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Friday's Inspiration Weekly
Starting Over

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Your problem is, how you are going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued? Whether you're going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are.
The search for self-worth begins by finding what is indestructible inside, then letting it be.
Why are new beginnings so difficult? Will anything make starting over easier? 

Entrée:  Anti-Resolutions: What Not To Do by Kathy Gates
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With time flying by faster and faster every year, you already know it's important to make resolutions - or set goals - to move you in the direction you want to go. However, it's equally important to know what not to do. Try these Anti-Resolutions to add some Don'ts to your day, and see how it helps with all those Do's:

I will not over-schedule my day.
It seems like scheduling every minute would be the logical way to get everything done, but it actually tends to work against you. Some things will take longer than you expected, some things will interfere that you can't predict. If you're scheduled to the max, you'll have no room to absorb them, things will overrun, and frustration will set in. Instead, plan in the free time. Aim for about 75% scheduled, 25% free.

I will not say Yes to everything.
Saying Yes to everything is like cholesterol - it clogs your day with stuff you don't want there. Doing other people's work, answering annoying phone calls, deleting junk emails. If you want to read a book, say No to TV and the internet. If you want to start a home business, say No to things that waste your time. If you want to lose weight say No to Frito-Lay and Sara Lee. Simple as that (I didn't say easy, I said simple.)

I will no longer put what I want at the moment over what I want in the long run.
That extra 20 minutes of sleep in the morning might seem like the best thing since sliced peanut butter, but you know it will only make you late, and then playing catch up the rest of the day. That new pair of shoes may seem like the last pair you'll ever need, but if it makes the rent money tight, it's not worth it. Think about the long term effects of your actions today.

I will no longer get duped into the "I can have it all" idea.
Having it all is certainly possible, either by having it at different times in your life, or by having a whole lot of help (think Kelly Ripa or Katie Couric). Their few spare minutes are certainly not spent grocery shopping or cleaning toilets. So please, lose the Super-Woman idea attached to it.

I will no longer get trapped in media microwave mentality.
Things take time. Life is not a sit-com, and few things are resolved in 30 minutes or less. Appreciate the various stages of projects and goals as well as the outcome. Ever notice a rose in bud form? It's beauty is special - no need to wait until the rose is opened to enjoy it. Neither are your goals of home projects, or getting a degree, or even getting your schedule organized. Learn from the mistakes, learn to enjoy the lessons, and make each day as special as the end result.

I won't give up.
Never give up. When you mess up, or when the wind of life comes barreling in unannounced - and it will - being prepared as best you can will give you the strength to be able to move on. If you lose your job suddenly, having a reserve of money will ease the transition into a new job and give you the power to wait to find the right one. When it seems like there's no answer, push on. The answer may be just around the next corner. Don't let fear, or anger, or frustration, or your money, or your in-laws, stop you from living your life. Keep going. It's your turn next.

About the author:

Kathy Gates is a Life Coach who believes that "Life Rewards Action". It's what you do today that will make a difference in your life tomorrow. She can help you set priorities and goals, build healthy relationships, and take control of your life. If you would like more information, please email, or call 480.998.5843

Main Course: How About Now?
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Usually, new beginnings follow a catastrophe, a failure or a tragic event. Like falling off a bicycle, the only way to be comfortable about bicycle riding is to climb back on and go. It was that way, today, when I drove my new car through the intersection that wiped out my other car, just three weeks back.

Three weeks of avoiding 5th and Watson was enough. Today was as good a day as any. It's a new year, and new year's are good times to begin again. Having safely navigated the "intersection of plans and chance" today, I can be confident, and move forward to greater things.

There are certain times of the year during which it is more auspicious to start again. I am given several special days during the year to initiate changes in my life. Actually, there are 365 of them, but some days are definitely more special than others.

Birthdays, for instance. Everyone has a day that they celebrate during the year that is special to just them alone. Well, many share the same date of birth, and even if it is someone close to me (my grandson, Zachary, for instance), what a more magical day is there to mark the date of beginning a venture, or to celebrate a year of successful achievement?

New Year's Day seems just a popular as it has always been to initiate changes, to make resolutions, to begin to rebuild and regenerate, to consecrate one's self to betterment and progress over the record of the previous year. With 365 days to keep record of my steady attainment, the potential seems unlimited! And, if the project falters along the way, the Chinese New Year is just around the corner.

The beginning of the school year brings a newness and opportunity for change, even though the calendar year is winding down into the season of fall after a warm summer. The kids head off to school, and free some time for quietude and introspection. Or, perhaps, now there is enough time to volunteer, to buy some art supplies and try your hand at painting or sketching, or maybe take a class on a desired subject at the community college. Remember how you felt: there's no better time to open a fresh page of life, to make a fresh start, than the first day of school!

Anyone who has spent time reading through the archives at Friday's Inspiration can tell you that grief can be transforming, too. Any widow or widower can tell you that they had no idea of their capabilities until the spouse died, the one that did the cooking and cleaning, or the car maintenance and household repairs, or the finances, and they were left to learn the task or do without. The death of a parent, in my case my mom (just a few years after my dad), gave me pause to consider if my life was headed in the right direction. It inspired me to improve upon their model in my own life, and to consider what sort of example and legacy I was leaving for my own children and grandchildren.

World tragedies, such as terrorist attacks and earthquakes, or local news events, such as a young couple recently lost (and thankfully found) in a snowstorm in Oregon, have given me an opportunity to be thankful for my abundance, my health, my beautiful daughter and her husband, as well as an opportunity to rethink and reconsider what it is that I do, what I say, and what I feel, and how I act.

It really is impossible to say when is the best time to commit to changes when they are necessary or even desirable. Each of us is going down our own Path in life, and what may be a good time for one person may be premature for another. The important thing is to begin as soon as one is ready. Each individual has the power to change their life at any time and at any age, and of their own choosing. Or, perhaps like the title of Barbara Sher's book says, "It's only too late if you don't start now".

Is there a good time, or a good day to make changes? How about today. Why not right now?

Michael Rawls, Friday's Inspiration © 2003

Second Helping: Begin Anew! by Bonnie Ann
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Isn't it wonderful that we have the option at anytime during our lives to consciously decide to start over in some area of our life and make a fresh start? You know that feeling you sometimes get? It's like waking up early on a bright new sunny day and taking in a deep breath of fresh air. All seems newly alive and you feel like you're ready to conquer the day!

This time, though, you have a GOAL. Maybe it's to begin walking a few days a week to get that old heart pumping. Perhaps it's a plan to retire earlier at night in order to get up earlier the next day so you can enjoy that refreshing new morning and not have to rush off to work so fast—taking it a bit slower...enjoying the beautiful world of nature around you!

It could be some other goal that you have in mind, but it doesn't have to be some huge, hardly attainable goal. A simple change can be just as important to you and just as difficult to we all get caught up in old habits and it takes time and effort—with a disciplined routine—to break them.

So, one day, you will decide to make a fresh start. Why not today? Better yourself. Begin Anew!! Leave sticky notes here and there to remind yourself until it becomes a new habit. Do what you need to do to remind yourself of what it is you would like to change and the benefits you will gain from such a triumph.

Maybe next week or next month you'll think of another. Just follow these steps...

  1. Make the decision.
  2. Follow through with helpful reminders of what to do and why.
  3. Finally, change the old habit into a new reality!


About the author:

Bonnie Ann is a contributing writer to, the fastest growing Holistic, Spiritual & Self-Improvement Magazine & Resource on the Internet with over 1000 pages of articles, events, links and interviews on over 60 categories. Weekly Magazine offers new articles, events, recommended books and favorite quotations published every Saturday.

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