Tuesday, October 23, 2012

4 Reasons Why Your Kids Need To Go To the Grocery Store With You

When I was young, I can remember groaning when my mom made me go to the grocery store with her. Now, I find myself making similar demands of my kids. They always ask why they have to go and I've never really fully articulated why so I've been thinking about why I feel so strongly about them tagging alone for life's mundane events.

  1. Everyday interactions are full of teachable moments. Part of being a parent is passing on "tribal knowledge." Going to the grocery store equates to teaching them how to shop for food; i.e. how to judge whether a watermelon is ripe. Waiting for an appointment teaches them how to entertain themselves or how to have a conversation.
  2. I want them to know they are wanted. Beyond saying that I love them, I want to show them that I want them around me. I don't want them to get lost in the world where an iPod, an Xbox, or a TV has become the babysitter and so I endure the complaints even though leaving them at home would much easier at times. 
  3. They have responsibilities in our relationship. Relationships are about giving, taking and sharing. In any balanced relationship, they are going to have to do things they don't want to do and that is okay. Sometimes, you just need to show up. Being kids doesn't relinquish them of that responsibility.
  4. I want them to know me. I want them to see me living the values that I preach or I want them to question me when they don't think I am. I want them to see the real me. I want them to see how I interact with people, everyone from the cashier to my best friend. I want them to see me be silly. I want them to have memories to cherish and stories to tell.

Monday, October 22, 2012

"Chance favors the prepared mind."

So, are you prepared?

For the moment?

The moment in the morning that you wake to the life that you're living.
The moment someone disappoints you yet again.
The moment you walk by a homeless person.
The moment when it's easier to do nothing than to speak up.
The moment you could "settle" for your boyfriend/girlfriend.
The moment when it seems like everyone else has more stuff than you.
The moment your child asks you to explain something you've done.
The moment you are rejected.
The moment that you could decide to take the job because it's the "right" thing to do.
The moment that someone cuts you off in traffic.
The moment you need to decide if you are going to stay safe or jump outside your safety zone.
The moment your body won't do the things you want it to.
The moment your friend needs you and you feel like you have nothing left to give.
The moment you realize that sacrifice will be required.
The moment that the sun sets; gone, never to be recaptured.
The mention you have to say yes or no.
The moment that a person you love is gone.
The moment you're told that time is running out.

The moment your time has run out.

Prepare your mind.

Start with KNOWINGNESS. Ask yourself:
Who and how you want to be?
What do you want to do?
What do you want to have?

Write it down. Revisit it often.

And you'll find that, in the moment, chance won't win.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The BEST Way To Force Yourself To Do Things You've Been Avoiding

If you're anything like me, you have a number of things that keep getting re-written on the To Do List and never get done OR that you dislike so much that you even refuse to write them on the To Do List.

The best way to force yourself to do them is to find an Accountability Partner, someone that is going to care about whether you are getting stuff done, someone that won't let you off the hook.

Here's what I've done:
I'm meeting with one of my best friends every week. (This could be done over the phone too.) We've establish 5 categories from our lives.

Every week, we commit to accomplishing one thing in each of those 5 categories.

Here's the kicker: For each thing we don't accomplish, we have to pay $10 and use it for a random act of kindness.

5 Categories
Self    Kids   Chores   Work/Business   Try It

  1. Self - anything that's about an investment in yourself. This can be anything from scheduling that dentist appointment that you've been avoiding to finally ending that relationship that should have ended a long time ago.
  2. Kids - anything to nurture your kids directly or your relationship with your kids.
  3. Chores - cleaning, errands.
  4. Work/Business - career, work, business.
  5. Try It - something new you're going to try. This can be related to the other categories. It could encompass learning, doing, creating.

So each week, we come to our meeting with a recap of the status of the commitments we made the previous week and a list of the 5 new things we're going to do in the next week.

Just having to report back to someone what you've done is a motivator, but there's a bonus. This is kind of like therapy. When you start to talk about things you've been avoiding, you naturally talk about why. Having a sound board is priceless. So what started as a process to get stuff done, became more about two friends helping each other get better in the world.