Tag Archives: time

Creating Your 61-Day Plan

iGnite - how do you spend your time

Point to Ponder:
How will you spend the last 61 days of 2015?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Whew, It’s November! And who doesn’t love November? Delicious temperatures, daylight savings (more sleep-YAY!), fall clothing, colorful foliage, and of course, time with family during the Thanksgiving holiday. While all of this makes my heart really happy, I get heart palpitations when I think about having only two months, i.e. sixty-one days left in the year, yet so much to do! How did that happen?!

I subscribe to several blogs and recently Austin-based Life Coach and Speaker, Renee Trudeau posted an excellent article on not only defining our life vision, but more realistically defining a vision for the next 90-days. In our case, that is the next sixty-one days, and because last week we determined what we’ve had enough of and will not include in our 2015 finale, the next step is to define and be intentional with how we spend our time throughout the next sixty-one days. Renee suggests these two questions for helping define your vision:

  1. What is uniquely mine to do? and
  2. What is the best use of my energy and talents in the next sixty-one days?

What I appreciate about Renee’s intentional strategy is the practicality of focusing on ninety or sixty days. It’s not overwhelming because I can actually see, feel and touch this time frame. In addition to answering those 2 questions and getting in the right frame of mind, Renee also recommends setting aside time in a distraction-free peaceful setting where you can create the following lists:

  • List all activities that fuel you (activities that give you energy, nourish you, and make you feel alive)
  • List all all activities that drain you (create physical tightness or discomfort in your back belly or neck every time they cross your consciousness). Often these “drains” are things like a financial issue that must be handled, a touchy conversation that you’ve been avoiding having, a disorganized office space at work or home, or a career issue that needs to be addressed

Address the ‘drains’ with an aggressive housecleaning mindset, giving yourself three options for handling each energy zapper:

1) “Just do it:” Set a deadline for when you can complete the project
2) Delegate It: Ask for help if needed, or outsource the task
3) Dump It: Walk away from the task or decide it isn’t going to happen (at least not in
the next sixty-one days)

Ultimately, the goal within the next sixty-one days is to not let life “just happen” or be filled with random action, enery-suckers and unfulfilling activities. Instead, let’s get the most out of it and make it great by striving to be prayerful and intentional about how we use our time, energy and talents. We can do this!

Action Item:
Create your 61-day plan by completing the activities suggested by Renee Trudeau:
1. Answer her 2 questions for defining your vision
2. Create your “fueling” and “draining” activities lists
3. Assign your “draining” activities one of the 3 categories above

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‘Enough is Enough!’

iGnite - remove the unnecessary

Photo from this summer’s iGnite Escape in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Point to Ponder:
What have you had “enough” of? What are you wasting your time and life on?
What keeps you running on the treadmill to nowhere and is keeping you from living your life, being fully present and feeling great?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Recently I ran across a motivating radio show series called “Enough is Enough,” and as I listened, I became more inspired to also declare what I had had enough of in my life.

In last week’s journal I shared my realization that my current purpose/mission changed from what I originally thought it would be at this time. Prior to this, I was running myself ragged and trying to live up to the ridiculous expectations I placed on myself, which led me to declaring that ‘enough was enough!’ of letting my ego be my north star. ‘Enough was enough!’ of giving into the lie that my controlling ways were better than turning everything over to God in prayer. ‘Enough was enough!” of screaming at my kids and not being a present mom because I was stressed out of my mind due to believing that I needed to do more and was not enough unless I was multi-tasking and focused on accomplishing a million things.

So, what have you had “enough” of? What types of things are consuming your time and energy? What keeps you running on a treadmill to nowhere and is keeping you from living your best life, being fully present and feeling great? Because women share similar heartbeats and the human experience is not unique, here are some ‘enoughs’ that instantly came to my mind and might resonate with you too:

Do you struggle with living up to the expectations of others and are too hard on yourself? Are the people you are spending the majority of your time with life-suckers rather than life-givers? Do you live on an emotional roller-coaster because you are too involved in your children’s lives, care too much about the opinions of others, make too many assumptions and take everything personally? Have you neglected your needs and are not getting enough sleep, healthy food, adequate hydration and exercise? Have you busied yourself, are completely stressed-out and therefore your words, interactions and body language are negative, cold and argumentative? Do you no longer attend church or have a day off for faith, family and rest because your children’s extra-curricular activities have taken over or you’ve replaced it with more work? Do you wrestle with control and worry too much? Is your financial situation and spending out of balance? Have you placed a higher value on work and outside commitments and as a result neglected the needs of your spouse or the people you love? Have you bought into the lie that God didn’t create you “enough,” and therefore you have low confidence? Do the destructive emotions of shame, fear and doubt control your life? Do you reject the love of others or can’t trust others because someone didn’t love you back or violated your trust? Do you procrastinate or keep putting off what is necessary and important in your life?

With only a little over two months left in 2015 (EEK!), I want us to be intentional with the way we spend the remainder of our year by declaring and writing down the “enoughs” in our lives on this printable worksheet. By doing this, your spirit will give you valuable knowledge and information about what you are willing to accept in your life. This level of awareness and information will minimize the chances of transferring negative actions and emotional garbage into 2016 and will promote healthy progress by adding what’s necessary, rich and wonderful into your new year and life!

Action Item:
Be intentional with the way you spend the remainder of your year by declaring and writing down the ‘enoughs’ in your life on this printable worksheet.

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It’s Your Season, It’s Your Purpose

iGnite - living with purpose

Point to Ponder:
Do you struggle with defining or finding your purpose, feel confused about your life, or feel fearful that there isn’t enough time left to do what you want to do?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Since moving to San Diego, my life has drastically changed and taken a 180 degree turn. I do not yet have any friends here, and except for taking Durant and Malaine to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays and tending to my iGnite responsibilities and duties from afar, I don’t have any commitments either. I won’t lie, when talking to the iGnite leaders, family, and friends and occasionally peeking at Facebook and Instagram, I experience bittersweet emotions. It stinks to be on the outside looking in, missing out and not able to take part in what I’ve created in iGnite in Austin. I have also experienced extreme withdrawals from my addictions: the “being busy addiction,” “having places to go addiction,” and the “feeling needed and wanted” addiction. There are times when my ego screams so loud that I find myself taken over with feelings of inadequacy and the desire to busy myself just so I can feel important and accomplished again. Then, finally, it dawned on me that not only was my evil ego in my way, but what I was really struggling with the most was my purpose.

With the help of Martha Lynn Mangum, iGnite member and business coach, reminding me that our society inundates women with the destructive message that if we aren’t working 60 hours a week, involved in a million organizations, committed to regularly volunteering, acting as the home-room mom, and only taking two-weeks of maternity leave, or just tending to our own or our family’s and community’s needs, that we aren’t enough. Pu-lease! Don’t get me wrong, I believe in having a passion and purpose outside of our family, but not at the expense of jeopardizing our marriages, not being a present mom to our children and neglecting our relationships. Looking back, while living in Austin I definitely tip-toed into those zones and was drinking the toxic Kool-Aid. This is my destructive tendency, and I have to consistently check myself to make sure I am being counter-culture.

It has been a very long time since I have wondered about my purpose. While living in Austin, my family, friends and iGnite were absolutely my purpose and they kept my heart pumping fast and hard. Originally, I thought starting iGnite in San Diego would be my first purpose-filled project, but now I’m not so sure about that. For now, I’m declaring that I am on a prayerful, peaceful, intentional purpose-finding mission project. I’ve narrowed my purpose down to:

  1. Learning how to become a fully-attentive, loving and supportive wife to Russell (which is hard to admit because of my strong will, pride and independence)
  2. Appreciating this colorful and unique time I have with our preschool-age children and being a fully attentive and fun mother.
  3. Remotely supporting and leading the iGnite team, the iGnite members and our efforts to iGnite Austin and impact, inspire and empower every woman to live a healthy and purpose-filled life.
  4. Taking the time to get on my knees everyday and pray for myself, my family, my friends, iGnite and anyone I know who is in need of prayers or who I told I would pray for them. While I am a faithful person, embarrassingly my prayer life has been pathetic, and I’m tired of being lip-service only. Please let me know if and how I can pray for you. Seriously!
  5. Becoming involved with our church, The Rock, and serving the San Diego community.

I must confess that while I’m feeling content with my new purpose in San Diego, there is sooooo much I want to do in my life! For example, I want to write a book, I want to be on the speaking circuit and I want to grow iGnite so that women all over the world can iGnite in a positive and inspiring community. I wanna, wanna, wanna! And with that said, I get nervous and afraid that I am going to miss my opportunity, run out of time and miss out. But, thankfully, for the first time in my life, I found a Bible translation that I can actually understand called The Voice, and it’s teaching me about patience. Even though Adam, Pharrell, Gwen and Blake aren’t quoted in it, I have learned so much! One of the things that has been glaring is how late in life God uses people. Of course he uses children, like when He used David to defeat Goliath when David was only a teenager, but for example, Noah, Abraham, Sarai (Abraham’s wife) were waaaay past their “prime,” or what we today consider our “prime.” Granted, people back then lived longer, but by human standards, they were still considered old, and they fulfilled God’s purpose for them much later in life.

I recently watched a special on television called Try, Try Again where John Stossell chronicled the lives of great inventors and authors who not only failed before having success, but were also “past their prime” before having any success and fulfilling their purpose. Just to name a couple: Julia Child was 50 before writing her first cookbook, and Harland Sanders (a.k.a Colonel Sanders) franchised his first Kentucky Fried Chicken at age 62.

All in all, I write this journal not to go off about my personal purpose journey, but rather to encourage anyone who is struggling with defining or finding their purpose, feeling confused about their life, or fearful that there isn’t enough time. For sure we all sometimes feel a sense of urgency because we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, but fear cannot be the reason why we do or don’t take action. Instead, remember that there is a season in life for everything and that our purpose can evolve, morph and even change. Sometimes we’re in a season of action, and other times we’re in a season of self-reflection, contemplation and quiet. Regardless of the season you find yourself in now, when you weave in prayer and intention, you will without a doubt be led down the right path and your fruit will be ripe.

Action Item:
Remember there is a season in life for everything and that your purpose can evolve, morph and change over time. Approach your season of life with prayer and intention.

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Forever Forward, Never Back

iGnite - go forward, never back

Point to Ponder:
Do you ever find yourself living in the past?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

From September 3 through last Tuesday, September 15, I’ve had company staying with my family. Knowing that I was in a new city with children while my husband Russell was traveling, my father, stepmom, mother and sister all made special plans to come out and be with me on and around my birthday. And, unbeknownst to me, my dad, who is a total worker-bee and can’t sit still unless he’s quickly eating or watching a sporting event, had a specific agenda: to help get us out of boxes and settled into our new house. A.k.a. WORK!

It was wonderful to see my family, and I was so thankful to have them, but by Tuesday I was eager to get the kids and I back to a routine (a.k.a. CONTROL!). The time for exercise, uninterrupted time, responding to thirteen days worth of email and an opportunity to tackle my ever-growing personal and professional to-do list had finally come, and after dropping my children Durant and Malaine off at pre-school on Tuesday, it was MY time!

I planned to take a quick walk around the neighborhood near the kids’ preschool and then go to a yoga class. It was sprinkling outside, but the idea of walking in a light rain sounded delicious. Just before heading off, a dear friend called so I grabbed my phone to walk and talk.

The friend asked how I was doing with our recent move, and I told him I was struggling. I expressed that I was not questioning God’s plan, however the greatest challenge has been adjusting to no longer having an amazing community of family, friends, and support (CONTROL). And, having felt so purpose-filled in Austin, I was struggling with finding my purpose in San Diego, which was why I was clinging to my life in Austin. He listened intently and having moved a lot himself, he validated my feelings and gave me some helpful advice: take baby steps forward, take care of me, and don’t compare my life in San Diego to my life in Austin. It was a new time and I needed to work on slowing my brain down and releasing my expectations. I agreed with everything he suggested, and I proudly told him that today was the day that I was going to focus on Neissa — hence the walk and yoga class.

During my walk, the sprinkle turned into a solid rain—so much so that my eyes burned from the little bit of eyeliner I was wearing. I was totally fine with this because I had clothes to change into, it was MY DAY, and San Diego needs the rain. So, within twenty-five minutes I was back at my car to grab my yoga mat and a change of clothes when I realized my worst nightmare — my purse, wallet, and work bag with computer, day planner, mail, and work notebooks were all gone. They had been stolen! My driver’s license, expired passport, credit cards, check books….gone. It was ALL gone, including MY DAY! “My day” quickly turned into the misery of filing police reports, canceling bank accounts and credit cards, calling pawn shops and driving around with the hope of finding my things lying around the area.

As you would expect, “the day of me” and getting anything on my to-do list accomplished was no longer an option. I won’t bore you with the un-fun details of trying to get an California driver’s license when you have no form of ID except a paper copy of an expired driver’s license, a paper copy of your birth certificate and a Costco card, but what I do want to share is what I learned through the process, as I think it can be universally applied. I’ve had to find reason and some glimpse of positivity in this incredibly frustrating experience. Ultimately, I think it relates to our ability to shine throughout life, as I wrote about a couple weeks ago in It’s Time to Turn On Your Shine.

4 Things I’ve Learned the Hard Way:

  1. For starters, my work, technology and to-do lists have been and are my idols. They give me purpose and security and keep me distracted. Upon realizing that all of my things were taken, it became absolutely clear that God was telling me to let go, trust in Him and let Him take over. Do I think He made this happen? Of course not. Bad things happen to good people every single second of the day, but He knows that I am feeling completely out of control and have been clinging to every thing that makes me feel safe and secure. I shine when I find comfort, hope and security in God rather than things.
  2. Second, while it is a terrible and sad inconvenience, it’s actually nice to have my to-do list stolen! For the first time ever, I’m not busying myself with it and frantically trying to find time on my computer so I can respond to emails. And, you know what? Life is going on! I actually thought I was that important! Yes, I am skimming email on my phone, but I’m not checking email on my phone and computer. It’s actually liberating! Will I get another computer? Of course, and I pray I can recover everything I lost. But for the first time, I am giving myself a real break– because I don’t have any other choice. My poor kids actually get a focused mom. I shine when I am a present mom, wife, friend and person.
  3. Third, you must keep moving to survive. Always go forward, never back. I actually wrote down this quote weeks ago in a notebook…that was of course stolen from my work bag. I heard the words from the goofy kid movie “Shark Boy,” and for weeks I’ve thought about how perfect the advice is for our move from Austin to San Diego, and most recently, how I’ll deal with recovering my stolen items…and really for any of us who struggle with living in the past or comparing our present to our past! As for my recent move, it’s critical that I stop looking back and comparing my life in Austin to my life in San Diego. My spirit will not survive if I continue to do this. I have to move forward every day. Regarding my stolen possessions, I so badly want to live in the past and cry over what happened, dwell on it and talk about how unfair it is, but again, I won’t survive by doing that. I have to move forward, take baby steps and make progress in the recovery process. What’s done is done. I can’t change it and there’s no looking back. Just as with life in general, our past does not define us! Thank goodness we have evolved and aren’t the same people we once were. Most importantly, we will not survive nor thrive unless we focus on our future and on becoming who we need to become and are created to become. Our past has been given to us for memory’s sake and to give us wisdom — but not to live in. Sometimes our past can motivate us, but too often we get stuck in it and are unable to move forward and appreciate what we have right now. For women specifically, we are usually desperate to be the same weight as we were pre-children, on our wedding day or at some point when we were younger. I get that, but that’s no way to live and thrive. I think we would be better served and our bodies would respond in the ways we are hoping for if we treated it with more appreciation and gratitude. We beat ourselves up — thinking we need to look how we used to look. That is torture, and the antidote is to always look forward. We shine when we give thanks and appreciate what we have.
  4. Last, within one hour of the theft, iGnite leaders and dear friends Kathleen Parker and Catherine Sanderson randomly called. It was so comforting and calming to hear their voices. Then, I immediately texted the iGnite Team, informed them of what happened and asked for their love and prayers. Knowing they were praying and sending me love made a significant difference in my attitude and spirit. I knew this before, and I continue to be reminded of the importance of community. You can’t have enough community and supportive friends. We shine in community and are #strongertogetHER!

Action Item:
Remind yourself that your past has been given to your for memory’s sake and to give you wisdom — but not to live in. Look forward only. Appreciate and be present in the now.

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The Magical Bank Account

“Yesterday is a cancelled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is the only cash you have – so spend it wisely.”
– Kay Lyons

Point to Ponder:
Do you see your time each day as valuable?
Action Item:
Make every second of your day count by filling it with all things life-giving and worthwhile.

About Neissa

by Neissa Springmann

I assume that daily you come into contact with the same brain, posture and time sucking machine as I do. If you don’t encounter this phenomenon, I’d like to talk to you and know how in the world you keep the internet and your email from literally gluing your rear-end to the chair and making you feel like you need EVERYTHING that’s new or on sale at every store in town!

Emails and the internet can certainly be overwhelming, however more often than not I am extremely thankful, as they serve as incredible devices and have made the communication process convenient and infinite. Furthermore, every other week or so I’ll get an email that strikes me as “forward-worthy” and last week a friend sent me an email of this caliber. I enjoyed the email so much that I feel it necessary for everyone to read, so here you go:

Imagine that you had won the following prize in a contest:

Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400 in your private bank account for your own use. However, this prize has rules, just as any game has certain rules.

The first set of rules would be:

  1. Everything you didn’t spend during each day would be taken away from you.
  2. You may not transfer money into another account. You may only spend it.
  3. Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,000 for that day.

The second set of rules:

  1. The bank can end the game without warning; at any time it can say, “This game is over!”
  2. The bank can close the account in an instant and you will not receive a new one.

What would you personally do? You would buy anything and everything you wanted, right? Not only for yourself, but for all of the people in your life, right? Maybe even for people you don’t know, because you couldn’t possibly spend it all on yourself and the people in your life, right? You would try to spend every single cent, and use it all up every day, right?

Actually, this game is a reality, but not with money!

Each of us is in possession of such a magical bank. We just don’t seem to see it.

The MAGICAL BANK is TIME!

Each morning we awaken and receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life, and when the day is done, any remaining time is gone and NOT credited to us. What we haven’t lived up to that day is lost forever. Yesterday is forever gone.

Each morning the account is refilled, but the magical bank can dissolve our account at any time….WITHOUT WARNING.

SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds? Think about that, and always think of this: Enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than we think. Take good care of yourself, and enjoy life. Live each day to the fullest, be kind to one another, and be forgiving. Harbor a positive attitude and always be the first to smile.

Honestly, I really can’t think of a better way to start the week than to be reminded that the time we’ve been gifted is precious, unrepeatable and not guaranteed and if we view the time as money we’d wake up eager and happy to spend it in all kinds of fun and wonderful ways. SO, let’s do it! As soon as you read this email start by spending every ounce of our 86,400 seconds with all things worthwhile and life-giving such as: smiles, fun, family, friendships, laughter, love, light-heartedness, freedom, health, prayer, travel, forgiveness, words of encouragement, acceptance, new beginnings, hugs, kisses, an open mind, empathy, joy, a giving heart, adventures, new experience, and taking action on your dreams and goals. Of course you can spend your 86,400 seconds on anything you desire, though I urge you to not waste your invaluable time on fear, doubt, complaints, excuses, regret, what if’s, whys, worry, apathy, resistance, negative people and procrastination- these are time and life suckers.

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Love is Spelled T-I-M-E

DSC_4572

When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.

-Rick Warren, A Purpose Driven Life

About Neissa

by Neissa Springmann

For as long as I can remember I have been wired to work. From a job, to exercise, to filling my plate with busy to-do’s, achievement in the form of action has been my mode of fulfillment and success. Eight years ago and upon marrying, my husband hinted that he’d appreciate me stopping to spend time with him before crashing in bed. I would honor his wishes out of necessity for our relationship, but I still felt the itch to move and do. In addition, when I wasn’t “achieving” or sleeping, I would feel a sense of guilt.

Now, eight years later, some wisdom has set in and time has become my primary love language. While I cherish the time I specifically set aside for my husband and son, I still struggle with the ridiculous guilt from not working or doing. In addition, and because I have figured out my busy predisposition, I have put in place rules and boundaries around this time. For example, I try to avoid my phone and computer because the second I look at either I am doomed. One missed call, text message or email can immediately change my focus from “T-I-M-E” back to achievement mode.

Since having put in place my self-imposed “time laws,” I still experience guilt (which is a waste of time and I must get over it), but my relationship with my husband is the most healthy it has ever been. Please know that I am not boasting as this is step one of a million-mile journey, rather I’m indicating that I am a work in progress and understanding the true value of time.

Now, more than ever, our lives are infiltrated with seemingly innocent distractions. From 515 television channels, never-ending commitments, and the world-wide web, if we aren’t careful our time is consumed with these things and not with what is most important. Side note — isn’t it ironic that the internet is called the “web?”

In conclusion, I leave you with a monumental excerpt from The Purpose Driven Life and wish you a week and holiday season filled with T-I-M-E.

I have been at the bedside of many people in their final moments, when they stand on the edge of eternity, and I have never heard anyone say, “Bring me my diplomas! I want to look at them one more time. Show me my awards, my medals, that gold watch I was given.”  When life on earth is ending, people don’t surround themselves with objects. What we want around us is people – people we love and have relationships with. In our final moments we all realize that relationships are what life is all about.

—————————–

Point To Ponder:
Are your relationships your first priority?

—————————–

Action Item:
Determine who you need to start spending more time with and make the necessary sacrifices to fulfill this relationship.

 

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How To Get A Better Night’s Sleep

Image

by Catherine Hearn

by Catherine Hearn

How much do you love these extra hours of sunshine in the evening?! However, if you’re at all like me, that now means not winding down until much later in the evening, going to bed much later and consequently getting less sleep! It is a natural progression with the later daylight to feel more energized later in the evenings, so now more than ever we have to be extra careful to ensure we still get adequate zzz’s to maintain a sane and clear mind!

So exactly how much sleep do you and your family need?
According to The National Sleep Foundation:

  • School-age children (5-10 years) need 10-11 hours of sleep daily.
  • Teens (10-17 years) need 8.5-9.25 hours of sleep daily.
  • Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep daily.

Easier said than done, right? We know how you feel. Here are some helpful tips from the Cooper Institute to make those better sleep habits become a reality:

  1. Exercise in the morning. New research suggests that exercising in the morning helps improve quality of sleep more than exercising in the afternoon or evening. If you can’t exercise in the morning, finish working out at least 3 hours before bedtime.

    Morning workouts help improve sleep quality

    Morning workouts help improve sleep quality.

  2. Establish a regular sleep and wake time, even on the weekends
  3. Create a regular, relaxing bedtime routine about an hour before you plan to sleep (soaking in a hot bath, listening to soothing music)
  4. Avoid alcohol and caffeine close to bedtime
  5. Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet and comfortable
  6. Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime
  7. Use your bedroom only for sleep (do not watch TV, use a computer, or read in bed)

Incorporate these tips in to your routine and you’ll be counting sheep in no time!

JOIN THE DISCUSSION- What evening rituals help you get to sleep better? 

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