of July. BBQ’s and up north excursions. Music and fun. Who wouldn’t want to find easier methods for staying motivated and inspired in everything they do after some time off?

This past week I wanted total relaxation for the 4th of July with no plans and no commitments. So I let go. I let the decisions come to me. I let others decide. I didn’t let anyone or anything ruin my happy place I was in. Don’t worry I won’t start singing Let It Go even though that is exactly what my husband sang when he knew it was time for me to just be.

If you want a great visual just picture a “stereotypical” construction worker stopping and singing this song just like Elsa does and you will die of laughter.

With all that rambling hopefully you are still with me, or maybe you are lost on the link above singing the song every parent is so very sick of. Either way, this is the part where I yell out, I AM ABOUT TO TELL THE WHOLE POINT OF THIS POST, LISTEN UP NOW!

For me, music is what I turn to when I need a mood changer. Rather it is for motivation, exercise, focus or just to stir memories, I tie moments in my life to songs. There are songs that make others burst out in unison. There are songs that help you RECALL a feeling or a memory, yep there it is the key to helping me remember. Then there are songs that are personal. They mean something to you but maybe nothing to someone else. There are many other reasons to tie music to feelings and emotions.

I encourage you all to take a journey. Take the below 10 scenarios and find your song. Write it down or type it up. Save the link for later. Go here when you need to for what you need. I also would love for you to share some of your songs here on my blog. Maybe your song will inspire or motivate or move someone else.

  1. Get Motivated: Getting ready to clean the house? Start with sweeping and signing into the broom. Can’t Stop The Feeling by Justin Timberlake
  2. Get Inspired: Working on that book or spending some time reading your bible.  Song for Sienna by Brian Crain
  3. Get Away: Take yourself away to Jamaica. Cheerleader by OMI
  4. Get Side Tracked: Ever notice even if you are listening to music with no singing and you recognize what it is you will go to no end to remember what song it is? Give yourself the freedom to enjoy the moment.Can’t Help Falling In Love (Elvis) by Amicus Strings
  5. Get Everyone Singing: Drop everything and just sing it out. Don’t Stop Believing by Journey
  6. Get Emotional: Need to cry well put on your sad song and let it out.The Dance by Garth Brooks
  7. Get Relaxed: Need to slow dance around the room or just sit on the porch in the sunshine. Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd
  8. Get Into The Memories: Find a song that means something to you.  Old Man by Neil Young
  9. Get Pumped: Maybe throw a song on before a big motivational presentation. Yep I went there withFirework by Katy Perry
  10. Get Inspired and Pumped Up At The Same Time.That’s How You Change The World by Newsboys

And just because I couldn’t leave you hanging, here is my awesome husband and me at the Big Ticket Festival this past June. Take time and get out there and enjoy some music of your own.

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What songs motivate you? Share a few here for others to check out.

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5 Unique Benefits of Attacking Frustration With Exercise

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You are in a cramped room with papers on the floor, boxes, and bags surrounding you. You push away the small chair to make room so you can sit on the floor to try and listen to an audio book that won’t seem to come out of the cramped box and your mind is still on those funerals you attended the last couple weeks and that fight you had with your husband and don’t forget all the things you need to do before your teenager has to leave for a trip in two days. Sigh. Somewhere in there, we are also supposed to cook, shop, clean and complete work projects. Then the final straw comes crashing down. The spinning wheel of death on your computer not loading the page you need.

INSERT MENTAL PICTURE OF WOMAN PULLING OUT HER HAIR OR STEAM COMING OFF OF HER HEAD.

Ever notice when you are frustrated you automatically want to punch something or just start running? It is our bodies way of providing a coping mechanism and seeking out something that will give us a fix of endorphins. Anxiety and Depression Association of America states that “Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers—and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.”

In these moments, we feel like everything hits us at once when it comes to stress, anxiety and overall frustrations with life. But the truth is, if we dig a little deeper, or pause we may find there is source causing all these problems. We may be lacking the proper exercise or nutrition needed for our body.  We may be experiencing a lack of confidence in ourselves or are lonely. But who has time to pause and exercise our mind and body? Well once you see that exercise can help battle all these you may change your mind.

So why do we want to flee, punch something or just jump up and down when we are frustrated, confused or lonely? Well, research tells us that exercise may be the missing link to help with all of these elements. There are millions of articles out there on the benefits of exercise but I wanted to share a few unique outcomes.

  1. Encourages Social Interaction
    • Individuals who engage in exercise, whether running in the park or going to work out at the gym, have an opportunity to meet people who have a similar interest to them. Talking with others may help you to improve your mood and decrease your stress levels by simply becoming more socially involved.
  2. Resilience To Stress
    • That’s right, research suggests that physical activity may be linked to lower physiological reactivity toward stress. Simply put, those who get more exercise may become less affected by the stress they face. 
  3. Improved Memory
    • Increased levels of physical exercise can result in improved memory.
  4. It Helps Your Gut (and I don’t mean just the size of it)
    • Exercise in your early years will create an environment with better balance between the microorganisms that live in your intestines.
  5. Fights Wrinkles
    • Exercise can keep skin looking younger, and may even reverse the effects of aging in people who start working out later in life. 

What are some unique outcomes of exercise for you? For me, this Saturday I am going to be running a 5K race Race To Freedom. The outcome: a healthier, less stressed me and more importantly a good cause to raise awareness and help survivors of human sex trafficking.

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Help Me Decide My Tagline

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Well if I am going to be perfectly honest I am driving myself crazy trying to decide what to use for my blog tagline.  I am taking an awesome course on how to improve your website and can’t even get past lesson one.

If I am going to listen to the audio book Daring Greatly and write about  being vulnerable then I better practice what I preach right? So here goes. Please take a look at the options I have come up with for a tagline. Be honest and let me know your thoughts. If you don’t like any I even provided an option to say so. Feel free to put your thoughts below in the comments as well.

Which tagline do you like for my blog?

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What can you learn from younger generations on how to be a helping hand?

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Sitting in the Subway drive-thru I looked up to see a woman standing near the road with a sign asking for food. When I see people in need it is torture for me not to give money or offer to help in some way but in our society often times it is a lie. There are people who don’t need the money at all who pretend as if they do. There are people who use the money to buy drugs or alcohol. But what about the ones who really need it? I want to help them.

As I am sitting there pondering a young woman walks up to the homeless woman. I don’t know her words but can tell she is offering to buy the woman lunch. The woman puts down her cardboard sign and her bag of belongings and walks inside. My heart was filled.

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How to be a Less Controlling Parent

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While at a campground over Memorial Weekend I noticed how many of the teenagers hung out in a building called The Hub. At first, I thought why in the world would these kids be hanging inside playing video games, sitting on their computers and phones instead of going outside. But then I realized that was the controlling mom in me. Growing up I spent most of my time outside in pools, tree houses and riding quads and snowmobiles. We tend to assume that kids’ childhoods should be just like ours. We say things like when I was a kid we…which basically is the same as being told when I was your age I walked up-hill in 6ft of snow and we know how much we loved hearing that.

Why as parents do we try to control everything? Or I should really say why as mothers do we try and control everything? I feel like there are more of us mothers out there controlling things than fathers, not to leave you guys out but it just seems that way. In a book I am currently reading, Let It Go by Karen Ehman she says “I don’t believe any woman sets out to be a bad mom”. We just somehow fall into the control freak role.

I think back to times when my son did something I asked and I came in and basically pointed out all that he had missed while cleaning his room or how he had folded the towels wrong or how he missed something on the dishes. Why not just say thank you. If you want to hear more about how we ladies don’t even say thank you when people are complimenting us read a previous blog of mine The Art of Saying Thank You. It is burned into our brains to find the things that are not done exactly right and point them out in everything.

Ehman tells us to “back up the minivan and try this again, this time with a fresh dose of perspective and a God-glorifying and Spirit-controlled response.” We could praise for all the good they did in whatever tasks you asked them to do and make mental notes of how to teach alternate methods in the future if necessary. She notes you also should keep in mind the age-appropriate approach. This is hard for me as I still want to believe my now 17-year-old is no older than say, 12.

Ehman provides seven questions to help keep from micromanaging your children.

  1. “Does it matter now?”
  2. “Will it matter tomorrow?”
  3. “Will it affect eternity?”
  4. “Is God trying to teach me something? If so, what?”
  5. “Can I pause and praise instead of interrupt and instigate?” (Am I the only one who sees flashing lights with an arrow pointing at this one?)
  6. “Is there really an issue here that needs addressing with my child?”
  7. “Am I just being a control freak, and do I need to let it go?”

It also is important to think about where The Hub is in your home. These kids were not just sitting on their electronic devices they were talking with friends. They were relaxing in their own way. Everyone needs a hub where conversations happen. In your home where is your hub? Where is a comfort place where no control is allowed and only open and honest discussions happen?

Maybe as a solution, you start there. Create a safe zone environment so that you don’t fall into micromanaging mom all the time and when you do you can safely discuss or apologize when you mess up. Yes, mothers, it is okay to admit when we mess up and apologize for our controlling behavior.

In my home, it is our room. The kids come there to talk about problems. They come lay in our bed when they are sick. They come there to watch movies with us. It is also interestingly enough where a certain style of decoration does not reside. I don’t allow any control within myself to apply to my room. There are mismatched pictures on the walls with paintings the kids made and other random things. My bed is never made and the room is often a mess. I allow this one room to be messy and control freak free.

In the same book, I mentioned it later talks about having “soul control”. One particular method of soul control that stood out to me was, “Soul control is learning to idle our brain before we engage our mouth, thereby saving ourselves a boatload of heartache, wounded relationships, and regret.” This is hard folks, especially if you know me and my mouth, but a wise person in my small group for this book said we have to train our soul. We mess up sometimes but we keep training and eventually we will get better.

What method do you try to help keep yourself from micromanaging your family?

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How Can Dory Help Employee Dynamics?

Don't Be Afraid to

I am so excited on June 17th Finding Dory is coming out. Finding Nemo is one of my favorite Disney® movies and now there will be one with Dory as the lead. This is going to be awesome!

Well maybe you are not as excited but when I think of Dory I think of me.  She is hyper. She loves to help others. She always seems a bit overwhelmed but doesn’t really think she is. She is scatterbrained. She tends to be a BIT loud. And most like me, she has a LITTLE bit of a memory issue.

Yet in all that busyness her motto is “Just Keep Swimming”. I have taken on this motto for years and it truly keeps me going.

Dory is such a perfect match for my personality that once while on a road trip…

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How Do You Get Inspired To Exercise?

I'm not training for a 5K. I'm not prepring 1

Warning: This post may be promotional in nature but it is true in heart.

The moment finally happened; I hit the register button on a 5K race. What prompted this was a series of events, that if you don’t mind sticking with me for a quick story, I would love to tell you about.

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What are some defining moments in your life that changed everything?

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Lost in thought after church service  while scrolling through my Twitter feed I stumbled upon a great quote that fit perfectly with the new series my Pastor had just kicked off called Defining Moments

“Divine moments happen in the midst of simple questions.”—Megan Fate Marshman

Moments have power. Moments both create change and challenge direction. Rather big or small they often fall to a blind eye in the “moment” but looking back we see it is all part of a bigger shift.

The question in my mind was what are some of my defining moments?

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