Heart Choices: 2009-01-04 -->

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Introducing Fitness Friday

I’m so excited to join Sandy at God Speaks Today in a weekly Fitness Friday.

Now some of you may already be familiar with Sandy's blog but I only recently came to know her. And let me tell you, she's a pistol. Sandy is funny, a great writer, a Christian, a wife and mother ... and is greatly interested in health and fitness. I found myself looking forward to reading her Fitness Friday blog posts.

As you know, the focus of Heart Choices is how our day to day choices determine what our tomorrows will become. And I believe it’s important to address body, mind and spirit.

It's a new year and …everyone seems to be talking about losing a few pounds or starting to eat healthier or beginning to exercise.

So, I asked Sandy if I could participate in her Fitness Friday's. She was so gracious and open to making this happen. Thank you, Sandy!Sandy and I come from different and yet similar backgrounds.

I come from a medical background as cardiovascular nurse. I’ve dealt with people who either had heart disease or were at high risk for heart related problems. I worked with them and taught them to make healthier lifestyle choices.

Sandy is a freelance writer who describes herself as a health nut and fitness buff. One of the reasons Sandy is motivated to take care of her health is because her mother had her first heart attack at the age of 54 and died at 70. She also wants to teach her children a healthy way to live.

My family history includes heart disease too. My paternal grandfather died of a sudden heart attack. My dad had his first heart attack when he was in his early 60's. He's had numerous procedures since then including coronary artery bypass surgery, pacemaker, and even a defibrillator. He's just like the bionic man! My family history motivates me to eat healthy and to exercise.

Both Sandy and I want to be healthy, keep our weight in check and have energy and vitality. I know when I’m feeling good and have energy; I find I’m more open to interacting with others. I can be about the work that God has called me to do.

So, if you’re at a point in your life where you want to get serious about taking care of your health, check in with Sandy and me on Friday’s. I’ve had a preview of her post and she makes some great points about being realistic and getting past a weight loss plateau. I encourage you to visit her blog God Speaks Today.

How about you? Have you made any new decisions about taking better care of your health? Do you have specific areas of concern? Have you had trouble sticking with an exercise program? How about eating healthier? I’d love to hear any suggestions you may offer.

Thankful Thursday ~ Our Uniqueness

It's Thursday ...so for me, it's another thankful Thursday. I'm a little late in posting this one. You see, I just returned from attending a memorial service for my dear friend, Georgia. I'm so thankful for Georgia. You can read another post where I wrote about the impact she had on my life.

It gave me pause to think about how thankful I am that each one of us has been created with our own unique qualities and abilities. And one isn't better than the other. We're each different and unique in our own way. I think that is so cool!

Maybe you are:

  • a wonderful hostess
  • a leader who can make things happen
  • a peaceful and quiet person
  • a great speaker and communicator
  • a loyal friend
  • a fun person who is the life of the party
  • a planner who attends to details
  • a smart person who is great at debating

Each one of us has gifts and abilities that are unique to us. I'm so thankful that we're not all alike. Even my fellow bloggers are different.

  • When I want to sing Norwegian songs, I know I can visit Felisol.
  • When I want to laugh, I can visit Pensieve.
  • When I want to learn how to improve my diet and not take life for granted, I visit Meg.
  • When I want to grow spiritually, I visit Jill.
  • When I want to learn more about the blogosphere and friendship, I visit Lori.

So, on this thankful Thursday I just want to celebrate and be thankful for our uniqueness. I hope you'll take the time to visit other blogs who participated this week at Grace Alone.


Laced With Grace Giveaway ~ January

I wanted to announce the January giveaway at Laced with Grace. If you've never visited this blog, I would highly recommend you check it out. It's a great place to receive encouragement, read devotionals and interact with other women.

The January giveaway is a DVD series called "Living the Gospel in Relationships" by Tara Barthel. Lori of Lori's Reflections recently had the opportunity to interview the author Tara. You can read that interview on Laced with Grace.

To be eligible for this giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment on the Laced with Grace post or any of the other daily devotionals written by the team. You can enter every day up until January 31st. The winner will be announced on February 1st. The DVD series includes 8 teaching sessions that last about 40 minutes and five study guide/journals.

I'm also very excited and honored that I've been asked to contribute a monthly post to Laced with Grace. I hope you'll check out my profile page on Laced with Grace.


New Year's Resolutions

Happy 2009! Do you make New Year's resolutions? Or are you one of those people who doesn't like to set goals? After all, it's so hard to keep them.

I remember hearing Zig Ziglar say that if you don't set any goals to work towards, you're a ...wandering generality.

I never used to set goals until I got married 24 years ago. You see, my husband is a goal setter. On our first New Year's Day together, he asked me about my goals for the year. I looked at him and said something like "Honey, I don't know. I guess I'll just have to see what happens." No wonder things weren't quite happening. I really didn't know where I was going besides getting married.

Setting goals is one thing ...but achieving your goals is another.

Taking the time to write down your goals, along with a plan of action will increase your likelihood of success. I think people get discouraged because they don't seem to stick with their goals beyond a few weeks. So, why bother setting yourself up for failure?

I pulled out a performance planner I purchased years ago through the Zig Ziglar Organization. Glancing through the pages, I realized how much time, effort and thought I had given to this process.

The sections for creating and achieving my goals included the following:

  • Create a wild idea sheet. This is fun! All you do is take a sheet of paper and let your imagination go wild. You print everything you want to be, do and have. Don't think it through; just write it down quickly. They say that printing it frees your creative right brain to use your imagination. I don't know how scientific that is but my page was filled.

  • Wait at least 24-48 hours and then go back to your wild idea sheet. Ask yourself "why?" beside each item that you wrote down. This helps to eliminate the frivolous items on your list.

  • Take your wittled down list of goals and list the benefits you will obtain from reaching that goal. I ended up with six goals that I worked on that year.

  • List the obstacles you need to overcome.

  • List the skills or knowledge you may need to acquire to reach them.

  • List any people, groups or organizations that might help you.

  • List steps for a plan of action to reach your goals.

I was amazed to read through my lists and realized that I actually achieved five out of the six goals I had set for that year. And the areas of my life I covered were physical, finances, relationships, spiritual and career growth.


My friend Lori of Lori's Reflections posted her New Year's Meditations in place of resolutions. I hope you'll check her site where you can find links to other blogs who also participated.

This year my list includes three areas, just like the focus of Heart Choices; body, mind and spirit.

Body: My goal is to work on my flexibility and strength. I work out aerobically but as you get older you lose muscle mass and flexibility. I also want to add more fiber and vegetables to my diet and to eat smaller portion sizes.

Mind: My goal is to focus on my writing. Blogging has been such a creative outlet for me. I rediscovered my love for writing.

Spirit: My goal is to grow in my relationship with the Lord. I am currently studying the book of Hebrews. Learning to enter the rest of God has been a struggle for me. My flesh gets in the way.

How about you? How do you want to grow in 2009? As you reflect back on 2008, are there some areas of your life that you'd like to change going forward? Do you write down your goals? I'd love to hear from you.

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