Day 3 of Love and Relationships: The Magic Relationship Ratio!

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Today we’re going to look at the so called magic ratio.

You may remember that earlier this week, we talked about Dr. John Gottman.  He observed couples and predicted with remarkable accuracy which of them would stay together. So what did he say made the difference in these couples’ relationships? After years of study and research, he believes couples who have a balance between positive and negative interactions have successful relationships.  It shouldn’t surprise any of us to learn that negative has more weight than positive so more positive is needed for balance.  It may surprise us though to learn that an absence of negative or conflict is deadly to a relationship. Conflict actually helps couples grow. We need both, but how much of each for healthy balance?

Dr. Gottman says 5 to 1. Five positive interactions to one negative. So 2 negatives need 10 positives and 20 positives need 4 negatives. So how do we make sure our interactions are in balance?  We should probably remember that we still live in an imperfect world and we’re still imperfect people. That means our interactions won’t always be in balance but we can aim for it. Most of us won’t need help fitting in the conflict or negative unless we’ve already become indifferent. I suspect that’s not the case or we wouldn’t be interested in this topic. So let’s look at some ways we can increase the positive interactions.

First, we can be mindful of how important it is share the everyday moments. If we make positive interactions a priority and practice, soon they will become habit. We can start by replacing some neutral actions with positive ones. When we see or hear something funny, replace keeping it to ourselves with sharing it with our partner. Instead of just walking past our partner, we can look at them and smile or touch their shoulder or squeeze their hand as we go by. Instead of walking in from work and immediately getting involved in something, we can find our partner and give them a hug or kiss. There are countless ways to add positive interactions to our relationships. If we keep in mind how important these little things and an occasional grand gesture are, we’ll practice them.

Since we also need a little negative for a healthy relationship, tomorrow we are going to look at managing conflict. I’d love to know what you think of this week’s topic.  Leave a comment on my website rockinlife.co. Thank you for joining me today! If you enjoy this show please share it with a friend. Have a beautiful day and we’ll talk again tomorrow.

Day 2 of Love and Relationships: What’s Most Important in a Relationship

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What is a relationship, anyway? Isn’t it a connection between people?  Actually, the very definition of a relationship is the state of being connected. Many relationship experts say that feeling of being connected is the most important thing in relationships. Most of us or at least I believed that relationships were all about communication. While communication is an important part of the connection, it’s that feeling of connection that is most important. The sense that our significant other is on our team, routing us on, supporting us. Good open communication IS important but the most important thing in a healthy relationship according to behavioral research is a sense of connection. Two people can communicate with amazing openness but without that sense of connection, there is no relationship.

What happens if we communicate our feelings, concerns, joys, or anything without feeling connected? We probably won’t feel heard or understood no matter how articulate we might be. Now, what about communicating when we feel connected.  We’re listening and responding, making an effort to understand and responding to cues in a way that makes it easier for the other person to understand.

So what if we’re in a relationship and we’re feeling disconnected from our significant other.  How do we increase our connection when we’re not feeling it.  Well, I went looking for that answer and found an interesting article, 7 Ways to Create Connection with Your Partner.  In this article, relationship expert Dr. Margaret Paul, writes that the first step is to connect with yourself and prepare yourself to be willing to connect with another. I found her first advice very interesting. Probably because I recently ready some neuroscientific research that showed the same part of our brain is active when we are evaluating ourselves (our feelings, beliefs) as when we are connecting with other people. So knowing ourselves helps us to connect with other people.

Before I go on to her other recommendations, I want to take a minute to thank our sponsor, Audible audio books and to remind you that you can get a free audio book. Audible has over 180,000 titles and they are offering Rockin’ Life listeners a free trial and free audio book download when you go to rockinbook.com and sign up. If you cancel your membership, you still keep the book. If you do cancel, don’t forget to cancel before you’re charged. The website again is rockinbook.com

The second thing Dr. Paul suggests is to be open to learning rather than trying to control others. We know we can’t really control anyone else, anyway. When we try, we lose control of ourselves. Our focus becomes the behavior of someone else rather than the only thing we can control, our own choices. So to create connection, we want to be open to learning about and accepting ourselves and our significant other.

Next, it’s important to be present. We all know what it feels like to talk to someone who is lost in thought a million miles away. We may as well be talking to a wall. So when we are with our significant other we need to be present and listen. Listen to understand. If we often find ourselves preoccupied when in conversation, Dr. Paul suggests examining what you might avoiding in ourselves. But maybe, we’ve just gotten into a habit of being disconnected. We can make an effort to be present.

The next thing we want to do is focus on what we value in the other person and in ourselves. We can choose to focus on flaws or on value. We may have gotten into a habit of only seeing the ways we believe another person lets us down. The week I talked about gratitude, I told of how Darren Hardy wrote down one thing he appreciated about his wife every day for a whole year. He said that action made a remarkable difference in his marriage.  His focus changed and everything changed.

While we’re doing all of this introspective work, we need to have some fun. Remember why we first felt a connection with this person who is so important to us. Make some plans. Do something enjoyable together. Have some fun. Find some joy. Laugh. It’s amazing what a little break from every day will do for you individually and as a couple.

Then we want to take another look at what brings joy to our significant other. Is it something we can enjoy too or at least support? Does he or she play soccer or sing in a band or group? Instead of sending him off by himself. Go be a fan. I knew a very sweet couple alive, in love after 50 years of marriage. The wife once told me that there was a time she thought she was becoming a golf widow. She decided to take up golf herself and they enjoyed his passion together. In the end they were almost inseparable cooking, and playing and laughing together.

Last, show compassion when your significant other needs it. Be there and be supportive.

If you want to read the whole article about making connections, I’ll put a link to it on my website rockinlife.co. Tomorrow, we’ll share our interview with Shannon Cunningham LeBlanc. She didn’t find love right away but finally got it right and now she helps other people strengthen their relationships.

Thank you for listening today. Don’t forget to share this episode with a friend or on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. And then come back tomorrow. Have a great day. We’ll talk again.

7 Ways to Create Connection with Your Partner

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Day 1 A Week of Love and Relationships

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It’s a new week so we’re looking at a new topic — Love and Relationships. In six days we celebrate Valentine’s Day. On February 14th we typically focus on hearts and flowers and romance but the real St Valentine was about a much deeper love – a lasting love. He was martyred (believed to be beheaded) for secretly performing marriages for young couples at a time in Roman history when marriage was illegal. Apparently the government believed that unmarried men made better soldiers for their wars.  So this week in honor of Valentine’s Day and St. Valentine, we’ll explore love and relationships — what makes them work and some traits of healthy ones.

Like our lives that are made up of the little things we do every day, or our bodies that are made up of the things we do or don’t do – eat or don’t eat, relationships are everyday interactions or absence of interactions. It’s the way we treat each other, the things we make time for and the things we don’t that connect or disconnect us and define our relationships.

You may have heard of Dr. John Gottman. He observed couples in everyday situations and predicted whether they would stay together with remarkable accuracy.  We will be exploring some of his observations as well as some other important relationship findings. For the most part, the traits of healthy relationships are not exclusive to romantic or marriage relationships so we can apply them to other important relationships.

Remember, our relationships are not one dimensional. They are play and work and all the little routines and rituals we practice. We can begin to notice the everyday ways we balance all of these things with the important people in our lives.

Tomorrow, we’re going to look at maybe the most important thing in a relationship and it might not be what we expect.  Wednesday, we have our interview with Shannon Cunningham LeBlanc of Paradise Vacation Escapes. She shares her own journey toward a successful relationship and some important tools and tips for our own relationships.

If you have a question or comment about our episode or anything Rockin’ Life, please check out our website rockinlife.co and be sure to subscribe to Rockin’ Life with Colleen Crain in iTunes or Stitcher Radio. It helps others find the show.  I love it when you share this show and I really love it when you say hello.  Thanks so much for listening today. Have a great day and we’ll talk again tomorrow.

Day 4 of the Power of Persistence. Stubborn, Pushy, or Persistent: How to Know the Difference

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JUST HAVING A LITTLE FUN WITH THIS PIC!!!

We’ve been talking about how importance it is to be persistent in striving for what we want in life. Today, I want to talk about what we don’t want to do as we strive for the lives we want. We already know that being persistent is continuing toward a goal in the face of obstacles or difficulties. That kind of sounds like being stubborn or even being pushy and barreling our way toward what we want.  Being persistent is actually much farther from being pushy or stubborn than we might at first realize.  I want to explore these three traits today and it’s easier for me to look at them as if they were people. So let’s look at Stubborn, Pushy, and Persistence.

First, there is Stubborn. She’s closed and rigid and by definition unreasonably fixed or set. Stubborn wears blinders, ignores everything except her own goal. She charges, maybe even trudges toward her goal without regard for anything or anybody.  She decides on a path and charges ahead saying I’m going this way no matter what. This is my way and I’m not changing anything about it. She might come to a thick solid wall and forever bang against it. She won’t change course even if just to the right or left, there’s a door or even 20 doors.

Then there is Pushy. Pushy is self-serving. She only considers what she wants. The Oxford English dictionary defines Pushy as: “Excessively or unpleasantly self-assertive or ambitious.” Like Stubborn, Pushy charges ahead without regard for others. If pushy is a salesperson, she doesn’t care whether her prospect needs her product or not.  She just wants to sell it and she’s going to call and call until she does. She’ll pursue her prospect like a target rather than a person or institution whose needs she can fill.  If Pushy is a parent, she’ll find ways to force her will on her children without regard for their talents, strengths, desires, or readiness. If Pushy is a significant other, she’ll make all the plans and leave no room for or consideration of her other.

Then there’s Persistence. Persistence is strong and flexible and considers circumstances and other people when taking action. She’s able to change her approach when and if she needs to. Persistence is open to learning.  She uses the knowledge and experience she gains on her journey to her goal to propel her toward it. Persistence is also open to seeing things she might not really want to see. She may not immediately understand an obstacle or be willing to adjust her course. When the best approach becomes obvious, she will make adjustments. Persistence is always there marching or sometimes almost dancing toward her goal. When she comes to an obstacle, she considers it and then finds a way around it, over it, under it, or works her way through it. Persistence falls down then gets back up, attends to her injury and continues to her destination.

Being persistent in our own lives is certainly not easy. One comfort though is persistence leave lots of room for my human imperfection. Some of the very first words uttered on this podcast, not by me, by Brandy McCachren are encouraging. “Today is a new day. We get to start over. I love that we get to start over everyday.”

Today IS a new day.  I hope you’ll find joy and peace and growth in this one. Valentine’s day is next week so our focus is going to be on love and relationships. Wednesday, I interview Shannon Cunningham owner of Paradise travel. She made it through some relationship failures. Now that she’s in a great one, she shares some of the things she believes are important in strengthening them. Plus, she’s a lot of fun!

Don’t forget to subscribe to Rockin’ Life with Colleen Crain in iTunes or my newsletter at subscribe at rockinlife.co. Have a great weekend and we’ll talk again!

Day 3 of the Power of Persistence: How to Press-On When We Don’t See Progress

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Day 3 of the Power of Persistence. Today we’re going to talk about how we can persist when we just aren’t seen in progress. It’s hard to keep going when you aren’t seeing any results. So let’s see if when can find a way to persist in our march toward our goals when it seems we’re going nowhere.

The first thing we can do is look for the progress we’ve already made.  Just because we don’t see it doesn’t mean that it hasn’t happened. Maybe our temporary feelings of discouragement or self-doubt are covering or distorting reality. Just the other day, a friend of mine said, sometimes you have to look at the facts – just the facts and not what your mind is telling you about them. Sometimes when feelings get in the way of a realistic interpretation of what is happening, we need a way to separate the facts. She writes them down and as she does she asks herself a question. Is this true or is this something I’m just assuming. If it’s not a hard fact, she discards it. For example, Jill is a sales person. She’s passionate, prepared, articulate, intelligent, and has a killer product that will really solve a major issue for her list of prospects. So Jill has been trying to reach this particular well qualified prospect. She knows this prospect will buy and be thrilled with Jill’s product if she can get in front of her. After 7 attempts to reach this prospect. Jill is of course, discouraged. She starts tell herself, I can’t do this. This prospect is not going to buy. This prospect must not want me to call. It must be time to give up on providing this killer product to this prospect. But in reality the only fact Jill can be sure of is that she has attempted to contact her prospect seven times. Jill may not realize that it typically takes 8 attempts to reach a prospect. If Jill knew this she could look at each attempt as just one step closer to reaching her goal. One attempt down, 7 to go. Two attempts down, 6 to go.  Of course it may take more or less than 8 attempts to reach someone but seeing each attempt as a step toward a goal can help encourage us to continue.

Second, it’s important to know yourself and know which conditions are most likely to discourage you and keep you from pressing forward. Use this knowledge to prepare yourself for those discouraging moments that are sure to come.  Take steps to set up reminders that those things are potential road blocks or hurdles. Then when you are confronted with them, you will recognize them for what they are and make adjustments instead of giving up. The more recognizable you can make these conditions the earlier you’ll notice them and be able to adjust.

Remind yourself that most journeys are not without detours and washed out bridges. We can plan a great trip with the latest constantly updating navigation system but we still won’t know every bump in the road or accident that may block a particular route. We can know that we have options. We can learn which roadways to avoid and which to take. We can remember that even if the road runs out before we reach our destination, we blaze another one. If it doesn’t work, another one.

Keep reminders close. Write things down. Evaluate your methods. Remember that you’re not supposed to have all the answers. Learn from setbacks and press on. When it looks like we’ve made no progress, we need to step back and re-evaluate. Do we need to change the approach or look at the actual progress we’ve made and press on.

Famous Tennis Player, Billy Jean King said, “Champions keep playing till they get it right.”

Getting it right or not, I’m having a ball doing this podcast and I hope you are enjoying it too.  Did you enjoy today’s show? Drop me a line and let me know. Comment on my website rockinlife.co, on facebook Rockin’ Life with Colleen Crain or on Twitter @CCRockinLife. Thank you so much for listening. I have the best listeners anywhere! Have a great day and we’ll talk again tomorrow.

A Millionaire’s Recipe for Success: A Conversation with Harneet Bhalla

Self-made Millionaire Harneet Bhalla

Harneet’s Golden Nuggets:

  1. Write down your specific goals 5 to 6 times per day.
  2. Create a strategy for each goal. Evaluate it and adjust it as needed.
  3. Say yes to opportunity and don’t be afraid to hustle and be uncomfortable.

To Connect with Harneet: http://harneetbhalla.com/ or on Facebook or on LinkedIn

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Please Click Here to Subscribe to Rockin’ Life with Colleen Crain in iTunes

Visit my website rockinlife.co

 

Day 2 of the Power of Persistence: Learn to become Persistent

Yesterday, we started looking at the quality of being persistent and how important it is just about every area of life. It seems to be present in every success. Today we’re going to look at the how we can become persistent which interestingly enough might just be related to another question.

How do we develop our ability to press on in the face of difficulty or opposition? The ability to be persistent seems to be rare. We certainly have no shortage of examples of people who give up at the first or at least second sign of difficulty. I confess that I’ve been that person at times. Then again, developing the skill of being persistent can’t be that hard. Look at any two year old. Those little people know well how to keep going after what they want in the face of difficulty or opposition – namely their parents. Some are better at it than others. They just seem to be born knowing how to persist in getting what they want and they often get it. So if it’s a skill most toddlers have mastered, shouldn’t we adults be able to master it too?

Let’s look at a few things persistent people have in common so we can incorporate them into our own lives.

Persistent people are connected to their why. They know why they are trying to accomplish a certain thing or reach a certain goal. Their why helps keep them on track when things get tough or uncertain. I once read an account that illustrated how important our why is when we’re faced with difficulty. My apologies to the author – I can’t remember where I read this or the exact details. I think it was Darren Hardy that asked how likely one would be to walk across a one foot wide board sitting a few inches off of the ground to get to something they wanted. Most people would take this low risk walk. Now, would one walk that same board if each end was sitting on top of a 5 story building? I’d say that difference significantly changes a person’s willingness. Now what if your baby was on the other end of that board. Difficulties, fears, opposition pale in comparison to rescuing your child. The why you’re crossing that board becomes everything.

Persistent people are helped by their habit of being consistent. We might ask, what’s the difference? While consistency is about regular repeated actions or dependable happenings, things that are unchanging. Persistence is continuing action with a refusal to stop in the face of difficulty or obstacles. Persistence is a drive to keep going. Being consistent helps us to persist, though because it becomes a habit. In fact, research shows that consistent actions change our brains, cause new connections to form. These connections make it easier to continue those actions we’ve been taking.

Persistent people also use momentum to reach their goals. This can definitely be seen in those 2 year olds. If something works, they will do it over and over and over again. It worked. Persistent people use their victories too. Once they get some momentum with forward progress they use it to propel them forward. Unlike People who haven’t practiced persistence or might not be aware or connected to their why who become bored or complacent when victories start moving them toward their goals. We can choose to be persistent overcoming the obstacle of boredom and using momentum to move us closer to our goals whatever they may be – professional, personal, or physical.

Tomorrow, we’re going to continue our discussion of the power of persistence and we’ll share the story of how Harneet Ballah who started life in poverty became a millionaire before his 26th birthday.

Thanks for listening today. Don’t miss tomorrow and please share this podcast with a friend.  I appreciate it every time you join me and every time you share this show with a friend. I’d love to hear from you, send your email to colleen@rockinlife.co and you can always find more information about what you hear on my website, rockinlife.co

Day 1 of The Power of Persistence

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Well here we are beginning the second month of the year.  31 days post New Year’s resolutions. How is it going?  Are you seeing the results you wanted, yet? Are you ready to give up? Or maybe already given up? Well, whether you’ve given up, feel ready to give up, or are beginning to make your resolution a habit, here’s some encouragement for you. You can do it. In fact, you can do almost anything if you are persistent! That sounds pretty promising and there are many examples of famous successes credited to sheer persistence. Thomas Edison and his thousands of attempts to make the light bulb work comes to mind. This week we are exploring persistence – what it really is, its tremendous power, and how we can develop it in our own lives.

The Oxford dictionary defines persistence as “firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition. St. Paul said it produces character which produces to hope. Calvin Coolidge said, “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

Last week we talked about the power of taking small steps to achieve our goals in different areas of our lives. Well, the power of those baby steps to cause change and growth is in doing them consistently. Being persistent. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago how I realized that it really was not that hard to succeed but it was just so easy to fail.  If only it weren’t for that difficulty and opposition part of the definition of persistence, we might all be persistent and reach our goals all of the time. Funny thing happens to difficulty and opposition when we’re persistent though. Difficulty seems to become less difficult and opposition seems to become less opposing.

So this week, we’re going to explore persistence, its power, how it benefits us, and how we can develop it in ourselves. And later this week, we listen to my interview with a man who grew up in poverty without a mentor or road map to success, became a millionaire. Harneet Ballah shares the lessons he learned on his way to the top.

Come back tomorrow and bring a friend. I hope you’re finding encouragement and value every time you spend time with me. Let me know how you’re doing. Send me an email to colleen@rockinlife.co. I would be so happy to read what you have to say. Check out my Facebook page or find me on Tweeter. Have a great day and a great week. Let’s talk again tomorrow.

Day 5 of the Power of Baby Steps: Baby Steps to Success!

All week we’ve been looking at little steps and actions that over time can dramatically improve our lives. We’ve looked at our health, our financial fitness, and our households. Today, we’re talking about those little steps we can take that add up to success in our careers and business. It’s really not a big mystery and none of these actions are out of any average person’s reach. I’m so grateful to the many researchers who have studied highly successful people because they discovered many similarities. These discoveries are very encouraging IF we’re willing to take just a little action and take it consistently. Of course, most people don’t take these actions or don’t take them consistently. Could be that we don’t know what they are or we don’t know how important they are to our success.

So let’s take a look at some of the things that highly successful people do. We’re not going to rank them. Let’s find some that we can incorporate into our own lives.

Unwind with Light Exercise Before Bed.

We talked yesterday about a daily walk and making it a transition in your day — a way to unwind. Well it appears this daily walk may have another benefit. Actually any light exercise before bed, even just stretching is beneficial for sleep and is one of the little activities successful people do. Well that one sounds pretty pleasant and easy enough for just about anyone.

Wake up Early.

Since we got a good night’s sleep we can adopt another habit of successful people. Wake up early. I read a lot about the 5:30 am risers but some people wake even earlier. Successful people manage their mornings. They give themselves time to start the day by taking care of themselves with exercise and routines that prepare them for all the day will bring. This is certainly not out of our reach. We might not be morning people. If we believe it’s important, we can become morning people a little at a time.  Wake up 15 minutes early tomorrow and keep setting the alarm a little earlier till there is enough extra time in the morning for a success routine.

Dream and See Yourself Living the Dream.

Apparently successful people are dreamers.  A lot of people dream but successful people SEE themselves living their dream. They dream big and imagine big possibilities but they don’t stop there. They flesh out the dreams and see themselves living them. They imagine themselves doing the things necessary to achieve them and they see themselves enjoying the fruits of their labor. That doesn’t seem too difficult but it takes practice to really see ourselves living the lives we imagine.

Spend time with Successful People.

Successful people hang out with other successful people. They form relationships. They bounce ideas off of each other, learn from each other, and celebrate each other. They mentor each other. You may have heard the saying… “If you want to know what your life will be like in 5 years, look at your friends.” or this one… “You become like the 5 people you spend the most time with.” I don’t think we need to or want to give up our friends but we should be able to find a mentor or better yet a bunch of them. We can find ways to spend time with them, learn from them and see first-hand how they make their lives work. Even if we don’t know many really successful people, we can find a group to join or events to attend. We can make a plan today to attend one of them in the next 7 days.

Get Uncomfortable.

Successful people are willing to be uncomfortable! They are willing try and fail and get messy. They learn from their mistakes and either clean up the mess or make it in to something valuable. They are willing to take a risk. They are willing to spend time, apparently the more the better, outside of their comfort zones. They are willing to push themselves into areas that are new or foreign to them. I once heard someone say, “We live inside this big circle called the comfort zone but all the magic happens in the tiny little circle just outside the comfort zone.”

Read.

Successful people read daily. They are constantly learning and working on improving themselves. They read books on any number of things and not just non-fiction. They read for enjoyment and for a well-rounded life. Last year I did a whole week on the benefits of reading and interviewed Dr. Teri Lawton a neuro scientist who helps people read better. You can go back and listen to that interview if you want hear how she does it.

Write Down Your Goals and Track Your Progress

Successful people have goals, specific goals. They write them down and they track their progress. There are many different methods for goal setting and goal tracking but I haven’t read of a successful person who is not doing it. We need to know our destination so we can map our way to it. I recently discovered John Lee Dumas’s Freedom Journal and have really enjoyed it and really found very useful. I was actually surprised how much it helped me map out my plan to set and reach a specific goal. I’ll include a link to it in my show notes.

Take Action. 

Successful people are just planning though. They take action. Yes, Successful people are always reading and growing and learning but they don’t stay stuck in the study. They take action. They don’t sit around perfecting every aspect of the plan. They make a plan consider some risks they can foresee then they act. There are no guarantees their plan will work but they move forward and start the ball rolling. I had to say there is a most important difference in successful people and people who never quite seem to reach their potential but this may be it. Countless people dream elaborate dreams and make detailed plans but never take the first step. Action does not have to be big it just has to be active. Put one foot in front of the other and start toward the goal. Make a call. Write a paragraph. Send an email. Take action.

Do the Hardest or Most Important Tasks First.

Do the hard stuff or most important stuff first. If we’re used to getting the easy stuff out of the way first, we might want to flip our to-do list upside down. Most successful people get the hard stuff out of the way first while they have the best energy. The hardest thing might be writing that first email or making those uncomfortable phone calls. Successful people get those things done first.

Reflect Every Day.

Successful people also take time to just relax and think. This is not planning time. It’s just reflecting time. We may already be doing this. Don’t stop. It’s important. I discuss my day with God. He already knows all about my day anyway and He loves me unconditionally – no matter my success or my failure.

None of these actions are beyond any of us to do. If they work for others they can work for us. Try them and let me know how they work for you. You can reach me at rockinlife.co or on Facebook or Twitter. Thank you for spending time with me today. If you found value in today’s show, please share it with a friend.  Have a great weekend. We’ll talk again.

Click Here to See John Lee Dumas’s The Freedom Journal