21 Days Makes a Habit

I used to hear that all the time growing up. If you really want to change the way you get your homework done, study for a spelling test, brush your teeth every night (really, what was so difficult about that task?), then just do the right thing for 21 days and it will stick with you.

Okay, so most people make big New Year’s Resolutions and I am not sure what is going on January 21st but maybe they are still going strong or maybe they are loosening up on the idea of what was started.

I do better with small goals or major goals. For instance, I don’t ever see myself in a marathon but possibly making posters for a marathon. I do see myself setting a goal to do 30 minutes a day on the treadmill for maybe 2 weeks, then set a goal for month, you get the picture.

So, do you remember the “Pay it Forward” Film that came out around 2000? The film had come from a book that had been written by Catherine Ryan Hyde. It was about a little boy that worked on a school project that in effect touched many people’s lives one by one while in return it was also bettering the world around them. If each person decided to do one deed, small or large, whether it seemed significant to us or not but useful to the person we were helping, it would most certainly make our world much more productive, hopeful, creative, tolerant, and a place of unity. The book and film caught very quickly. Viewers and readers both were doing activities and were paying it forward. I see people doing it in different areas I follow online. A foundation was started, http://www.payitforwardfoundation.org/ to get young people in schools involved and different communities involved both nationally and internationally. When a good thing is happening, it is best to continue the movement.

How easy is it to remember something negative we see or hear? I love to hear good things and I think we all do. The fact is though is it takes us making things happen to get them done sometimes.

Some things we may not realize we do make a huge difference in the lives of others. I am going to use some personal examples there. This is about improving lives today.

Here is a few organizations/ideas that I stand behind 100%

When someone is sick and not feeling well, someone reaching out to them with a card or a letter just shows that someone that time to show love. If you know someone, it is a great expression. You can also go through your local church, assisted living facility, or if you want to make some children smile, visit http://www.makeachildsmile.org/ or http://www.hugsandhope.org/. Both are great and have many kids who can use some happy mail!

Visiting someone in the hospital can be a huge pick-me-up or bringing someone coffee while they are at the ER due to an emergency of a family member.

Sending someone snail mail! Remember that? It can come in with the only other snail mail these days, (bills).

When it comes to the saying at the top of the page, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”, I think of people that struggle through many injuries, diseases and tragedies and I am in awe of how much they pull through and each day have a smile on their face instead of bitterness.

Another major way of helping is through Blood Product Donation at your local blood bank. Having a daughter who is a cancer survivor and has been through a stem cell transplant, I am a huge advocate for educating others on the need for regular blood donation and registering as a bone marrow/stem cell donor. You can learn more about this via http://www.marrow.org/ or http://www.katiasolomonfoundation.org/

These sound easy but are often the hardest. The magic words we learned as kids. “Please” and “Thank you”. Oh, I am so bad at these!! I should make this my 21 day quest but honestly, the thought that just crossed my mind was that I would fail… positive thinking I know. They seriously make people happy and in return would improve your own day.

Lastly, I have given up on this until people agree to wear name tags, is calling people by name. I am pretty surprised but happy when people use my name but my first thought is usually, “Oh man, what is her/his name?” But it is such a nice gesture and feeling when someone knows a person’s name.

All in all, it is just a lot about showing those around us that we are thinking about them, looking out for others and making a point to put ourselves down on the list. Not that we shouldn’t look out for ourselves. But, the way things are going right now in our community, in our nation, in our world, is it really making us happy or stressed? Life isn’t about just getting through it or getting by. Life is about living and living with a purpose. Life is about being able to look back, not just at the end but during the weekends and think of moments during our week that made us smile or laugh. Some of the best ways to make ourselves happy is to make others happy. Focusing on the positives in our lives and the blessings in our lives and giving thanks for what we have been given.

When things seem so heated up around me, I remember that 10%/90% and I always try to remember to breathe. In today’s world everything goes at a high speed and it seems we must answer everything now or yesterday and our answers are being watched by everyone and must match up or we are going to be kicked out by some hall monitor or something.

I have one person I must answer to and that is God. I look around me and see that God has given me many blessings and throughout many trials in my life, He has always been there for me and I have never felt alone. I have a very personal relationship with Christ and in my 40 years, He has never failed me. So, with all of the news and debates and things that may cause confusion, with time and faith and knowing not only that God has given me the ability to have good common sense as well as the ability to pray for clarity in any decision making, I really try (and I stress the word try) to stay away from arguing. However, I never mind sharing my opinions when asked. And of course, if there is a C-Span debate going on or something, I do have red blood in my veins so yeh, I get caught up in some things but my point is watching how a person reacts. We all will never see eye to eye. Hollywood could come up with a really creepy movie about everyone in the U.S. seeing eye to eye…