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It’s Easier to Keep it Off than to Take it Off

I had just turned 40.  Dave and I were at a gathering and he was conversing with someone and I was not included in the conversation.  My mind wandered.

True confession…..it wandered to the obvious weight gain of the female person my husband was having a chat with.  I thought, specifically, “Wow.  She needs to lose about 30 pounds.”

Then, I did a bit of calculating myself:
I had just turned 40.  And, I had just gained 3 pounds over the past year.  Yikes!  This person was 10 years older than me.  10 times 3 definitely equals 30.  Thirty pounds!!! In ten years, I would be the one needing to lose 30 pounds, if I didn’t stop gaining 3 pounds a year.

With a moment of sympathy, I did recognize that this person (the one talking to my husband and not talking to me), would have a hard time losing weight at age 50.  I was finding for myself that the older I got, the harder it is to keep weight off.  Nutrition and health are topics for me, so I knew that the older I got, the more difficult it would become to lose any excess pounds.

That day, I determined to keep it off.  And my mantra “it’s easier to keep it off than to take it off” was born.

Now, twenty-five years later, I am not quite the same weight I was that day, but I have managed to stay pretty close.  It is not easy.  People will often assume that I am just lucky.  Ha!  No way!  There is no luck involved in showing up to work out five days a week (most weeks).  There is no luck in choosing to eat less. Or to eat lower calorie foods that have higher nutrition than the pastries and desserts and carbohydrates I once enjoyed. Nope.  Not lucky.  Just determined.

It’s easier to keep it off than to take it off.

Determined to stave off old-age as long as possible.

Determined to be able to enjoy grandkids and their activities as they come along.

Determined to be able to keep up with my fit and active husband.

Determined to not purchase clothing in a size larger every year or so.

Determined to keep making a difference in the world as long as I am able, even in my third third.

 

 

 

 

photo credit: franchiseopportunitiesphotos person about to stand on weighing digital scale via photopin (license)

Make a Difference

Preparing for a talk on Designing your BEST ThirdThird, I made an icebreaker activity, noting people who made a big difference in their ThirdThird. People like Ronald Reagan (was elected President when he was 70 years old), Lady Bird Johnson (Beautify America), Mother Teresa. They did amazing things in their later years. Impressive.

Reality is that most of us are not going to make some significant difference in a worldwide or even national arena in our ThirdThird.

But, we can make a difference in the world around us, locally and relationally, in our ThirdThird. The differences we will make will most likely be similar to the ways we have been impacting people and situations in our lives so far, so you don’t have to look far or become a difference person to make a difference in someone else’s life.

The real challenge is to figure out what we CAN and SHOULD do to continue to contribute what we know and have experienced, wherever we are.

I am, obviously, interested in people who are making their ThirdThird their BEST Third. My husband has a friend who lives in Mexico City who writes about the great restaurants and food places in her adopted country. She is influencing many to try new foods and to explore new places.

Another friend has begun to create art in her 70’s. She has developed a personal style of expressing her perspective to enjoy life to the fullest in whimsical pieces of art that are selling well. She even offers workshops in her basement studio, encouraging others to express themselves and find an outlet for their creative interests.

I know there are men and women who love to offer their babysitting services to free up their kids to pursue their dreams and careers. An article in the local newspaper highlighted the courtesy car drivers for car dealerships who are mostly retired and make a difference by being interesting and cheerful for their passengers.

The women’s shelter in my community ran into serious financial problems when the State failed to come through with promised funds. When the news was discussed at the dinner table in the dining room of a retirement community, several women decided to get involved. They heard of the plight through another resident, the treasurer for the board of the organization. These 4 women decided to start a “$5000 Club” by each of them giving $5000 to the Shelter. Then, they wrote letters to their friends, inviting them to join their $5000 Club. Before long, their campaign had raised $120,000 and had started a larger awareness that resulted in $350,000 in total revenue raised.

That is making a difference!

So whether it is volunteering to mentor a student or to teach a class or contributing to a cause or reading to a child, you can make a significant difference.

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Amanda Creamer via www.creationswap.com

Objective & Subjective

 

objective

Designing our best ThirdThird requires that we be able to merge objective information and subjective information.

Subjective information like….

  • What gives me joy?
  • Who do I like to be around?
  • When am I most satisfied?
  • How do I like to be treated?

Objective information like….

  • How have I been successful in the past?
  • When have I been able to accomplish my goals?
  • Who has been there for me?
  • What is my skill set?

 

The DiSC Personality Profile allows me to connect the dots on both subjective and objective information I have about myself, to allow me to design my life for the greatest satisfaction and joy.

Personally, I know about myself that I …..

Am not afraid of hard tasks,

Need to be learning new things,

Function best with some, but not strict, order,

Have stories to share that will inspire others,

Love to make people laugh.

DiSC explanations make me realize why these are true about me…

I enjoy a challenge, 

I bore easily, 

I’m wired to like to sort and organize, 

Meaningful interaction energizes me, 

Adding to others’ lives makes me smile.

 

You can learn a lot about yourself and be designing your own BEST ThirdThird now, no matter what your age, with our Understanding Your Wiring DiSC program.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Spot it, You Got It Mantra

you spot it, you got it

You Spot It, You Got It

I have “ThirdThird Mantras.”  Words to live by. Lessons learned. Guidelines for designing my BEST ThirdThird.

An important manta for me is “You Spot It, You Got It.”

It goes like this…..I meet someone and they begin to explain to me that (or treat me like) they know more about our topic than I do. Without ever clarifying my interest or experience. Assuming that I know nothing.  It is very annoying to me.  A “pet peeve,” in fact.

But guess what? I realize that I can be just like that if I am not intentionally caring about others. I can jump in and run on and slash and burn with the best/worst of them if unchecked. It takes thought and care and practice for me to genuinely care to hear other people’s thoughts and experiences and concerns.

“You Spot It, You Got It” is a gentle reminder that being critical of someone else is often shining a spot light on a personal area of need.

I remember clearly from my childhood an instance when I was critical of a friend’s approach toward another person. My mother pointed out to me that, quite often, what you notice as a deficit in others is probably a deficit in yourself.

Ouch. I remember at the time reacting to that, confidently stating that I didn’t have the annoying character defect I noticed in my friend. Of course, privately in my own thoughts later, I could clearly see that my mother was right.

It is a principle that I have not been able to forget. I have passed it on to others and have used it for my own efforts at living life on purpose, letting my occasional 20/20 insight into others’ lives be mirrored back to benefit my own growth.

As an example, lateness is an irritating habit in other people that I have to constantly monitor in my own life. I can be highly offended when others are late to meet me, but effectively justify my own tardiness.  Unless I am remembering this gem from my childhood. You Spot It, You Got It.

How to use this life mantra

This is a good mantra to get into your head.

If you have a friend who is a constant complainer and you can’t help but notice, there is a good chance you are a complainer.

If you easily spot the person who demands to be the center of attention, you might be, just a little bit, wishing you were more noticed.

If you are frustrated with people who make assumptions without facts, guess what?  Check your own facts.

When there is a habit or behavior that you quickly pick up on and react to in others, chances are it is a quality that you, yourself, are demonstrating to others.

“You Spot It, You Got It” is a useful tool.  When you are annoyed with someone, stop and think about it.

Does “someone” use social media when you are in a conversation and it annoys you?  You might check to see how often you find yourself checking your phone during meetings or at dinner. It is often easier to spot the truth in others than it is in ourselves.

The “You Spot It, You Got It” mantra might be a slightly painful tool to use initially, but it can become fun.  It is certain to be instructive for your efforts at designing your BEST ThirdThird.

It took me a while when my mother pointed it out to me long ago, but it is a lesson I learned early and for some reason, it has stuck with me.

photo credit: amseaman Binocular Boy via photopin (license)

Doing Their Best

I’m always on the lookout for people who are doing their BEST ThirdThird.  I am drawn to people who are doing what they want to do, choosing intentionally how to spend their years.

Dave and I were recently camping in the mountains of Colorado.  He was doing what he loves to do…. run.

This time, he ran in a 50-mile ultra-marathon, a trail run traversing rocky trails with a 3,000 foot elevation change. His BEST ThirdThird definitely involves running. Acclimating to the altitude had him out there for 2+ weeks prior to the race, I came in for day of and day after the race.

http://runrabbitrunsteamboat.com/courses/50-mile-course-description doing best

Part of my BEST ThirdThird involves supporting Dave’s keen interest in pushing himself physically as a runner.  I “crewed” for him…ultra-speak for meeting him at the 2 aid stations possible with dry socks, hot tea and soup, and encouraging words.

Camping at 10,000 feet, the mornings were cold, we had no electricity, and the “amenities” were a stiff hike away. I didn’t mind… I was there to support and to experience.

We met a couple who were traveling in their pickup /camper. They were there, enjoying nature, for a week. Then, they were heading west to more mountains for a few days. Eventually, they’ll make their way back to Utah and home.

They take two trips a year. The other trip this year that they took in their camper/truck? Alaska! For 3 months! They love to travel and have found a way they enjoy traveling.  No cruises for them, they said.

 

Being the not-shy person I am, I asked them their ages.  Dave and I had both thought them to be mid-seventies. I asked when they told me that have a daughter my age (well, 62, actually, slightly younger than me).  They are 82 and 84 years old! Hiking around at 10,000 feet every day. Walking to the lake and around the trails. Sleeping in their bed above the cab of the truck that crawling into can’t be a small feat. And enjoying one another’s company.

doing their best

We found out their 64th anniversary was the day after Dave’s race. We took a bottle of wine over to their campsite along with our chairs and we heard of their family, their year long separation (unexpected, one week after their honeymoon) when he was drafted to Korea, a few of their other trips. They had blue collar careers, raised three children and have grands and greatgrands. It was such an unexpected joy to sit with them and watch the sun set up in the Rockies.

Mark and Bobbe. We won’t forget them. Living simply. Figuring out how to enjoy their (unexpected) ThirdThird into their 80’s! What great inspiration they were to us spring chickens on our 60’s!

 

 

 

Potential and Possibilities

potential and possibilities

The last thirty years (or so) of our lives has so much potential and so many possibilities! I talk about our ThirdThird to anyone I connect with for longer than to exchange money for groceries or passing in a parking lot.  Watching our son compete at Special Olympics event, chatting with the waitress, running into an old friend at the grocery store, meeting someone new at church.

Any age….you don’t have to be IN your ThirdThird to think about and plan for your ThirdThird.

I have a new office space in a shared area. Most of the other people renting there are young and creative.  Web designers, furniture designers, artists…budding entrepreneurs, all of them.  I’ve had interesting conversations with them about the ThirdThird.  Even though all of them are either in their FirstThird (gap year) or just entering their SecondThird.

One said, “I know that I will still be designing.” Another turned to their business partner and wife and asked, “What do you think we’ll be doing in our ThirdThird?” Others ask questions and are thoughtful.

On the other hand, I talked with a 70-something, still working, man yesterday who has no plan for what he will do in his ThirdThird, other than begin to work less.  Maybe he will make a video of his belongings so his sons will know what they are and why they were special to their folks when he is gone. Maybe he will start exercising more often when he is no longer working, but he just doesn’t have time now (doesn’t like to exercise in the evening, doesn’t want to get up earlier).  His father lived into his 90’s, so he expects to himself.  But he doesn’t know what he will do…..so he keeps working at a job that he only slightly seems to enjoy. He should be in better shape, he told me. He should be planning for his next steps, he told me.

My motivation for talking about our ThirdThird, and for building programs for helping people design their ThirdThird, is because of people like the 70-something I spoke with yesterday. He is setting himself up for disappointment.

Fear is a great motivator.

I am motivated by the fear of wasting 30 years. I am motivated by the fear of looking back and feeling like I didn’t live on purpose.  I don’t want to miss the opportunity to share the lessons learned and the mistakes made to make a positive impact.

Aging can be purposeful and fun!

Learn more about Life on Purpose in your ThirdThird by clicking the photo above. Debbie has lots of online resources on this site and she also does life seminars and training.

We’re putting together several resources for people to use to plan their BEST ThirdThird. The first one is entirely FREE!  It is a simple, on-line questionnaire to show you your “ThirdThird Tendencies.”

 

It’s a place to start. And it’s free.

Try it!  And let me know how you scored and what you think of your results.

 

 

 

 

Energy

Understanding your sources of energy is basic if you want more of it. In the same way, understanding what drains your energy is just as important.

Do more of what gives you energy + Do less of what drains you

Plan for re-energizing after necessary times of draining activity.

Based on the DiSC model, people are usually either energized or sapped of energy by people contact. For some, being around others is key to their joy and sense of worth, while others are drained from a day of constant contact with other people.  My husband used to come home from a long day of interacting with people and just want to sit quietly. I, however, had spent a day with our kids, longing for adult conversation. I wanted to sit and talk. Energy drains at work!

A task can have the same type of effect….either energizing or sapping.  Give one person a difficult task to accomplish and you charge them up.  Another person, faced with the same “opportunity” may want to run and hide. Those are some basic hints to your energy.

There are little energy drains all around, not as easily defined, that can nag without being identified, if unnamed.

energy

I took an assessment once that came from the idea that there are habits we have or don’t have that drain or give us energy.  If we can identify them and change them, one by one, we will have more natural energy and be more productive.  From the assessment, I found a few habits that I realized really were annoying me….and robbing me of energy.

A silly thing, to some, but as I checked “no” on the statement that “my car is in excellent condition”, I realized that it irritated me every time I got into my car and noticed it needs to be vacuumed.  For years, I had kids at home that I could pay to clean my car.  However, that was no longer an option. They were all grown up and vacuuming (or not vacuuming) their own cars.  My car, was un-vacuumed.  And it took a bit of energy from me every time I got in my car.

As small as it may seem, keeping my car vacuumed and washed, turned out to be a step forward in reducing negative energy for me. I made a small, but energy producing change that made a fairly significant difference.

After getting into the habit of keeping my car a bit more tidy, I tackled filing papers and receipts, updating my will, and consistently contributing to savings—and “no” as answers on my assessment.  Each of those turned out to be positive step to boost my energy on going forward instead of avoiding being annoyed by things I hadn’t done.

Deeply rooted, good character comes from good habits.  An occasional habit-inventory is a good way to keep focused on purposefully living YourBestThirdThird.  Any energy we still have at this stage is important to be positive.

 

 

“Your character is the sum total of your habits.”Rick Warren

 

photo credit: At the pub – Dublin, Ireland – Black and white street photography via photopin (license)

Write Your Personal Mission Statement

Putting it all together…

Have you been using the resources and working towards writing your own Personal Mission Statement?

A  good, working statement will guide your decisions….large and small.  Let’s begin to put it all together into a meaningful and useful Personal Mission Statement.

Remember that your Mission Statement is:

–Based on your strengths (personality, experience, skill)

–Based on what you consider important (values and qualities)

–Based on what you would die for (so you know what is worth living for).

A Mission Statement is not…..

Your job, or…

Prescribed by someone else, or….

Your role, or…

Your destiny, or….

Your to-do list, or….

The same as the mission of those around you.

Your Mission Statement is your clearly defined territory of responsibility.

To begin writing your Mission Statement:

 >  Download this free worksheet

 >  Circle all the words that mean something to you… that make you want to DO them (these are verbs…action verbs).  If a word that you want to use is not there, add it in.

 >  Narrow it down to three (3). Choose the 3 that HAVE to be on the list.

 

I have a long list of verbs that I like….so feel free to circle a lot of verbs, but think about them as you read along.

Deciding the words that I like best comes by recognizing the things that I do all the time. Affirm – daily affirmations and helping others replace their limiting beliefs with truly spoken personal affirmations is one of my favorite coaching techniques and a workshop I love presenting. I LOVE connect(ing) people to make good networking possibilities (I even say that it is what floats my boat when I am feeling cheerful and resorting to a clever cliche). Forgive(ness), of myself as well as of others, is core to my growth and is deep in my own story. I am a woman of faith and, daily, I return to what I believe to be true; what is most important to my life and world view.

All those verbs I like BUT, to narrow down, I have to choose three (3) that are my favorite.

The three words that connect with me most, the words that I WANT TO DO are:

Live.  Communicate. Inspire.

I want to LIVE to the fullest. I want to LIVE every day with purpose and intent. I want to LIVE, not wasting a day, enjoying the breath and thought and opportunity and experience what each day affords.

I was born to COMMUNICATE. I love to tell a story. I love to hear someone else’s story. I love few things more than communicating a story that helps someone connect their own dots, work out their own life puzzles, give value to their own story.

When my mother learned that people paid me to speak, she wagged her head. “Your Daddy (who died much too young and who I miss to this day) would be amazed,” she said. “There were times he wanted to pay you to shut up.” I have worked hard at learning to COMMUNICATE well, speaking and writing, learning to use words to encourage and motivate others.

And I want to INSPIRE other people. I know that the struggles and victories, the hurts and forgiveness, the challenges and fun times that I have are both uniquely mine and very much not at all unique to me.

We have all struggled and are looking for victory. We have all been hurt and can find forgiveness when the time and understanding are right. We each and all face challenges and have the opportunity for fun on a daily basis.

I believe that each life is worth a lot.

So, my three verbs are LIVE, COMMUNICATE, INSPIRE.

> Now to connect your three verbs with who (or what) and why.

Remember the Values and Qualities most important to you?

My values were Wisdom, Openness, Self-awareness, a sense of humor.

My chosen qualities were Honest, Logical, Respectful, and Forgiving.

Boiled down, I can combine all of those words and attributes to two words: GRACE and TRUTH.

So, with my VERBS (what I want to do) and my VALUES (what is important to me), I can state what I want to DO: I want to LIVE a life full of GRACE and TRUTH. And, I want to tell my stories (COMMUNICATE).

That is the beginning of my Personal Mission Statement.

It is my WHAT.

Yours will be different.  Maybe yours is to teach… or to MOLD… or to EQUIP… or to PROVIDE.

Often, there are two or three verbs that go together….

….to serve and support.

….to teach and to inspire.

….to create and demonstrate and reclaim.

….to engage, enlighten, and embrace.

YOUR Personal Mission Statement will begin to emerge…. keep working at it. Distill it down.

Now, I need a WHY and a FOR WHOM.

My WHY is to help people see that they are NOT STUCK.

They CAN CHANGE.

They ARE ABLE.

THERE IS MORE.

My WHY is also that I want to keep changing, keep growing, keep learning. To do that, I need to keep having stories to tell.  I need to keep hearing others’ stories and understanding. I need to keep living in GRACE and TRUTH.

My WHO is broad….and narrow. My WHO doesn’t have an age or a demographic or a particular audience…at least my personal missions statement doesn’t (My business plan does). My WHO is whoever I can reach…whoever will hear and appreciate my stories, whoever can relate.  Whoever is ready to think about change for better.

My own personal mission is to live a life of grace and truth
and to tell my stories that have the potential to change lives.

Here is the formula and the outline for Your Personal Mission Statement

Writing your personal mission statement is not starting something new.
It is putting on paper what you are already doing, in most cases.
It is identifying and defining how you want to live.

Know Your Strengths

strengths

Having a clear Mission Statement is at the core of designing Your BEST ThirdThird.

That’s why we have been devoting this blog to taking you step by step through a process to write your own Personal Mission Statement.

If you are participating and are in the process of writing your own Personal Mission Statement, you have considered and evaluated…

  • How you think of yourself (drew an image),
  • How others have articulated their belief in you (remembered others’ prophecies),
  • Your personal values, and
  • The qualities you most hold dear.

Why? So that you can focus on the MOST important opportunities you have.

And now, you are ready to consider your strengths… how you are wired and how that fits in with your great mission statement.

[It’s not too late to start writing your Personal Mission Statement]

You have a personality (though a common joke when I am presenting on this topic is that someone is fearful that they won’t have one).

It could also be said that we are wired to have certain Behavioral Tendencies. Or, we might suggest that a certain percentage of our emotional make-up is genetic wiring.

Whichever way you want to think of it, it is very obvious that we are each unique, and that we fall into similar categories, depending on…

Whether we are motivated by Task or People.

Whether we are Fast-paced or Slow-paced.

Where on the spectrum of each of those we fall.

How that all fits together.

Understanding our “personality” is crucial to our success in life.  Even understanding a few basics about your strengths will clarify your Personal Mission Statement.

 

For a basic, quick quiz to give you an idea of your tendencies, click HERE.  After you choose a few options given, it will give you a percentage of each of four “tendencies” and some suggestions as to how you might want to use your strengths in your BEST ThirdThird.

P R A C T I C A L   E X A M P L E 

At some point, I realized that the BEST use of my wiring was to stop trying to become a “pianist.” I could get to the right notes (eventually), but I could never feel, hear, sense the music like some of my friends could.  Instead of the precise, detailed piano playing that was not a natural connect for me, I  eventually helped to recruit and organize musicians for our church worship team instead.

Basically, while I can fill certain roles with some ability (one-handed piano notes), there are other roles that I can actually flourish in (seeing the possibilities in others).

I have other, more in-depth ways to help you tap into your personality and tendencies, if you are interested.

The Tendencies Quiz is a good place to start but there is so much more to discover about yourself. Contact me or leave a comment here if would like to explore more!

 

Your Values

values

What you do speaks so loudly
I can not hear what you say.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Values is our next focus for this process of writing your Personal Mission Statement.

What you value is an important part of who you are.

It says a lot about how you were raised and how you have evolved, grown, and changed through your experience of LIFE.

It is what has become important to you.

Here is one definition of Values:

“A person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life.”

Some synonyms are: Principles, ethics, moral code, standards, code of behavior.

Use this free workbook page for this part of your process.

The instructions should be clear on the worksheet… select the ones that are most important, then, rank them in order.

The two steps are important, even if tedious to choose and then rank.

Take your time.  Don’t rush.

Figure yourself out.

I do this exercise myself every time I ask someone(s) else to do it.  It makes me think, every time.

  • Do I value being appreciated or respected?
  • Is accumulating knowledge important to me?  (Yes….if it is knowledge to be used in understanding.)
  • While I prefer going to the grocery store without having to add up my costs as I put things in my cart (which I did for many years of raising a growing family on a budget) and while I enjoy having some discretionary funds, neither Financial Security nor Accumulation of wealthy ever make it to my list of 10.

That is always an interesting conversation I have with myself after this exercise.

I have consistency… Spirituality and Faith are always #1; Wisdom, Openness, Self-awareness, a sense of humor are always on my list.

Who I am is made up of what I value.

Tackle your worksheet with honesty and thought.

Choose values you hold dear.