Monthly Archives: December 2012

December 31 2012

It’s the last day of the year and we’re all still here.

 

Year of destruction
It’s incredible to look back and realize that twice this year the world was supposed to end. It’s also amazing how many people were fooled into believing the lies of the false prophets that peddled these “end of the world prophesies”.

Sometime during 2013, I’m sure that someone will claim a vision or archeological find proves that the earth will now end instead on <insert date here>. Indeed, I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if we encounter at least one revelation of the end time date every year. At the very least it’s a great way to simultaneously impact a large amount of people worldwide and engage in some self-promotion. Personally, I believe the Bible’s position on the subject that only the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob knows the day and time that the world will end.

 

Happy New Year
As we close out the last hours of 2012 and look forward to 2013, I want to wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

 

FULL DISCLOSURE
I’m a Nerium™ Independent Brand Partner, I’m eliminating my wrinkles and fine lines effortlessly with NeriumAD, and you’ll always find great information about NeriumAD and Nerium™ International at my website: http://shywitness.arealbreakthrough.com


Transition

The transition from one year to another always makes me sad.

A sense of leaving behind
I try not to be overly sentimental – life is tough enough without adding additional complexities to it – but the transition between years always gives me a sense of leaving behind people and events that become date-related memories. To put it another way, terms like “that happened earlier this year” suddenly change to “that happened in 2012”. Especially when someone has died during the year the sense of leaving them behind has always been palpable to me, as if the transition into the New Year is the final act of closure in mourning their departure and the first act of moving forward without them.

I first became aware of this feeling of “leaving behind” the first time that I was allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve night and experience the transition between the years. I was old enough to understand the excitement and significance surrounding the occasion but still young enough to anticipate something more that what happened. Maybe it developed from the sense of disappointment that I felt when the clock registered midnight, the city bells began to ring in the distance, but the actual transition was as normal as any movement of the clock. My life hadn’t changed in any way, shape, or form, and yet it was suddenly a “New Year” and cause for celebration. I remember asking my mom if that was all there was, and she seemed bemused by the question.

Fast forward many years and I still feel like asking that same question every December 31 as the clock marks off the hours, minutes, and seconds to January 1. I don’t know what would be an appropriate activity to satisfy my sense of absence but I guess I want the New Year to show up with a better entrance than it does.

Leaving 2012
2012 has been an interesting and exciting year for me and it will be a tough year to leave behind. I’ve gained and lost in many areas of my life but overall I’m way ahead. I have hopes and plans for 2013 and look forward to what the year has in store for me but again there is that feeling of leaving behind that I can’t shake. Perhaps I never will; it’s probably a part of my reflective personality that contributes to who I am and how I reconcile things.

FULL DISCLOSURE
I’m a Nerium™ Independent Brand Partner, I’m eliminating my wrinkles and fine lines effortlessly with NeriumAD, and you’ll always find great information about NeriumAD and Nerium™ International at my website: http://shywitness.arealbreakthrough.com


Yikes!

I said “Yikes!” a couple of times this morning when I checked an email account and discovered that one of my business listings was seriously outdated!

Outdated information
If you manage your own small business (or home-based business like me), then you likely manage your own website (either by yourself or by contracting with another company) in addition to classified ads, online flyers, and listings on business sites like Yelp. The downside of trying to keep so many different promotional strategies active is that that can become outdated. That’s what happened to me; I changed the focus of my Shy Witness™ business earlier this year and totally failed to update my Yelp business profile to align with the new focus and product offering.

I discovered my omission when I opened an update email from Yelp, clicked the “View Account” button posted at the base of the email, logged into the site, and reviewed my business listing. And that was when I uttered my first “Yikes!” of the morning. 🙂

Fixing outdated information
The remaining “Yikes!” utterances occurred while I was deleting the outdated text and photos and replacing same; it’s a lot of work! It’s also tough deleting text and photo captions that I know I spent a lot of time writing, not to mention trying to avoid looking at the user statistics and knowing that those “clicked to website” figures were potential prospects that were needlessly lost. It’s a tough lesson to learn but one that will not be soon forgotten.

The updated images and text is now in place – check it out and let me know your thoughts.

Going forward
Especially when you first start a new business, it is easy to get carried away with creating a listing on as many business listing websites as you can, but the downside of doing so is the significant effort involved in maintaining those listings going forward. Even simple updates like adding a new phone listing or seasonal promotion can quickly become an overwhelming task and, as each website requires a username and password for each account, just tracking the appropriate credentials becomes an additional requirement.

So going forward, I have added a recurring monthly calendar reminder to my smartphone to prompt me to review my business listings and modify them as needed. It’s not a foolproof method of staying on top of things but at least it’s a start.

FULL DISCLOSURE
I’m a Nerium™ Independent Brand Partner, I’m eliminating my wrinkles and fine lines effortlessly with NeriumAD, and you’ll always find great information about NeriumAD and Nerium™ International at my website: http://shywitness.arealbreakthrough.com


Resolutions

2013 is coming soon. Have you made your New Year’s Resolutions yet?

 

New resolutions for a New Year
The start of each New Year brings with it a sense of rebirth and an opportunity to hit the Reset button on many aspects of our lives. However, they are often an exercise in futility and the time spent on them could be better utilized.

 

My 2013 resolution strategy
Like most everyone, I’ve made New Year’s resolutions in the past and then either forgotten, broken, or simply abandoned them throughout the month of January. So this year I’ve decided to approach things a little differently. Rather that make resolutions that I know won’t last, I’m going to concentrate on converting selected tasks into routines and habits.

My reasoning for this approach is fairly straightforward – habits are activities that eventually become routines that you do almost without thinking or without advance planning. For example, my trash collection day is Wednesday and my household recycling collection day is Friday. So every Tuesday night I have a routine that I perform that involves emptying all of the trashcans located throughout the house into a large garbage bag, depositing that bag in the main trashcan, and then wheeling that trashcan to the curb. An additional related task that I perform at that time is to pick up any remaining dog poop (with 2 dogs, I have to perform that task every 2-3 days anyway) and add 2 chlorine tablets to the pool. Since they are all tasks that have to get done anyway, it made sense to include them as a Tuesday night routine. An added benefit is that I can add additional tasks to the routine over time as needed because I know that the routine will get done anyway.

Another routine that I have developed involves processing snail mail. After I pick up the mail (usually every 2-3 days to make the jaunt to the mailbox worth my time) I stand at the kitchen island and separate the accumulated mail into different bundles, usually my roommate’s mail, obvious junk mail and flyers that can be redirected to the recycle bin without further processing, bills and other items of correspondence that requires immediate attention, and the remaining “stuff” that can be processed at a later time. I then work through the stacks and process them appropriately. Using this process I can generate a stack of date-ordered bills that are ready to be paid as well  as keep the island free of unnecessary clutter.

 

My planned routines and habits for 2013
Thus far I have only settled on a couple of routines and habits that I want to work on for the initial months of 2013, and I think that doing so is a good start. It’s easier to internalize 1 or 2 new routines and habits into your life at any time as against identifying 10 or more and then wondering why you feel suddenly overwhelmed. Further, I can incorporate them today rather than feeling like I somehow have to wait until January 1.

For example, as a Nerium™ Independent Brand Partner, I read 10 pages of a good book (i.e. predominately self-improvement) each day. However, during an average week I may miss a day or two simply because “something came up’ – an unexpected late meeting or social engagement or other. I’ve tried making a specific time my “reading time” but that typically doesn’t work during the weekends when my schedule is far more flexible. So in 2013 I will make my reading a standard daily task that needs to be done each day before I go to bed. Simple as that – if I haven’t done my reading for that day then I don’t go to bed, regardless of how tired I may feel. By removing the time requirement (“I read my 10 pages at 8pm every day!”) I am hoping to add more flexibility into the habit so that at some point each day I am able to carve out reading time.

I’m also going to include some time each evening to process and disposition both personal and Nerium™-related email. Between subscribed email, RSS feed content from blogs, and junk email, my various email inboxes can become overwhelmed quickly, and maintaining vast quantities of accumulated email that I have yet to read is not a good business strategy. Plus, I have my inboxes linked to my smart phone, so I have the ability to process email messages upon receipt. So I will do exactly that; process each email upon receipt and either marked it as Unread (so I can give it the attention it needs later), move it to an appropriate folder for retention purposes, or delete it once I have consumed its information.

Both are minor changes and neither is going to change the world for the better, but that is the point of the exercise. Simple positive adjustments, done consistently over time, work cumulatively to result in big successes – sound familiar? It’s the Slight Edge in action.

 

FULL DISCLOSURE
I’m a Nerium™ Independent Brand Partner, I’m eliminating my wrinkles and fine lines effortlessly with NeriumAD, and you’ll always find great information about NeriumAD and Nerium™ International at my website: http://shywitness.arealbreakthrough.com


Sandy’s “Gotcha Day”

Today is December 3, 2012, aka the second anniversary of my dog Sandy coming into my life, aka her “Gotcha Day”.

What is a “Gotcha Day”?

One of the shows on the HGTV cable channel that specialized in over-the-top backyard makeovers filmed an episode for a young American family where all of the kids had been adopted from Asian countries like Cambodia, Vietnam etc. The orphanages where the children had been living did not have birth records on file for any of the children so their actual birth dates were unknown. To address that, the parents instead celebrated the date on which each child had joined their family. They called that date the child’s “Gotcha Day”. At the time, my roommate and I both commented that it was a very cool and unique way of addressing the situation.

Some time later, I mentioned that I was planning on celebrating the date that I had adopted my dog, Sandy, which was December 3, 2010. My roommate first expressed surprise that I was planning on doing such a thing (it had not previously occurred to him to recognize the first anniversary of the date that he had adopted his dog named Max) but then he recalled the HGTV episode mentioned above and suggested that I declare the date her “Gotcha Day”. So, December 3rd is now Sandy’s “Gotcha Day”; the day she became part of my family and my life.

Two years later

Two years ago I stressed about whether adopting her was the right thing for either of us. I had no way of knowing if we would bond, if she would like (or even tolerate) me, what food she might prefer, if she would run away at the first opportunity, if she and Max would get along, if I was giving her enough attention, if I was giving her too much attention, if I failed to correctly discipline her, if……. There were a lot of ifs.

Driving home that evening with her sitting in the back seat of my truck I wondered about what I should do if she suddenly started freaking out, if she began to urinate on the seat, or get car sick and throw up, and then I braked suddenly because I had failed to notice the red traffic light. She fell forward onto the center console and we both looked at each other in total shock – I honestly think that we were both lost in our collective thoughts and I was as equally jolted by her near arrival in the front passenger seat as she was by her sudden forward motion. No surprise that she refused initially to exit the vehicle, likely figuring it was a safer location while she gathered and reshuffled her thoughts.

We got through that evening successfully and quickly bonded. Every now and then she will look at me and her facial expressions make it seem as if she’s updating some mental checklist to determine if I’m still making the grade as her pet parent, but I live for those moments because they remind me that loving her and protecting her and enjoying her in my life is a daily responsibility. Two years later, I’m constantly amazed by how easily we communicate with each other. I know her likes and dislikes, her morning ritual, her various quirks. I still get a kick out of how she bolts outside and howls melodiously whenever she hears an ambulance siren (even when she does it at 3am). I love how she comes inside, sits beside me for a quick hug, and then heads back outside again to continue playing or basking in the Arizona sunshine. Seeing her adorable under bite still melts my heart and makes me fall in love with her all over again. I honestly believe that God brought us together; the circumstances were so unusual. With her at my side I am indeed truly blessed.

And oh yeah, I celebrate her birthday too; it’s January 26 😉

Picture of my dog Sandy

 

FULL DISCLOSURE
I’m a Nerium™ Independent Brand Partner, I’m eliminating my wrinkles and fine lines effortlessly with NeriumAD, and you’ll always find great information about NeriumAD and Nerium™ International at my website: http://shywitness.arealbreakthrough.com


%d bloggers like this: