Weight Loss Tip Booklet - 151 Simple Ideas

What really matters is usually right in front of us

Imagine what life would be like if we each lived exactly 100 years — to the day. From the moment of birth, barring accidents, you knew the exact minute of your death. One some levels it could be reassuring; however, as the calendar years passed, it might get a little freaky. There would be no doubt about how much time was left on your clock.

With that as the backdrop, pretend you are now 99 years and 364 days old, it’s your last day on the planet. You have all the knowledge you can possibly acquire. Whatever you have attempted is considered complete. Your trials, tribulations, and triumphs have left their marks. Lessons have been learned. Knowledge has been acquired. Whatever else you had planned will remain unaccomplished. There is nothing left to do but look back and analyze the story of your life.

Your time has come.

Using that scenario, suppose you could “send a message” back to the real-life YOU of today, the person reading these words this very minute. You would say, “In your remaining years, always remember and stay focused on what rally matters,” and you would list those top priorities so present-day you wouldn’t reach the end of life filled with regrets for being out of alignment.

In an exercise to establish priorities, I have conducted an activity like this with audiences of all shapes and stripes, estimating the total number of people who have done this with me to be several thousand, maybe more. Some have shared their answers; it is not a surprise that almost all are priorities such as: take care of my family, have faith, be healthy, treat others well, smile often, love deeply, or improve my community. I am reassured that I can count on the fingers of one hand when someone shared a dream like “bright red sports car” or “a hot babe.”

I find this wonderfully reassuring because I interpret these hopeful results as meaning that we, as a people, do seem to have a good direction. I think what happens is we get so mired in the day-to-day muck, we forget the big picture. We have our nose so close to the grindstone and our back so bent with our labors, that instead of focusing on what matters, all we get are sore lats and a flattened proboscis.

How often do we not even notice something wonderful that's right in front of us? As example, for Valentine’s Day, my wonderful wife arose first and hung a bright red, shiny banner proclaiming, “I love you forever” at the entrance to our living room. Shortly thereafter, oblivious, I staggered out of bed and wandered into the living room, not noticing it, even as it almost brushed my head. I did observe something that needed to be put in the kitchen so I dutifully picked it up and left the room; still unobservant. I poured a cup of coffee and returned to the living room. I am embarrassed that I had still not noticed the banner.

My wife, upstairs, calls out, "Happy Valentines Day Honey,” assuming of course, that with three trips to the living room, I must have seen her handiwork.

I replied, "You too honey."

She says, "What did you think?"

"About what?" I call back.

She says, "You didn't even see it?"

"See what?"

How many things of beauty do we miss each day, because we forget to look at what really matters? I am keeping my eyes more open today.

About the author: Scott “Q” Marcus is a professional speaker and the CDO of www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com, a website for people and organizations who are frustrated with making promises and are ready to make a change. Sign up for his free newsletter at www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com or friend him at facebook.com/thistimeimeanit. He is also available for coaching and speaking engagements at 707.442.6243 or scottq@scottqmarcus.com
We’re six weeks into the year; so, how are those New Year’s resolutions workin’ for ya?

If they’re now broken shards lying along the highway shoulder several miles in the rear view mirror, fret not, you stand not alone. According to surveys, as many as 80 percent of people give up their vast and glorious seemed-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time plans by the tail end of January; more alarming is as many as 90 percent are never brought to fruition. What might the foremost reasons for not accomplishing them be? About 40 percent of respondents say they didn’t have enough time (read that “not a high enough priority”) and about one-third say they weren’t even committed to doing them in first place. Basically, they set them to get someone off their back. Yep, nothing says “motivation to change” like a heaping, steaming pile of guilt.

Personally, I think the “New Year’s Resolution” is a manufactured event; akin to holidays we didn’t know existed until we went into the greeting card shop. We respond to public pressure, and since “everyone’s doing it,” we don’t want to pay the social price for not going along; hence we make promises we never intend to keep.

Nothing’s wrong with January 1; I mean why not, it’s as good date as any. But change drives its own train and you better get on board when it’s time or you’ll be left at the station. If your marriage is monotonous and unsatisfying on April 7, you might be single in seven months. Having trouble seeing your belt buckle without looking in the mirror? Why wait? After all, your belly’s not going to shrink by itself, is it? Or, if you get up most mornings with an “ain’t-life-a-drag hangover,” it might seem the perfect date for a decision is the one that’s staring you in the face on the calendar.

I don’t mean to be snarky but in the interest of trying to make a point, the perfect date for change is, well, today. If you re-read this tomorrow, that works also. Yet, per my previous comments, most of us like to feel we’re not alone in our quest; so ever the helper, by the power vested in me (which admittedly isn’t much), I proclaim February 15 as the first annual “This Time I Mean It Day.” (Please insert your own trumpets.) I am attempting to get as many people as possible to recommit to objectives delayed — and equally as important, to celebrate those things we have accomplished already, while supporting others as they reach upward also.

It might appear out of the norm to discuss resolutions when red roses, heart-adorned boxer shorts, and enough chocolate to give us a yearlong cocoa high surround us; but there’s method to my madness. The date was specifically chosen to coincide with the holiday most dedicated to commitment: Valentine’s Day.

When we care about someone and we value the relationship, we take those extra moments to engage in those additional activities that ease their burdens, lighten their load, and lift them up. If we care about ourselves, it seems we need no less. After all, if we don’t take care of us, who will take care of everyone we take care of? (I know; that sentence is horribly constructed but you get the point.)

So, onward self-improving soldiers, carpe diem! Make a commitment. Take a step. Share it with a friend. Don’t worry about joining late; we’ll still be marching on February 16th, June 17th, or any day thereafter. The road never ends.


About the author: Scott “Q” Marcus is a professional speaker and the CDO of www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com, a website for people and organizations who are frustrated with making promises and are ready to make a change. He is also the founder of “This Time I Mean It Day,” a playful holiday celebrating our personal successes, every February 15. Join the celebration and download a free goal planner at the website or contact him at scottq@scottqmarcus.com, www.facebook.com/thistimeImeanit or on twitter @thistimeimeanit

Ever have one of those times where you obsess over whether or not you took care of something at home? You know, like, “Did I lock the door?” or “Did I remember to shut off the oven?” You’re sure you did; at least it seems like you did. But the further you get from home, the less convinced you become. After awhile, the doubt burrows into you brain and you finally decide, “What the heck, I’ll turn around, go home, and check it out; ‘just to be safe.’” Of course, you were right in the first place. The stove WAS off. The door WAS locked. All was fine. You feel silly, relieved, frustrated, angry with yourself; (choose one or “all of the above”) but continue to your destination; ten minutes late but no longer encumbered by the phantom brain wave.

It doesn’t mean you’re ravaged by OCD if it happens every so often. I think it’s normal (at least I hope so), After all with so much on our minds, sometimes we don’t mentally check off the smaller events. That’s what happened to me yesterday.

The saga began as I mounted my bicycle to ride to yoga. With clear skies and a light breeze, it was weather made for a commute. I had allowed enough time so I could ride at a leisurely pace, admire the scenery, breathe deep the cool air, and be grateful for being alive. All was as it should be; at least until the gremlins got me.

It began with a random thought, “Did you close the garage door?”

Understand, I have never left the garage open when I’ve left my house so there’s no reason to assume I had done anything but that on this occasion. Yet, the more I tried to turn down the noise, the louder it became. With every crank of the pedals, the more I worried. Deciding I was ruining a perfectly good bike ride, I opted to return home and confirm the house was indeed secure.

To turn around, I pulled into a driveway but due to its narrow width, I couldn’t complete the action. I tried to put my feet down while straddling the frame, and waddle backwards to the street. Alas, due to the slope of the driveway, combined with my less-than-towering height, my feet couldn't reach the ground. The bicycle (with me attached of course) began rolling backwards; before I could extricate myself, I lost balance. Upon realizing gravity was going to win this battle, I stretched out my arms to cushion the blow, landing with a severe THUD next on the curb to a garbage can. My right hand took the brunt of the impact; shortly before my jaw bounced against the concrete and my ribs smashed against the tubular frame of the bike, leaving me in a tangle on the street.

As cars passed, I wondered if anyone would stop, or did they consider a middle-age guy laying in the sewer some sort of performance art or misplaced garbage?

“Look honey, isn’t that a man sprawled in the gutter next to a bicycle?”

“By Jove, I think you’re right!”

“Do you think we should see if he’s okay?”

“Why should we? It looks like the people in that house tried to throw him away, but missed the can. We don’t have time to pick up other people’s trash. However, you’d think they’d have more pride in the appearance of their property, don’t you?”

With a collective “harrumph,” and noses turned skyward, they would drive on. Whether or not that was the conversation, no one stopped.

I assessed the damage. My jaw and hand were already throbbing but I was obviously conscious. I could — with much pain — move my fingers and my mouth. My chest ached; yet I could breathe. The bike was fine; my mirror and light were askew; but simple to fix.

With no small amount of effort, I pulled myself to vertical; considered my options, and came to the thankful realization “on the grand scale of things,” it could have been worse. I was startled at how grateful I actually was, despite the pain.

Therein lies the lesson. Most of the time, “it could be worse” and someday “it will be worse.” But not right NOW — and that’s where I live, right now. I’m no Pollyanna; I understand “stuff happens” (and 24 hours later I am seriously considering a trip to my doctor to check on my hand), yet I was able to continue on with my plans and make it home just fine (albeit more slowly). There are people whose daily experiences are far worse than most of what happens to me in an entire lifetime. When I put it into that perspective, I am grateful. When I dramatically lay my forearm across my forehead, close my eyes, toss back my head, and lament, “woe is me,” it does feel worse.

As a dear friend reminded me, “When everything seems crazy, remember to breathe” (even if my ribs hurt).

Oh yes, I had locked the garage door.