Welcome to the companion monthly magazine to our upcoming book “From the Titanic to the Ark – Handbook to Survive and Thrive in Epic Times” to help you plan, protect and prosper!

We share important aspects in preparing ourselves for transformation. The hardest work will be emotional as we welcome a complete shift in paradigm (our view of the world and our relationship to it) – in other words there will be no familiar frame of reference since change at this order of magnitude is not history repeating itself. What's more, nobody has been here before....which is to say we are all here on the leading edge - no followers looking for leaders, no leaders gathering followers - we do the work together shoulder to shoulder…and we’re making it up as we go!

For our well being, it is crucial that we do so consciously! Should we be asleep at the wheel, we couldn't help but waste valuable energy resisting 'ever changing form' by projecting our perspective backward in guilt or forward in anxiety – this is giving away our power. Rather, by becoming self aware and authentically present, we arouse the genius within while summoning creative intelligence to work through us – standing ever ready to anticipate and harmonize with real time events. And of course, let us look to one another side-by-each for support and encouragement. The obvious starting point is right here, right now. Surf’s up – let’s catch a wave!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Integrating - Body, Mind, Heart and Spirit

Insights/Distinctions: For years I have considered the notion of living a balanced life as very important however in practice, it seemed elusive. I wasn’t entirely certain what balanced meant. How far do I need to move the needle on the gauge in one area of my life to get things on course without another area coming off course in the process of diverting my attention?

After having read Stephen Covey's "The 8th Habit - From Effectiveness to Greatness" a few years back, I was able to see things from a different perspective. "At the core, there is one simple, overarching reason why so many people remain unsatisfied in their work and why most organizations fail to draw out the greatest talent, ingenuity and creativity of their people and never become truly great, enduring organizations. It stems from an incomplete paradigm of who we are - our fundamental view of human nature. The fundamental reality is, human beings are not things needing to be motivated and controlled; they are four dimensional - body, mind, heart and spirit." 

While he applies this comment to the workplace, I saw value in my professional and personal life. I didn't need a gas pedal and brake - I needed to be concerned for every aspect (body, mind, heart and spirit) concurrent with the others rather than at their expense since our problems, issues, and opportunities involve all four aspects. In this regard, was I aligning my own values, commitments and actions with this whole-person paradigm? It seemed to me that an obvious clue can be found in how we allocate our own personal resources - the investment that we make in ourselves with our time and money, our investment in our relationships, and in our willingness for continual growth.

Here is a simple way that Stephen Covey organizes his thinking around the whole-person paradigm that is a highly effective framework for creating lives of enjoyment, satisfaction and success through 2010! I even included these tables in my "vision board" to inform my personal Ten Year Vision.

Four Human Needs
Body - To Live (Survival)
Mind - To Learn (Growth and Development)
Heart - To Love (Relationships)
Spirit - To Leave a Legacy (Meaning and Contribution)
So in order to simply and best fulfill our needs....
Body - Keeping arteries clear
Mind - Continually Learning
Heart - Involving others
Spirit - Living as though life is guided by a higher wisdom

Applying the Whole-Person Paradigm to how we see employees...

...and relating those to how we govern our own conduct with those around us. In running our own business or working for an employer with responsibility for others, it is important that we make the distinction between management and leadership. A simple view is that we manage things (budgets, plans, accounts receivable) and we lead people. Here leadership can refer to personal leadership as it relates to our own professional and personal lives.

Stephen Covery points out, "The new Knowledge Worker Age is based on a new paradigm, one entirely different than the thing paradigm of the Industrial Age...people have choices. Consciously or subconsciously, people decide how much of themselves they will give to their work depending on how they are treated and on their opportunities to use all four parts of their nature. These choices range from rebelling or quitting to creative excitement. One who is paid fairly, treated kindly, used creatively and given opportunities to serve human needs in principled ways - makes  one of the upper three choices of cheerful cooperation, heartfelt commitment or creative excitement." We choose to engage or withhold in personal relationships all the time. You can read about a very lovely young man who realized this for himself recently! How happy for his family that he had this insight!

And finally, Steven Covey suggests making these four simple assumptions to "immediately begin leading a more balanced, integrated, powerful life."

For the Body - assume you've had a heart attack; now live accordingly
For the Mind - assume the half-life of your profession is two years; now prepare accordingly
For the Heart - assume everything you say about another, they can overhear; now speak accordingly
For the Spirit - assume you have a one-on-one with your Creator every quarter; now live accordingly

Personal Story: Whether you have teenagers, are married, are an employee, someone's boss or partner, this is fantastic food for thought! I quit a previous job that paid me fairly (Body), used me creatively (Mind), however did not consistently treat stakeholders fairly (Heart), and did not consistently act in principled ways (Spirit). When we are clear about our own values and principles, we are sometimes called upon by our "whole person being" to make what can feel like difficult though right decisions. This is where we experience the largest personal growth when called upon to demonstrate personal leadership in regards to oneself or those within our family or community. Otherwise, we will continue to get what we are willing to put up with! The Abraham-Hicks teachings say that there are no limits to our joyous journeys to experience. Isn't it time to begin creating the life we wish for?!

Quick Tip: I found "The 8th Habit" by Stephen Covey to be invaluable to me as a manager and leader responsible for highly productive teams and in charge of nurturing and growing my family. This book also contains fantastic information about Finding Ones Own Voice and then Helping Others to Find Theirs. I will discuss in future posts how we reach inside ourselves and others to discover and engage genius, talents and passionate engagement. This has very practical application to families, business and any of the communities we belong to. Enjoy!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Integrating - Personal Story

Here is a beautiful summary of the impact that the whole-person paradigm (Integrating - Body, Mind, Heart and Spirit) can have on any community - in this case, the impact of a team mentored, coached and led my this amazing woman for the organization she worked for. I know of her results first hand - I lead the sales and marketing teams - my teams made the promises, her teams fulfilled on the promises! 
Colleen says, "I had an "aha" moment when I read the 8th Habit a couple years ago.  The principles laid out in the book mirrored what I had been feeling from the first day I started working years ago. I was in a position of leadership at my last job and finally had a chance to put these principles into practice.  The result was that I lead a department that was often called out as an example of a highly effective department to others.  I was often asked by employees outside of the department if we had an opening because they wanted to be a part of what we were doing.  I'll be honest, my methods were not always accepted by senior management but fortunately I was given the latitude to make my own choices.  There was always a small struggle when someone new with old corporate baggage joined the team but in time each would realize it was much better working this way.  The result was a feeling of fulfillment that I hadn’t experienced before.  
When the recent economic down-turn took its toll on the company the department was disbanded.  It was heartbreaking to see each person go after witnessing their growth and seeing them blossom into people that were happy and excited to get up and go to work everyday.  We all agreed that we had never worked with a team before that had so much synergy and were deeply saddened by the fact that we might not have the chance to work in an environment like that again.  Seeing the difference first hand between a mentoring type of leadership versus a dictatorship style was enlightening and made the work experience just plain happier.  My dream is to someday own a business and I will put this type of leadership into permanent practice.  In the mean time I hope to find another company that will either already have this philosophy in place or support and allow me, as my former company did, to implement it."

I can't remember if the 8th Habit is the book in which I read about clock watchers. Clock watchers are just interested in putting in the minimum and leaving as soon as the clock strikes 5. I have a funny story about that. On my window sill above my desk I had a clock with a frosted piece of glass for the face. One day Ken came in to ask me a question and saw the clock. His face is very easy to read. I saw his instant recognition of the same passage in the book and a very confused look but I didn't say anything. What he didn't realize was that the clock didn't work and the only reason it was there was because I liked how the light shined through it. It was the artistic side of me that wanted it there. The lesson to me was to look further before I judge. That was just a small, quick moment in time and yet I remember it like yesterday because of the significance.
I wish you the best in your new endeavor. I think you're going to do very well.  You are an awesome mentor!

Thank you Colleen for taking the time to share your experience - how illuminating!
These two lovely paintings ("Who Is This Stranger" and "Sad To See Him Go") are an example of Colleen's artistic expression and of what she truly loves to do - this is where time stands still for her. I love the colors and the personality! She had a stellar career interrupted by the recession. Meanwhile, she knows that entrepreneurialism is where it's at! The risks and the rewards are greater. When we are willing to take full personal responsibility, we are entitled to claim a personal freedom over our lives in every regard - responsibility and freedom go hand in glove. 

Quick Tip: I know that eventually Colleen will have a thriving business that will make room for her full creative expression on her terms - in building her principle centered business, in her artistic expression, and contributing to and enjoying her family. Meanwhile, if you would like to build confidence into your organization where you can absolutely trust your backline team to deliver the products/services as promised at your frontline, make this woman your team captain and/or partner! Contact me if I can help with an introduction. Peace, prosperity, and full personal creative expression to us all!

PS Colleen's genius and mine are very different and as it turns out highly complementary. I will discuss in detail in my upcoming posts how to discover our unique genius - and how we assemble teams to support and allow one another to contribute each our unique genius. That makes for a remarkably powerful and effective team and dynamite results. Again, this applies to successful, happy and fulfilling marriages, families, communities and organizations alike.

Body - How To Train Your Fat Burning System To Burn Fat

Insights/Distinctions:  For our bodies, Michael Pollen says it beautifully - "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants plus moderate exercise to enjoy the 5 sense experience!" Easier said than done! Here's where I go for guidance...

Since my post about Dr. Phil Maffetone's Two Week Test and his philosophy on nutrition and exercise in the article "Resolution Revolution", friends who have read Phil's book have commented on how his approach has changed their lives.

Personal Story: Phil spoke to our team a few years ago. Many folks decided to follow his Two Week Test (used to indicate carbohydrate intolerance and help retrain eating habits instead of dieting) - I witnessed the win for several of our employees of weight loss, improved vitality and in some cases the dramatic improvement of chronic health issues that changed peoples lives immeasurably. Phil also lightheartedly warned that our company would likely experience an increase in fertility rates! Something he has come to expect after he teaches an audience about his nutrition and exercise philosophies. Sure enough, within 12 months we had what seemed a larger number of new babies and happy excited parents (including a set of twins)! Meet one of those beautiful babies - Ryah.

There are two key distinctions that Dr. Phil conveys so I have provided some visuals that I thought would be helpful along with personal examples. To burn fat, you need to train your fat burning system so....

The Fuel You Need...

...are healthy fats! And of course complex carbs found in the rainbow of vegetables and low glycemic fruits (refer to Phil's book for the list - as an example a grapefruit is preferable to an orange), plus high quality proteins such as wild salmon and grass fed beef for their healthy fat profiles rich in CLA and balance of the Omega 3's and 6's (we love buffalo for that reason - grass fed products are rich in all the fats now proven to be health-enhancing and low in the fats that have been linked with disease). And pretty much everything we eat is organic. Skip sugars, corn syrups, any flour based products and all of the ugly fats (artificial and chemically processed like hydrogenated and polyunsaturated). We generally stick to olive oil which is best, and if occasionally cooking at high heat, we use coconut oil to reduce the free radicals.

As an example, at Phil's encouragement, we make crepes from nut flour (grind whole almonds at home in the processor) instead of using wheat flour - add whipped eggs, cream and cinnamon - then fry in coconut oil! Add sour cream and berries as a topping with a drizzle of maple syrup or raw honey (live foods) for a very healthy breakfast. We eat smaller meals every couple or three hours instead of three big meals to even out blood sugars and support metabolism.

Exercise - Throw 'No Pain, No Gain' out the window!
To quote Dr. Maffetone, "Your aerobic system burns fat for energy and prevents excessive dependency on sugar, especially blood sugar. Your body is capable of obtaining as much as 80 to 90 percent of its energy from fat if you program your fat-burning mechanism."
Work aerobic (fat burning) - not anaerobic (sugar burning)! So, how does one program the fat-burning mechanism? According to Dr. Maffetone, your optimal heart rate for aerobic training is determined by the 180-Formula - subtracting your age from 180 (180-age); adjusting that by subtracting a further 5 or 10 beats per minute for recent illness or use of medications (further individualized for those over 65) or adding back 5 for active competitive athletes with no problems. You must refer to Dr. Maffetone's book to understand the cautions and specific criteria. That number is your maximum aerobic heart rate and you work within the 10 beat range below that number.
So back to me...at 53 my optimal aerobic heart rate is 180-53 = 127 so my optimal training range is between 117 to 127 beat range - I'm fit, active and no injuries. When I was building my base, Dr. Maffetone suggested that it will seem very easy at first and that with patience I should begin seeing results over the the course of a number of weeks. On my elliptical trainer, I had to start at work load setting 3 to keep from going over my aerobic heart beat range and it seemed like I was hardly exerting myself. However, I just stuck with the range on my heart rate monitor (I call it my speedometer) - it was telling me that I was getting a great aerobic work out.
At 3 weeks of regular exercise in my zone, I realized that I was moving my legs faster and had already added a level to keep my heart rate up! By the following three weeks I was continually adjusting the work load setting until I got up to 9! ...wow - to keep my heart rate up in the range. (That's when I hit the desert - 10 on the elliptical trainer was too hard for me to push the pedals!) In other words, each level on the elliptical was getting easier and easier so I had to keep increasing my work load to stay at in my optimal heart rate range! My aerobic system was getting more and more efficient so now more fun out on the desert!
Here's how it's been going hiking. First I had to take very slow steps up the mountain not to go above my maximum aerobic heart rate. People were zooming past me - it was a bit hard on my ego though I just kept checking my watch monitor. In fact, some folks noticed my repeated checking and commented at the top of the mountain curious about what I was up to. How fun to help educate people on these principals even in passing - this information was new to most folks and made perfect sense in casual conversation. Eventually, I was able to climb the mountain more quickly all the while staying below my maximum aerobic heart rate.
Over weeks I had made noticeable continual progress. On the mountain I was able to cover the same ground in less time! On the elliptical, I was able to work harder in the same amount of time! Dr. Maffetone's competitive athletes transformed their training to surpass their previous results back when they were going all out - I too like them had to invest time to build an aerobic base first - for them there was no looking back!
Thanks for taking the effort to read and understand this - it is a fantastic investment in your physical health and well being - it has been for me.  The main thing you want to know is whether you're training your body to burn more fat or more sugar!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Liquid Crystal Receivers and Transmitters

“The word solutions denotes liquid crystal receivers and transmitters we call Water. The fifth note of the musical scale—“SO,” for SOlve pollute in Latin, or SOlve the problem in English—suggests a musical means to get us out of every mess. If LOVE is the universal healer, music the universal language, and Water the universal solvent, then wisdom encourages everyone to swim with dolphins and join their chorus.”

        Dr. Leonard G. Horowitz

Swimming with puppies is the next best thing! Even my puppies get energetically tuned up with their daily romp in our salt water pool!
Lucky is putting the power of attraction to work!

Quick Tip: Keep your water purified with important filtration for your shower and drinking water. Flouride is one of the worst chemicals along with chlorine absorbed through your skin in the shower not too mention the harmful effects from drinking. Here are products in various price ranges worth considering - do your research - this may get you started!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Smaller Footprint

Over the past couple of years, we have shifted our diet away from fish and meats with every dinner meal to enjoying a largely vegetarian diet. A long time favorite and hands down crowd pleaser is my Nutted Wild Rice Salad from one of my favorite cook books. I have developed so much confidence with cooking now that I am at home and loving it! When I need help, I turn to my cookbooks for ideas - The Silver Palate Cookbook has really helped me become a star!

That said, my girlfriend Vivan always made a fantastic quinoa salad so I revived that grain back into our diet and with this recipe, it is part of my 'wow them' repertoire - I simply replace quinoa for the wild rice. Quinoa is an ancient cereal grain that grows in the Andes Mountains of South America - it's a powerhouse of protein and amino acids, and kept the Incan armies strong. I have my friend Hadden to thank since he brought this package back from his worldly travels as a gift for us. We are now addicted! Just follow the cooking instructions for the quinoa and replicate the rest. Enjoy - this is a chewy satisfying meal!
Recipe from Silver Palate Cookbook Page 345 
Nutted Wild Rice Salad

1 cup (1/2 pound) raw wild rice
5 1/2 cups defatted chicken stock or water
1 cup shelled pecan halves
1 cup yellow raisins
grated rind of 1 large orange
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
4 scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste 

1. Put rice in a strainer and run under cold water; rinse thoroughly.
2. Place rice in a medium-size heavy saucepan. Add stock or water and bring to a rapid boil. Adjust heat to a gentle simmer and cook uncovered for 45 minutes. After 30 minutes check for doneness; rice should not be too soft. Place a thin towel inside a colander and turn rice into the colander and drain. Transfer drained rice to a bowl.
3. Add remaining ingredients to rice and toss gently. Adjust seasonings to taste. Let mixture stand for 2 hours to allow flavors to develop. Serve at room temperature.
6 portions

Quick Tip: I add lots of fried onions, garlic and mushrooms to the mixture to make it even more robust. Feel free to add chopped red peppers and cucumbers - be creative with this. I triple the recipe for continuous leftovers that everyone loves! 

Alright, here's Viv's recipe too:

1 cup Quinoa (follow cooking instructions using spring water)
1/2 cup finely diced English cucumber
4 stems finely diced green onion
1/3 cup cooked corn kernels
1/4 cup diced fresh cilantro
Toss with cooked quinoa
3 tbsp. fresh lime juice
3 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp. rice syrup or honey (optional)
Combine, then add to quinoa. Stir thoroughly with a fork to coat grain and vegetables.

Thanks Vivian! I would triple the recipe for a dinner party and/or leftovers and all ingredients are organic in Viv's kitchen and mine. Enjoy! xoxo

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Life Long Learning

Key Distinctions/Insights: The second important step is to gather good quality information - research, study, learn - educating ourselves so we can assess where we stand and evaluate what may be the possible risks and opportunities ahead. The truth shall set you free! And only we can come to realize the truth for ourselves! 

I have an insatiable appetite for learning! I realized why that is. Never in human history has almost all of human knowledge been available at our finger tips. Of course, misinformation and inaccurate information is pervasive on the internet as well - see my article on discerning the truth. Our ability to sift through huge amounts of information - computer memory of the internet to gather the facts and the search engines that allow us to make sense of what is out there - and synthesize information. The output of one blogger is the input of another. The feedback loop is making us more intelligent than ever before. This makes the invention of the printing press look like child's play. We can now gather facts over a long period of time and then see them all at once. We do not have to rely upon the corporations to connect the dots for us. We can do this ourselves. The economics of doing research have democratized this dot-connecting and perhaps we now see things we never were able to see before. 

In a decade of research, I have learned about things that I never knew existed and the more that I investigate the more that my personal world view has shifted. What I was taught in school doesn't come close to my view on the world today - and some of it is down right shocking. This has left me entirely fascinated and hungry to learn more. Particularly since what I have learned has had practical benefit to me and my loved ones - family and friends. And thankfully many have had open minds to listen! I even think our future survival depends on what we are willing to learn and understand right now! There is definitely a real awakening in progress!

Needless to say, there's a lot at stake here! We make decisions and take certain actions based on our current beliefs that have everything to do with the knowledge we have acquired over our lifetimes. We are often keen to hold firmly to what we were taught as children. I have also become keenly aware of how I learn and how I assess the quality of the information I gather since it has literally affected my health, my quality of life, and I venture to say, my survival. Decisions about the foods we eat, vaccinations and environmental toxins, navigating the economy and everything related to finances and so on. The keys, in my view, are to be aware of your learning process so that we may become effective life long learners (keep it fluid and continuous), and keep an open mind always (not to say there aren't challenges). There will always be new information that will challenge your current belief - instead of trying to make the world conform to how we see things - by opening up our minds we may step into a whole new paradigm which may have the world show up for us in a far better way. Here is my process - enjoy!
Step One - Explore: Continually scout around a wide variety of sources - I keep my agenda and my mind open - I look for information that may be unfamiliar though if true could have important implications for me and my family. When I notice certain information cropping up several times in different places, I sit up and take note. One topic that started this way was information ten years ago of the possibility of economic and currency collapse as a result of all the financial derivatives - we've seen this come to fruition on an historic scale. You may spot trends for business opportunities and investments; new developments or understandings about health issues such as vaccinations, flouride, GMO (genetically modified organism) and so on. You get the idea. 
Keep in mind that each of us has a preference for seeing, hearing or physically touching things. Since so much valuable information is available through the window of our computers, take note of what stimulates you best - video for the visual, online radio for those with a preference to listen, graphics/maps/plans/blueprints for the avid hands on, and numbers/data for the analytic fact finders - there is a rich variety to attract and support your learning style.
Step Two - Research/Investigate: Then I continue by digging for more in-depth information to understand the scope of the subject - going to industry material, following links from industry experts, scientific studies, and in particular, finding as much information outside of the main stream to filter for agendas and bias. I value information from some of the little guys - passionate folks who have dedicated their lives to studying the topic at hand. And I reference any competitors to point out all the important aspects or distinctions of products or services that I should be considering!  Smaller niche companies due to their passion have in many cases incorporated certain principals behind their product or service that the big guys have overlooked - I want to know what those are. This process applies to ideas just as much as tangibles where there will be no shortage of proponents and opponents for any point of view including scientific data to support opposing ideas. Global warming will likely go down in history as such a topic. 
Step Three - Study: Once I have found what I believe to be trustworthy sources, I narrow my focus to a handful of in depth and often lengthy articles and material (experiments, findings, personal accounts etc). By now, I know what the questions are that need to be addressed. What's left is a sniff test. Often you will hear the expression "follow the money" as a means to understand the underlying motivations. It is important to keep your eyes open on who and what is behind the information so that you can be aware of bias. And even that filter may not provide the definitive answers for you. So, in order to make my decision, I lean on my intuition for what feels right. What I have noticed is that the more reading I do, the more clues I am able to cross correlate - it's often the little bits of information that either connect up or not that help me make sense of the big picture and determine whether I discount or value those particular so called "facts"! Since I have years of study to fall back on with regard to the economy and the financial system, many connecting dots come into focus. Just keep at it and soon you will be synthesizing and analyzing from your unique perspective!
Step Four - Actions: Now I am ready to make a choice, take a decision, or I may simply summarize my findings with relevant links (or electronic pdfs in case that information may at some time not be available at that site - an example may to information on how to build something such as a chicken coop or growing bed) which I put into an electronic project file for future reference for when I am ready to proceed. I have a ton of email mailbox folders relevant to different areas of interest in my life - and many of them relate to my goals in each category of my life (more on that when we talk about Ten Year Vision and Goal Setting). Examples may be writing my book, buying and setting up my farm, starting another business to generate cash flow and ideas, empowering my children, adventure/travel, my art, creating community, and importantly health, and so on. As a family we enjoy kicking around some of our most recent findings - it helps us to crystalize what we have learned in our own minds by sharing with others - "teaching to learn". Further on we'll share about "learning to teach".

Step Four - Re-Examine: I am usually willing to re-examine my point of view as new information comes to light, particularly contradictory information. It is important to continually be willing to reevaluate previous decisions and make adjustments. There is too much at stake not to! Head-in-the-sand denial of relevant new information can be very costly!

Not keeping an open mind can lead to denial! This can be particularly painful when it affects someone you know and love who may be making decisions on outdated beliefs. The thing about truth is that we must come to realize it for ourselves! No one can do it for us and being human, this can take time!

Quick Tip: When reading one of my books, I have a system of underlining in pen any sentence/s that represent an "aha" idea for me (I don't bother doing it in pencil anymore since I realized years ago that I will never erase those lines anyway). I know its an "aha" because it feels interesting - the revelation seems exciting when "I see"  or "now I get it!"  And then I fold over the corner of the left hand page of that two-page spread. I trust that that feeling is guiding me to where my awakening is wanted. This way I can continue to reread my library over the years by simply skipping to each of the underlined sections and reading the few paragraphs surrounding that quote to be fully reminded of that concept. I can be thoroughly refreshed on good writing and good ideas in 15 to 20 minutes or so and appreciate the book once again for the old "ahas", many that seem as valuable or powerful as on my first read. Only, on subsequent revisits, the  "aha" has found new layers of meaning for me! Perhaps its the awakening process and expanding consciousness - imagining so. In any event, I have built my library gradually over 20 years. We've probably read many of the same books.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Tools for Building Websites

Spy On Your Competitors - KeywordSpy

Resolution Revolution

Key Distinctions/Insights: Resolution Revolution means "Saying No To Resolutions!" Resolutions are about gyms swelling the first few days of the New Year with rip tide reversals within weeks. And diets derail even more quickly. Think about it - resolutions are driven by guilt! Yet our creative power is summoned when we present our authentic selves in real time - not projecting backward in guilt or forward in anxiety. On that basis, none of our actions can be inspired. When actions are inspired (spirit within), they allow you to harmonize with instead of resist current conditions for far better results.
By vitalizing and energizing yourself right now, you can greet the New Year with excitement and anticipation, and a fresh perspective. Consider the following for inspired action:

1) Burn fat from the holidays!
My dear friend Dr. Phil Maffetone has the best answer to rid yourself of fat from holiday feasting! His philosophy on nutrition and exercise is truly revolutionary and logical - he has trained top athletes who needed clear results - let him train you too for clear results!
Here is an excerpt from his New Year's message.  
"If the holidays shattered your eating habits, you’ve gained weight or feel washed up, and you’re truly ready to build your health, here’s the best place to start. The first step is to make the decision to burn off that excess body fat, and get healthy. Many people plan to go on a diet for the New Year. But as we all know, diets don't work for most people, and, you sacrifice your health for a few pounds. Plus, diets are no fun. There's a better way -- decide to do it right and be healthy. 
Turning on your body's fat-burning system will give you what you want -- loss of body fat, more energy, better health. There are two things to consider: the foods you eat, and your level of activity. By New Year's, sugar addiction has worsened in many people. And, physical activity has often hit bottom. Getting rid of the sugar problem and performing some short, easy activity, such as walking, should enable you to reach your goals. Yes, it's that simple." Read the rest of his article....you may need to register - do it - then you will continue to get Dr. Maffetone's fabulous email updates just as I do!

Quick Tips: 

Dr. Phil is one of my real heros! He teaches about 'self-health care' - this resonates with those of us who are willing to take personal responsibility. I go to him for the real truth! All of Dr. Maffetone's advice is beautifully laid out in his book "In Fitness and In Health" - it has been my guide for years. If you don't already have his book make this investment in yourself - it will be an invaluable guide for life long health! Health is your most valuable of possessions - and priceless!!  A treasure - find it here!

2) Energize yourself with Clean Ups!!
Meanwhile, as you continue on your healthy fat burning plan with Dr. Maffetone, you can boost your energetics immediately by taking care of messes in your life - a sure way to revitalize your perspective to greet the New Year with enthusiasm!
Realize that you are abundantly aware of the messes in your environment - be it a messy car, a messy garage filled with junk and garbage that you see every time you pull your car in, and step your way over to the door....to drawers where you can't find things when you need them, closets stuffed over full with things you no longer wear, and so on. 
Messes literally suck your energy! In fact, every time that you expose yourself to a messy condition, it receives the focus of your attention, whether you are aware of it or not, and can evoke attendant emotions of guilt, frustration, etc. Subtly you may experience a feeling of defeat with thoughts of not enough time, loss of control, and so on. Sounding familiar? Messes rob you of productive energy! And that energy is not available for creating the things in your life that you truly wish!
To free yourself from these energy drains, recognize that the time spent cleaning up a mess will actually generate immediate positive energy that you can harness and redirect! Often the hardest part is getting started - once you get started you may find that there will be no stopping you. Your greatest reward will be a renewed confidence that comes from a sense of having control in your life. And your revitalized confidence can be redirected towards things, projects and even relationships that bring you even bigger dividends.

a) Start by taking inventory! Get comfortable and make a list of every mess in your life - ideally include incompletions of any kind. Imagine how freeing it will be to have these things handled.  List the receipts that need filing, the check book that needs balancing, computer files that need back up/organization, warranties or rebates that need to be mailed. And don't stop with your physical environment - are there relationships that are out of balance that you have been avoiding? Promises made but not kept? How about a clean trim for your hair to give you some bounce? How about scheduling an overdue dental cleaning appointment - nothing like running your tongue over squeaky clean teeth! You get the picture. Just telling the truth about where you stand is very freeing! So far you have only lifted a finger. And keep in mind that this is all about you! Who better than you to take care of you!!

b) Now break your list into bite size projects! Instead of tackling the entire garage all in one go, break the job into smaller chunks - create a sublist to rid garbage and junk, sort through tools, return borrowed things, find a storage rack, reorganize what's left, sweep and vacuum, clean windows, etc; in the kitchen - sort pantry foods, buy or find space savers, tidy and clean cupboards, sort and clean drawers, deep clean in and around appliances and under the sink; in a crammed bedroom - unclutter (my moto is don't buy a nicknack if it doesn't look good with dust on it!), add storage under the bed; tackle the closet - buy new wooden hangars (Home Depot 8 for $3.99 - 6 or so set won't break the bank), sort what you haven't worn in two years (they say one year but I can't bear that!), organize seasonal things into another closet to make room. Then make it beautiful with favorite pictures and accessories for display! My friend Laurie has even mounted her vision board in her closet where she sees it every morning and evening!

c) Build in a reward for handling the whole thing! I made my list before the holidays - I wanted my home to be comfy and cozy for the season since it was my first Christmas at home in years. It seemed that I hadn't the time in previous years to beautifully decorate and fill the house with the great smells of home cooking. I knew that if I didn't tackle some of the messes before hand, that I would be thinking about the dreadful chores awaiting me after the holidays....so my reward for cleaning and organizing was being able to fully relax and enjoy myself in my home just the way I wanted it! Your reward may be something completely different. For me having my home be a sanctuary for my family motivated me. Having it cleaned and organized top to bottom is empowering and this was a big step to creating that sanctuary - my home has never looked and felt this great! 

c) Get started with a few smaller projects! This way you'll notice how easy it is and how good it feels with little effort - before you know it, you're on to the next. I set up four bins in my garage to place garbage, recycling, giveaways, and keepsakes for storage. What ever you do, don't hoard says my friend Paula - is there a purpose for what you surround yourself with? 
Think about energetics - you want to keep energy flowing in your space so unclutter, clean and tidy. Keep in mind that all of this is a process including the idea of detachment from things you don't need - you'll see a pay off at more levels than just your physical environment. The universe abhors a vacuum so sometimes you need to get rid of the old to make way for the new!! And you'll rediscover some lovely things in the process too.

d) Tick off your list to track your progress! Notice your energy soar and your confidence roar as you get the first few projects out of the way. Once you get started, I promise you can't stop! And because this works at so many levels, no one can really do this but you! Get any help by all means though be fully involved yourself - lots of decisions to be made as you literally recreate your environment. That is also why you will enjoy the tremendous satisfaction and reap the major rewards.

e) Save the tricky ones for last! If at first you don't know how to handle one of the items on your list, put it last. This is not to procrastinate - realize that you have a plan and you are working your plan - at least the history books tell you Rome wasn't built in a day! If it's a friendship or family relationship that needs some cleaning up - maybe an apology will take care of things, perhaps it's clearing up a misunderstanding, or simply declaring the relationship over in your own mind - you'll have plenty of time to consider the project or relationship as you deal with the balance of your list. I find that my thinking time while scrubbing is therapeutic. 
What you may also discover is the power of putting yourself into the flow! If you are clear on your intention (let's say its about a relationship and you intend to leave everyone empowered no matter what the outcome) then by letting it perculate on the back burner as you turn your attention to the balance of your list, you will become fully energized and bursting with confidence. The energy and confidence tends to bring you present - now as your approach the end of your list, you can summon creative energy to tackle this item. Through conscious reflection, you'll gain insight on how best to handle a situation. What's more - you may find that it has already resolved itself (you know how when providence steps in - your friend calls you one day while you're in the back corner of the garage because they were thinking of you and asked if you would accept their apology...or what have you!...and of course you graciously accept!) You know how it works! Put yourself into the flow and allow yourself to be carried forward with a lot less effort than you imagined and big rewards!

Congratulations - enjoy your rewards! And Happy New Year!

Quick Tips:
My friend Paula organizes peoples homes professionally - watch for an interview coming up with her soon! And visit my store for this very interesting book "Unclutter Your Life in One Week" by Erin Ronney Doland plus ideas for other organizing items.