Thursday, January 30, 2014

Does Your Life Resemble A Labyrinth Or A Maze?

Goal Setting Part 4

"Look, I am sending a messenger ahead of you, and he will prepare your way before you."
Luke 7:27

We are now almost a month into the New Year and January 2014 will soon become a memory.  How are you doing on your goal-setting thus far?  Have you written them down and posted them somewhere that catches your eyes and your attention several times a day? Are you goals high enough to challenge you yet realistic enough to accomplish?  Are you setting yourself up to live your life as if you are methodically navigating a labyrinth or are you wandering about confused as if in a maze?  Are you choosing the path towards life?  You decide.

Along with my bestie, I walked the labyrinth at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, CA.

What is a Labyrinth?
“A labyrinth is a single path or unicursal tool for personal, psychological and spiritual transformation. Labyrinths are thought to enhance right brain activity.”  As you enter the labyrinth you do so at the “mouth” as you follow the path around towards your goal, which is the center.  Once you have reached the center you are encouraged to relax, breath, meditate, pray, and think about your life.  The path is clearly marked for you and you can also see exactly where the boundaries are so as not to step off of the path.  It is a safe place.  Once you reach the center you might sit for a while as you take time for personal reflection.  I like to sit and pray.  After several minutes you start the methodical journey back out to where you came from: back to your life with all of it’s joys and challenges.  

Here’s the good news about a labyrinth:  It is a place of health where you can gain focus and power to face anything.  The goal is to reconnect with God’s grace at the center as you center yourself in gratitude for all He has done for you.  Once you come to the center and back to Him, you will find new peace and hope for the future.  Your goals will become clear and you will know where to go from wherever you find yourself.  God’s way is the narrow path yet it is a clear path and the way to life.  He doesn’t play games or trick you by making you run into dead-ends, although sometimes we can do this to ourselves.

On the other hand, “a maze is a puzzle in the form of a complex branching passage through which the solver must find a route. The pathways and walls in a maze are fixed, and puzzles in which the walls and paths can change during the game.  Technically the maze is distinguished from the labyrinth, which has a single through-route with twists and turns but without branches.  The maze is designed to be difficult to navigate.” 
(I prefer the peaceful way of the labyrinth over this...thank you!)

 If you are in a constant state of twisting and turning while bumping into walls or taking paths that lead to nowhere,  I encourage you do everything you can to avoid living your life as if in a maze.  Although life can sometimes be hard to navigate, if we design our own roadmap by intentionally writing out what we want for our lives, we find it a lot easier to stay on the path towards health and a productive life. 
Be intentional and adopt the way of the labyrinth, moving towards your goals and towards God.

Join me on February 15th at 6pm Pacific time for “The Call” which is a time to gather together over the telephone for prayer and support.  The Call is held at the same time and day each month.  This month we will finish our teaching and discussion on goal-setting and talk about the pit-falls when things don’t always go as smoothly as we would like.  Dial 530-881-1300 and key-in 642848#  Feel free to invite others who might need some mid-month encouragement.  If you can’t join us you can write to me for an MP3 copy of our time together.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Goal Setting 101

“Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes."    Isaiah 54:2

Have your written and posted your goals yet? If you've been reading my articles or posts for a while then you know that I am passionate about my intention to encourage goal-setting.   I have mentioned it every year for the past several years because identifying, articulating, embracing, and recording our goals is a hugely important part of establishing where we want to be in one, five, or ten years: more importantly what path we are going to take for the rest of our life!

Each of us has an opportunity to make new goals for our future each and every day.  The challenging thing is actually doing it.  This is why I always choose January as "goal-setting month".  We do need a measuring stick and/or a place of embarkation, something that tells us when to start again, how long we have been at it, when we need to tweak it, or when it's time to let go of certain goals and replace them with new ones.
In my last writing I mentioned the "One Page Miracle" by Dr. Daniel Amen as a great template for goal-setting.  I've had a few of you mention that you couldn't find it without buying the book so I thought I'd briefly outline the OPM below.
Although there are many ways to record our goals Dr. Amen's OPM seems to be a very inclusive plan.  The most important things to remember are these:  Keep your goals to one page.  List what you want to do, not what you don't want to do. Place them in a location where you can see them several times a day.  Remember "out of sight, out of mind"?  This is true for goals too.


Spouse or significant other (or finding one if you don't have one)
Other family members-

Short-term goals-
Long-term goals


This is sometimes the hidden things that only you and God can see.


Need more help with setting your goals?

Join me for "The Call" which is a monthly telephone service that will hopefully inspire and motivate you.  My husband and I do this together each and every month at 6pm Pacific time on the 15th of each month. .  All you have to do is dial 530-881-1300 from any phone.  The code is 642848#   On February 15th we will continue our discussion on goals.  We will also pray together and read a relevant scripture from the Bible.  There's a time set-aside for questions from anyone at the end of the hour.  Join have nothing to lose and maybe something to gain!

 “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”  — Ralph Waldo Emerson

For more information or if you'd like a copy of last month's The Call email me:

Sunday, January 19, 2014

What Do You Plan for 2014?

"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.  Plans to prosper you and give you a future and a hope."
Jeremiah 29:11

Goals are important for you and your your children set theirs too!

If you joined us for The Call on January 15 then you will know that we talked about goal-setting.
Even if you heard it I feel very strongly that it is worth going over again.

-Did you know that eight out of ten people say that their life lacks goals and direction?
-How about the fact that only one out of five people who say that they have goals actually write them down? (According to a Harvard study you are ten times more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down)
One last interesting point is this:
-One in four people have the same goals year after year.  Examples of a few of these repeating goals would include;  losing weight, getting a better career, or finding a loving mate.  Even with these goals in mind most people still fail to properly examine themselves and their life and they continue to be whipped around like the waves on a turbulent and stormy sea.  I wonder do they really want to change?

Isn't it time you got it together and at least thought about the goals for your future? It's the only future that you have and you play an important role in directing it.  Like the saying goes, "if you are failing to plan, you are planning to fail."
Need help with goal-setting?  Check-out "The One Page Miracle"(you can read more here) This "OPM" is found in several of Dr. Daniel Amen's books.  Since I mention him so often I better tell you that "no" I am not in business with him nor do I get a reward in any form by recommending his work.  He's just made a big difference in my family's life and I want to share his research and wisdom with you.
If I can do anything to help you with setting your goals I am passionate about this so please feel free to contact me for additional help.  I am even available by phone if you don't live in my area.  And make sure you join me next month, February 15th  (and the 15th of every month) for The Call at 6pm Pacific time.  All you have to do is dial 530-881-1300 and key-in 642848# February's Call will be a follow-up to goal-setting.  We will talk about the pitfalls and how to overcome them!

Remember:  God wants you to achieve some awesome goals!
He is blessing you always.

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year For A Better You!

 Ephesians 5:23 "Throw off your former way of life and let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes...."

Happy New Year 2014!   By now I hope that you have taken the time to review the past year.  I mean really review what it was like for you personally.
My husband and I have a yearly family tradition of getting together with our children and their spouses and sharing the answer to this question: "what was the best thing that happened to you during the last calendar year?"   Even if you have a had a really rough year;  financially, physically,  or spiritually; there is still a "best thing" that happened to you.  I guarantee it.  Most of the time this question opens the flood gates of memory and connects all of us to multiple occasions of joy and accomplishment.
The next thing we do is we share a few of our goals for the new year ahead.  We like to focus on goals instead of resolutions because goals indicate that you are taking responsibility and are going to do something  (proactive) where as a resolution usually says that you are resolving to discontinue something that you have been doing (reactive).  Lastly, we encourage one another to write down those goals and place them in a prominent place where we can see them. 
  Most of the time my goals include 7-10 things that I would like to achieve in the new calendar year.   I include spiritual goals, physical goals, family goals, social goals, and business/financial goals.  This is my time to write down what I want to accomplish, regardless of the economic climate, my family issues, my present state of mind, etc.  I think you get it.  I want to encourage you to do the same.

 In his book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life (1998), clinical neuroscientist and psychiatrist Daniel Amen says that “being goal-directed helps keep our behavior on track” (p. 134). His “One-Page Miracle” is a goal-setting exercise that he shares with his patients. Here’s how it works.
Take a sheet of paper and write down your primary goals. For example, Amen suggests four main headings: “Relationships, Work, Money, and Myself.” Under “Relationships,” Amen suggests the subheadings of spouse/partner, children, extended family, and friends. Under “Work,” he suggests the subheadings of current and future work goals. Under “Money,” he suggests the subheadings of current and future financial goals. Under “Myself,” he suggest the subheadings of body, mind, spirit, and interests.
Then, beside each subheading, write down what’s important to you in that area; what you want, or feel like you need. This process may take several days. Once finished, post this One-Page Miracle sheet where you can see it every day. This will help you stay focused on what’s important, and what’s not.

 If you want to read more about Dr. Amen or his amazing work you can click here.

Briefly, in review, here’s what Dr. Amen suggests:
  • Write down all of your goals on one sheet of paper. 
  • Write goals for all areas in your life. 
  • Keep the goals short and succinct.
  • Place your your goals somewhere highly visible where you can see and read them several times a day. 
  • With your vision and goals highly visible and engrained in your brain, before making decicions for your life, ask yourself, “Is this action helping me reach my goals?”
  • Tweak your goals as you go.  
If you'd like to be encouraged or need help with setting you new year's goals, remember to join us on January 15th at 6pm Pacific time for "The Call"This month we will interview a very special man who knows how to live productively and positively even though he spends most of his time in a wheelchair.  Learn the secrets to how Jan-Michael Wildeman "prays like it all depends on God but works like it all depends on him."  Dial 530-881-1300 and when prompted key-in 642848#.  **Remember 6pm Pacific Time!  I  look forward to 'being' with you then!

To contact me please email:

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Your DNA Is Not Your Destiny!

                                                              Happy New Year!


Happy New Year!  I have been technology-free for over a week and I took a nice long break over Christmas too!  I hope that you spent time making memories with your family and enjoyed every minute of it! 
I will be composing my annual new year's goal setting blogs as soon as possible.  In the meantime I wanted to share an intriguing website and opportunity with you.  Check out 23andMe genetic testing to find out more.  I know that I was very curious about my genotype, my ancestry, and my propensity towards certain conditions, illnesses, and potential diseases.  I have been enthralled with my results so I think that you will enjoy it too!  One of the things I found out is that I am a sprinter vs. a long-distance runner!  It may sound funny but finding this out has made me think about my workouts and what I'm really good at.  Maybe the simplest information can help you too?!
I will write more regarding New Year's Goals and challenges in the next two days.