Out With the Old

Don’t wait for spring to do your spring cleaning; out with the old in with the new.  Many of you have received gifts this holiday and need space for them.  Make the space by creating a donation box of all of the things you have not used recently. 

 What to donate:

  1. Books
  2. Toys and Games
  3. Movies
  4. Clothes
  5. Household items and appliances

How to decide what to donate:

  1. Anything that was not used or worn in 2010. Be honest with yourself. If you did not wear it last year do not hold on to it. Chances are good that it will just sit another year unworn. Let someone else enjoy it and USE it.
  2. Books that your children have outgrown or will never read again.
  3. Anything that was upgraded this holiday season. If you received a new coffee machine then donate the old one. Why store it?

Do not donate anything ripped, tattered, dirty, broken, or unusable.

Who to donate to:

GOODWILL. Their website states that your donation will be used accordingly . . .
The sales of your donations help fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs for people who have disabilities, lack education or job experience, or face employment challenges.
Last year, more than 66 million people donated to Goodwill. Goodwill accepts your new or gently used items — like clothing, appliances, electronics and furniture — and sells them in our well-known Goodwill retail stores. There are more than 2,400 Goodwill donation locations in the United States and Canada.
PURPLE HEART. If you go on-line to www.purpleheartpickup.org you can easily schedule a pick up for your donation right from your home.
SALVATION ARMY. Just dial 1-800-sa-TRUCK and you can schedule a truck to come pick up your donation right from your home.

Power of Observation

I was actually looking for a different video to write a  totally different message when I came across this one.  I love wit especially wit so cleverly disguised.  Click here to see it . . .  Pause

How many interesting perspectives did you see in the video?  Watch it again.  How many new views did you discover?

I recently had a conversation with a business acquaintance and she asked me how I was able to be so successful.  What could she do that I have done so that she could  move up in her career?  Here is the most simplest piece of advice that I could give anyone: be observant.  Keep your eyes open to the world and take it all in.  Pause, and look all around you.  By doing this you will find opportunities.  You will see needs that you can address that everyone else has somehow let pass by.  They don’t need to be giant things.  By just looking for little things every single day you will soon find out that you have made a huge difference.
Be relentless in your pursuit.  Don’t give up.  In Steve Job’s commencement address one of his major points is that one day you will be able to connect the dots.  You cannot connect them looking forward.  You can only connect them when you reflect on the past.  He is right and this applies to the power of observation too.  By keeping your eyes wide open you will come across things that may not be relevant now, but will be very necessary in the future.  Don’t miss the opportunity by closing your eyes.  Be observant.  Look for the simple things that everyone else is either missing or chooses to ignore.  There is power in observation, but only if you choose to pause and then choose to act on what you see.

Garmin vs Apple

Not one to shy away from sharing my opinion (last week Facebook vs Twitter) I have another one for all of those of you who have a New Year’s resolutions involving running, fitness or exercise. 

There are many gadgets out there to make the experience much more enjoyable.  A few of those include: cold gear – a must in the mid-west, GU – for distance and endurance, ipods – for inspiration, and GPS watches – to track performance.  The last two are what I would like to share my opinion on.

If you are making an investment in your running career and are considering a Garmin training watch or a ipod – GO WITH GARMIN!!!

The watch is cooler and makes you feel better about your training
The service is better.  Forget what they say about Apple.  Personally, I have never had a good experience at an Apple Store let alone a great one.
The ipod may make you feel like it is inspiring you to train better, but the watch really does help you focus on peak performance.
Garmin’s software will download, even on Christmas.  Apple; 22 hours remaining to download.
No pre-planning necessary with the Garmin – Just do it.
A key to improving performance is keeping a log – Garmin does it for you.
Garmin keeps you honest. 1.5 miles really is 1.5 miles not 5k.

Facebook vs. Twitter

Facebook vs. Twitter where would you rather spend your time?

Sorry Facebook my vote is Twitter.

What I find to be pros of Twitter –
     -shorter entries are easier for my Type A personality to sort through what is interesting to me
     -you never have to worry if little eyes are looking on Twitter – don’t follow anyone who would post inappropriate material
     -it can be much more educational and informative if you choose
     -it is more compatible with LinkedIn
     -no Bejeweled Blitz

My favorite tweets:
Dalai Lama http://twitter.com/#!/DalaiLama
National Geographic http://twitter.com/#!/NatGeoSociety
Room to Read http://twitter.com/#!/RoomtoRead
NPR http://twitter.com/#!/nprnews

What is your vote FB or Twitter?

The Gift Is In the Giving

Christmas is about giving, but that doesn’t mean that you have to run out to the store. Most of the best gifts cannot be bought anyway. More and more studies are showing that experiences, not things, are what truly make us happy. Remember the spirit of giving this holiday season and give the experiences of friendship, positive energy and cheer.

  1. Pick up the phone and call and old friend or a family member you have lost touch with. Let them know you are thinking about them. “Hi, I was just thinking about you and wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas.”
  2. Send an email to let someone know you are thankful to know them and wish them well. DO NOT send it to more than one recipient; personalize it. “Dear Julie, I hope all is well with you and your family. I know that you typically travel during the holidays and would like to wish you a safe and fun journey. Have a wonderful holiday.”
  3. Smile at a stranger.
  4. Hold the door open for someone you do not know and wish them a happy holiday.
  5. Compliment as many people as you can. Make sure you are sincere. “You look great today. That sweater makes your eyes sparkle.”

Each of these only take a moment, but the lasting impression they will leave with the recipient will linger much longer. Your ears will be buzzing as they are telling all of their friends and family about the magic you created for them this holiday. The gift for you will truly be in the giving.

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