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“Lift” A Great Little App for your Phone

IMG_1288[1]The world of smart phones has come a long way in a short time.  I confess to being fairly new to smart phones and their tricks and uses.  I have an iphone and have been enjoying finding new, creative and useful apps each week.

I download and explore a lot of the free apps, though I do have a few that I liked so much I upgraded to the paid version.

One of my favorite apps I just started using is called “Lift.”  They have a website you can check out at  https://lift.do/

Lift is designed to be like a coach in your pocket.  It is a designed to help people build and keep track of better habits.  There are 3 simple steps:  Set Goals, See your progress, and Get support.

There is a list of goals to choose from, but you have the option to add your own as well.  Once you set that up, it moves the goal to a list for you.  On the list you “check in” daily when you complete your goal.  A Frequency chart appears beside the Check in button that keeps track of your progress.

Lift

Lift

Wait! There’s more!  When you “check in” it is posted on a status board showing how many times you’ve checked in and you can (if you like) put notes on your check in describing a bit more of what you are working on.

For instance: on the board for checking into “reading” you could put a note about which book you are reading.  Others on the board will see your “check in” and note (if you put one) and have the option to offer “props” with a thumb’s up sign, or to comment on your note.  I must say, it’s pretty cool to “check in” then have others come behind you with “props.”  It’s like getting a pat on the back or an “atta girl.”

Lift also offers 21 day habit training.  These are goals that are designed to help you form good habits.  The 21 day challenges come with instructions and inspiring quotes to encourage you along the way.

With Lift you can choose your goals and tasks, you can add people to follow and gain followers, invite your friends and have fun meeting your goals and encouraging others.

As an added benefit there are groups you can join like “Daily Good Deed Challenge”, complete with instructions for doing good deeds, what it means, suggestions for what to do, interesting tidbits of information and daily challenges.

Finally, on the web you have the option to export your progress to an excel or google spreadsheet for better tracking purposes.Lift

So, if you’re looking for a free and easy to use app to keep track of goals and act as a mini-coach, I recommend “Lift.”  Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Cherry Coley ©

Set Your Targets Closer and Set Your Sights High!

cherrys iphone 247Have you ever set your heart on a career or goal and then lost your focus?  Distractions and life events you didn’t have control over cropped up as obstacles and you had to put off what you were working on, or maybe you just put it aside hoping someday you might get back to your dream.  I have.  I remember dreaming of doing things, working hard to set goals and lists, then becoming discouraged because there were too many other things I was responsible for at the time and it seemed my dreams would always get shoved aside.

Here are some things you can do to stay motivated and keep making progress towards your dreams.

  • *        Focus on the outcome instead of the activities.

It’s easy to fill up a “to do” list with a lot of activities that seem necessary and valuable when we write them down, but are they?  If you aren’t careful what seemed like a good idea and vitally important can get confused with “busy work” and before you know it you’ll find yourself with a big to do list that you aren’t getting done, a feeling of despair because you aren’t making the progress you thought you would, and sometimes thoughts of giving up because you become discouraged, or feel overwhelmed with the distractions and events.

When you focus on the outcome instead of the activities – put up reminders of where you want to be.  Don’t do a big to do list, instead just focus on what you want for an outcome.  You will surprise yourself finding ways to fit in the things that must be done to get you to your goal.  What’s more is you may come to realize things you thought were important are just busy work and aren’t necessary to get you where you want to go.

Resources you didn’t see before will come into focus because you aren’t worried about the “to do list” – you’re looking for your end result.  When you keep your focus on the outcome it sets your brain and eyes in motion to look for opportunities that you might’ve otherwise missed.

  •     Set your targets closer

Another way to stay motivated is to set your targets closer.  When you want to gain self-confidence it helps to set some easily obtainable goals, once you reach your target – celebrate!!  Every success counts!  Get used to that feeling of celebration when you reach your goal, stop and enjoy it!  Build on your successes and keep the momentum going!  You can do it!

It seems silly to remind to celebrate, but how many times do you reach a goal and think, “okay, that’s done, now what?” and just move on to the next thing?  I was doing this a lot.  Where is the enjoyment? Where’s the lasting sense of accomplishment?  Well, gee, I just bypassed it and went on to the next thing.  It’s important to celebrate the little successes, it will make the big successes that much more sweet! Life is a joy to live and we need to celebrate when we reach a milestone or goal.

  •     Surround yourself with people who will hold you accountable and encourage you.

Notice I didn’t say – surround yourself with people who will beat you up and try to whip you into getting things done.  This may work for some, and I confess now and then I kick myself into gear, but put me with someone who’s going to belittle or make me feel bad for not reaching a goal on time and it has the opposite effect on me.  Eventually I may even start avoiding that person.  Who wants to talk to someone whose intent on judging you?  I’d rather find someone who will listen to my concerns and offer some encouragement and helpful suggestions.

Just keep that ant philosophy.  Ants don’t get distracted or let obstacles get in their way.  They just keep on going, up, down, around, under and through whatever gets in their way to reach their goal.  When they need help they send for reinforcements and get the job done.

Cherry Coley ©

Get a New Perspective

animals.nationalgeographic.com

animals.nationalgeographic.com

Life is challenging at times.  If we aren’t careful we can find ourselves feeling cornered, over whelmed, tired, and stressed.  Things happen, unexpected events, circumstances change in moments.

Life is merciless and can come at a rapid pace that leaves us breathless and feeling helpless.  The thing to remember at such times is, this too shall pass.  It’s a cliché, but it’s still true.  Moments both good and bad only last for moments.

Sometimes all it takes to change a situation is to change your perspective.  My art teacher taught me long ago, when getting frustrated while working on a portrait a long time, sometimes you get too close to the subject and the picture can start to look off.  The best thing to do is put the picture up awhile, go do something else, then come back to it later.  When you take it out later, turn it upside down and you will immediately see any flaws in the portrait.

There are a lot of things that work the same way.  When you work on something a long while, your stress level and emotional involvement can skew your perspective.  It’s important to work with a partner, or have trusted friends who will tell you when something is off, or perhaps help you take a break and see things differently.

Finances, for instance, can weigh heavily on the mind, cause lack of sleep, stomach aches, and stress that affects the body and mind.  Still, we have the option to ask for help, seek guidance, and the ability to look up possible solutions literally at our fingertips.

Jim Rohn said, “Everything you need is already available to you.”  I had to think about that awhile, because I tell you, it didn’t feel like everything I needed was available earlier this year.  Yet, after reading books, studying classes, searching for resources and taking advantage of just part of the things I have access too and have available to me, I realize Jim Rohn is right.

Don’t allow yourself to feel cornered or down.  You have a choice, you are in control of your attitude and the emotions you choose to use at any given moment.  If what you’re doing each day doesn’t leave you feeling fulfilled, or like your accomplishing something, happy, or content, then take a look at what’s going on in your life and how you’re responding.  Perhaps you need a break, a change in perspective.

Cherry Coley ©

Wednesday Thoughtfulness

photo by Casey Keal

photo by Casey Keal

“Learn the wisdom of compromise,  for it’s better to bend a little than to break.” – Jane Wells

 

As children get older and go on their way to self discovery, parents sometimes get nervous and worried about the paths they are choosing to go down.  We hope and trust that we have taught them right and that they will hold true to the principles and knowledge they’ve gained while growing up.

Yet, there is a time when each person asks the question, “who am I and why am I here?” “What’s my purpose?”  “What am I going to do with my life?”

Some figure out the answers to these questions early on and hold true to their dreams, growing and learning, constantly reaching for their goals and owning their destiny.

Others of us go through different stages of growth and self discovery, a journey that lasts a lifetime, filled with ups and downs, leaps of faith, grand mistakes and endless opportunities. 

No matter the background, whether born into a life of plenty, or growing up with a struggling single parent, we each own our own destiny.  It is our response to life, to the challenges that we face and the choices that we are given that make us who we become.  Our perspective, our ability to remain open and humble enough to admit when we are wrong so we can learn new ways to do things can make all the difference.

I’ve been a parent now for over 19 years, and I am learning as I go.  I am not perfect and don’t profess to be, and neither are my children.  Yet God put us together on this journey for a reason.  Together we will face the future, learning from each other, facing obstacles in our path and offering hope and encouragement when needed. 

Take a moment today to be thankful for the people in your life, whether friends, family or co-workers, we each have a purpose for being in the life of the other. 

Cherry Coley (c)

 

Words To Ponder

 

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“One should, every day at least, hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if possible, speak a few reasonable words.” – Johann Wolfgang Van Goethe

Decisions, Cross Roads, Challenges and Me

askvilleEvery now and then I find myself at a crossroad in life.  A time and place where you know you need to choose a direction, make a decision and that the choice you make will affect the rest of your life. 

I’ve sat at this crossroad wondering how I got there, trying to look at it objectively and thinking that once I saw the decisions I needed to make in the clear light of day, there was no debating, no wondering, no hesitation at all, the choices are simple.

You see, when I moved away from my ex husband my self-confidence was gone, my self-esteem was non-existent, and my self-worth was hiding in a dark corner somewhere.  The verbal and emotional abuse had taken its toll and it has taken a long time to get back to…me.

So, after going through a very rough holiday season where I spent a lot of time alone, grieving and generally feeling sorry for myself, I suddenly realized that I was choosing to feel alone, choosing to grieve, choosing to feel sorry for myself.  I had to stop and think about that awhile.  What else have I been choosing either by doing nothing, trying to ignore things, or just not dealing with things I knew I needed to own up too?

The answers have astounded.  How did I find them?  By truly looking at where I was and thinking about how I want to be remembered when I’m gone.  If I were to die 3 years from now, what would the people in my life say about me?  I didn’t like the answers my mind came up with.  I have a lot of work to do.  There’s nothing like visualization to get your goals clearly back in focus. 

One thing I’ve learned is that it takes far more energy to sit down and put up with things, force yourself to accept things, and look the other way, than it does to stand up, take responsibility, own up to your mistakes and take charge of your life. 

When you find yourself feeling bored, unhappy, depressed, or just down, ask yourself why?  Are you choosing to feel that way?  Or are there things you are allowing to go on in your life that are not in sync with who you are and what you believe as a person?  Either way you have choices, you have options and possibilities.  Stand up and take action!  It will change your perspective and your life.

Cherry Coley (c)

Let’s Do This!

startThose who really want to accomplish something will find a way; those who are not committed will find an excuse.

When you make excuses about why things didn’t get done, or create obstacles to use as an excuse to give up on that project, diet, or exercise routine the only person you are really hurting is yourself, right?  Wrong.  Like it or not we are all part of a community of sorts.  We each have friends, co-workers, and family members in our lives that pay attention to our choices and decisions.  What you do and don’t do, affects the people around you.

 Someone who make excuses about meeting deadlines, or personal goals rarely exceeds anywhere else.  I know for me I have to be careful because the excuses try to slip in there unnoticed when I least expect it.  “I can’t go jogging tonight, it got dark outside too quick,” or “I wound up running errands for other people the last few days and it threw me off my whole routine.”

 Life happens, accidents, incidents, whatever might come up can either be worked in, worked around, or incorporated into daily routines if you are really committed to a positive goal.

 Let’s make 2013 a year when we reach our goals.  Let’s make it a year of encouragement for the people around us, the year to do random acts of kindness and start something good. 

 I am determined to do some charity walks this year so I have started training to be able to reach those goals.  It’s something I used to do quite often, but it’s been awhile.  I look forward to doing my part, to giving back, to raising money for good causes and most of all, I look forward to crossing the finish line and knowing I stuck in there and made it! 

 2013 is going to be a great year!  Let’s do this!

 Cherry Coley ©

Catch the Spirit – Pass it On

“He who is not thankful for little, will not be thankful for a lot.” – Chinese Proverb

I am thankful for holidays and especially for Christmas.  I am thankful Christmas symbolizes the birth of Christ, although according to Jewish calendars I think he was actually born around passover.  Still the music is beautiful, the images are wonderful and the peaceful, quiet that comes in winter with the cold weather adds to a sense of peace.

I love everything about Christmas.  The trees and beautiful decorations, the sparkling lights, the candles, the dishes, the spirit that comes to inhabit the homes of those that welcome Christmas.  I’m not talking about the commercialism and greedy parts that Christmas has grown into,  I’m speaking of the true love and caring spirit of Christmas.

What I really wish is that this spirit of Christmas would stay with us.  Not the rush, the hurried and frantic parts, but the quiet peace that is Christmas that settles after everything is done, all the presents are unwrapped, everyone is fed and happy, and content.  The quiet hush that comes after a day of excitement, sharing, celebrating and being with people that we love.

I used to love to watch my kids sleeping among their new stuffed animals at the end of the day, smiling and cuddling a new toy.  We are blessed, truly blessed.

Today and every day we can capture a little of the spirit that is Christmas.  It doesn’t have to be a holiday to show someone you care.  It doesn’t have to be Christmas to contact loved one’s you don’t talk to that often. Kindness doesn’t have a season, thankfulness doesn’t have a limit. 

In everything give thanks.  Thank you, God for giving us another day, let us use it wisely.

Cherry Coley (c) 

 

Start Something Right Now!

fellowshipThe news of the Connecticut shootings made me angry, then heartbroken.  I cannot begin to imagine the pain the families of the victims are feeling, or the pain of the children that survived and have to deal with great loss so early in their lives. 

 I don’t believe we should ever mention the criminals in these types of crimes.  They should remain nameless – “Devil Walking” – that’s how they should be referred to.  Never should they be reported by name, never should they be remembered.  Take away the fame and the pictures, the stories of their lives.  They are a Devil Walking doing unspeakable harm, and that’s all anyone needs to know. 

If they are brave enough to live through their crime spree then they should forever be stripped of their identity, they should have their names taken away and be made to spend the rest of their lives sending financial support to the families of the victims.  With a consequence like that they might think before committing such crimes.  Where are their rights? They gave them up when they took the lives of others

 Yet, the mass shooting Devils perform the ultimate cowardly act of committing suicide and going down in history.  Stop it!  They don’t need to be remembered.  The innocent lives they took – THOSE people are worth remembering, they were stripped of their lives, their hopes, their dreams, all taken in an instant. 

 On the flip side of this I can only say that mental instability is a growing problem.  The answer  - don’t just pray.  Prayer is good, but prayer is NOT ENOUGH!  Get involved, be aware of the people in your life.  Take time to get to know them individually.  Take time to find out what they are going through and if they need help, offer it if you can, or offer them a place to genuinely find help, above all – CARE

 There are at this very moment people all around each and every one of us that are hurting.  The economy is bad, there are people going through job loss, financial worries, sickness and dealing with losing family members and friends.  How many people do you ask how they are doing each day, and actually stay around to hear the answer?  Do you just want to see them smile and say “fine” So you can go on your way?  Would you like someone to ask you how you’re doing and know that they care what you say next?

 It’s interesting how in an age when we are all so “connected” with social media sites and texting, we are disconnected for the actual events in each other’s lives.  Those people that share their problems in the social media world can be shoved to the hidden lists or skipped over if they complain too much, or if things never seem to get better for them, God forbid the issues last too long.  It’s easy to stop answering the texts or stop checking on someone if they are continuously having a hard time, don’t move on, or things don’t improve after a while.  We are not a society that breeds patience. 

 Seeking help for working through problems, divorce, grief, job loss, abuse, health problems, from a therapist needs to stop being a stigma.  If you need the help, get it.  Stop worrying about what the masses think or say, it doesn’t matter what the social world thinks, what matters is that you are healthy and living the best life possible.

 What’s that saying? It takes a village to raise a child?  How about we rewrite that to read – it takes a community of caring individuals working together to create and maintain a healthy environment to live in.  Let’s start today, reach out to the people in your life and get to know them, you will be glad you did and so will they.

 Cherry Coley ©

Be Accountable!

Today I am thankful for accountability.  Accountability plays a big part in our lives.  It’s a wonderful thing to have people who are accountable for their own choices and actions in life.  Those are the people who are not the one’s causing drama, pointing fingers, blaming others, and whining constantly because things aren’t the way they planned.

Being an accountable person means taking responsibility for your choices, decisions, actions, thoughts, and words among other things.  We need more people who hold themselves accountable and live up to a higher standard.

I am thankful to finally realize what being accountable means and to be able to study and grow as a person.  Life is so much more than having a positive attitude, or spouting a bunch of inspirational quotes.  Becoming accountable is taking responsibility for yourself and your life and it’s a journey that changes and grows over time. 

 Life is much for enjoyable and fulfilling when you are in charge of your own decisions and own up to your own mistakes. 

 Cherry Coley ©