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Welcome to ProcessImprovement.Me.  Each week we will post between one and three blog posts on change, how to improve at something in life or business, or learning something new.  Please join us and participate in the comments.  We would really like to hear your thoughts.  You cannot post a comment on the home page (just the way they set up the site.) All the other pages do afford the ability to post comments. We recommend you use the Blog Page for this.

Please join us, have fun, and interact with others in the same kindness that you would like others to interact with you.

You Can Succeed

Have you ever wanted to lose a little weight? I have. In the Air Force, we had weight standards we had to maintain. When I found myself overweight, I went out and purchased all kinds of exercise videos, jazzercise videos, and even a few implements such as weight belts and such. I used to sit on the couch wearing the weight belts and watching jazzercise videos and eating popcorn. I don’t think I ever really lost any weight. Go figure.

The truth is that whatever we attempt when trying to do something, nothing will work until we do.  We are the ones in control of ourselves.  Others can help you, guide you, help you decide the right decisions for you, yet, only you can actually do what needs to be done.

Where you want to go and what you want to do has probably been done or attempted before, and that means other people have been where you are now. Think of what they might have learned along their way that could make your goals possibly easier to obtain.  We are actually not alone nor without positive guidance.  All we have to do is look around and ask.

Never let anyone tell you something cannot be done or that you cannot do it.  The only thing someone is telling you when speaking like that is that the person has limited themselves. You do not have to live by their limitations.  You can set your own goals and reach your own heights. And I, for one, have faith that if you really work at succeeding, you will.

This week we’ve been talking about addictions and habits. The tough news is you are the only one in control to take charge of you. You should do what you want to accomplish. The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. There are others to help you find ways, support you as needed, and help you in your bid to succeed.

Thank you for being with me today.  I hope to be with you again soon.

Finding New Habits

If you have bad habits and you do not want them, trade them in for good ones.  I do not wish to sound glib here, I just know you can do this.  You have proven you can build habits.  And you can actually stick with them.  Now, you need to find out the practices that are best for you and work with those habits.

Warning, the old habits are not going to go away easily.  The old ways were there first, and they feel they have earned their spot at the table. And yet the more you use new habits, the stronger they will become, and the less you use the old, bad habits, the less they will have control, and they will slowly fade away.

So how do you distinguish between good and bad habits?  Habits are different for different people.  My grandparents would have a shot of alcohol in the morning and a beer at night.  They lived rich lives well into their upper eighties. For others, drinking could be a bad habit.  You have to figure out what works best for you. 

If the habit does good things for you, such as better memory, closer friendships, more productivity, it is probably a good habit.  If your habits hurt your work, make you lose productivity, or drives friends away, you may want to find practices that work better for you.

We each have to take action for ourselves.  Others can help and coach you.  As you try new and better habits,  you will probably find some encouragement along the way. Just remember, you are the one who is doing the work to make yourself a better and more productive person.

Each of us is unique.  We cannot give up on ourselves, and we should not give up on each other.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow

Habits

Just as addictions try to control our lives, whether we are addicted to doing a good thing or addicted to doing a bad thing, habits can have the same effect, both good and bad. Where addictions try to control our lives, habits are things we learn and use to run our lives. We must stay in control of ourselves. Unlike the old Outer limits show, we’re the ones who are actually in charge of our sharpness and blurriness, our perspective, and our actions.

The trick to beating a habit is the same as ridding yourself of and addiction. 

The Trick? You have to want to make a change into something and someone you would rather be.  No one else can make your changes for you.  No one else can decide that this is your time to do something. And no one else can be you.  You are the one and only.  You are unique.  No one else has permission to change you. Only you can do it. Everyone else can only help.

However, once you make the decision to change, there will be a lot of help for you.  Although it is not easy, it is probably not as hard as you may have thought.  If you thought impossible, it would be easier than that.  Just bring some determination with you on your trip.

Find good mentors that you trust and want to emulate. Then find a good program or a good coach or therapist that can help you.  You want someone who you can relate to.  Someone you have good faith in. And, remember that faith you need to have in yourself.  After all, you are looking to build a better you.  And that takes good gumption.

Have faith in yourself, and even with all the triumphs and tribulations that will come and go, keep doing your best.

Thank you for being with me today.  I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Addiction

When my daughter-in-law married my son, I told her that she would never have to worry again.  I worried about everyone.  And that was true.  I worried whether there was a reason to worry or not.  Sessions with counselors, marvels of modern medicine, and other help have made me very well and a lot healthier. I do not fear a tenth of the amount I did in the past.  However…

I am worried, and not just for opium addicts, vapers, cigarette smokers, and those hooked on various drugs. There is a new addiction that has been around for years.  It used to be benign, and people would use it or not.  And anyone could walk away from it at any time.  Now, these modern marvels have been changed so that you will use them more, with less of an ability to succeed, and an endless stream of ads and side ventures that take you nowhere.  I am talking about video games.

Video games are getting people to sign up for free and then quickly stealing them away from other and more essential tasks to play games all day.  Add in multiple social media channels and an endless supply of videos and movies, and pretty soon, the user has no motivation other than watching the next kitty chase the laser beam or other wasteful time consumers.

When they talk about losing a generation, it is a real tragedy. This epidemic actually holds the ability to work across generations and wipe out whole areas of potential growth and new ideas. This is something we need to focus attention on before we end up with more problems than we have answers.

This week I will share ideas and thoughts on how to enjoy activities on the Internet without losing yourself to endless staring at the screen.  These ideas are just suggestions of things that might help.  The real work is what you do with them.

Thanks for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

The Importance of Black Friday

The day post-Thanksgiving is usually considered Black Friday.  Many people believe that it is a false concept designed to help spur Christmas spending. In truth, historically, Black Friday was the day that companies broke even for the year and moved from being in the red to finally being in the black.

Black Friday actually has more to do with the economy than selling for Christmas. Companies and industries will traditionally buy the new items that they need at the end of the year, so they can build interest with their money first. They buy at the end of the year, also, because they want to be able to claim the tax credits for the large purchases they need to make for new technology and machinery.

Another good thing about Black Friday is it gets everybody out of the house and into a social setting where they get to exercise. Some people stand in lines for long periods. Some people rush from sale to sale.  And others play a game of how many people can go through one door at the same time. 

Exhilarating, nerve-racking, tiresome, and many other descriptions that will, unfortunately, go downhill from here.  The one good thought that you should remember is that the young children you surprise In December will never forget the joy of the presents. Unfortunately, the actual credit may be going to a fictional character and not those who faced the onslaught of Black Friday. 

There is a silver lining, though.  If the presents are rejected for any reason, you have that fictional character mentioned above to blame.  You can take the tykes out to return the items and let them pick out their own desired gifts.

Just a thought for sanity over the holidays.

Thank you for being with me today, I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Prep Day

Tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving.  I realize that some who read my blog do not, so I am going to talk about holidays and preparing the day before. Getting ready ahead of time is something anyone can do for any holiday.

Where I live we like to watch ballgames, go to movies, have friends and family over and sometimes watch parades. We also enjoy having a lot of food, and maybe even a barbecue or a cookout. This means that while we are trying to enjoy everything there could be a lot of work. This is why I recommend a prep day.

Take a day or two before the event, and preset up everything you’ll need. Maybe you need to set up chairs or lawn furniture. Possibly you need to rearrange the living room to fit all your guests that are going to come. And any food items that can be prepared ahead of time and cooked the morning of the festivities could also save you both time and mess in the kitchen.

Often times holidays bring stress and tension. This usually happens because we’re rushing to make everything perfect, instead of relaxing and taking time to enjoy our friends and family. The real trick is to get things done ahead of time. So you have the time to be with those you love.

There is one more wonderful thing that many people do not do, which could greatly help. Sometimes when we get busy doing tasks with guests over, they feel stressed because they think they should get up and help in some way. Often the best thing you can do is ask people if they would like to help you by doing one small chore or another. Many people appreciate the ability to be of help to friends or a member of the family.

Also, it helps when we look at this time, not as a contest of striving for perfection. We should look at this is the time to relax and enjoy all those around us. If we do this, and if we relax our selves, our friends, guests, and family will also relax, and everyone will get to enjoy the day.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.