The 5am Workout for the Lazy, Excuse Makers like Me



I mean seriously, who REALLY wants to get up and work out in the morning?

Well there are some.

When I worked out religiously at 5am, there were people waiting in a line at the door 10-15 minutes before they opened.  They would sit on the curb and chat with each other.  I really don’t know what the ham sandwich they talked about, because I was still in the front seat trying to snatch a few more zzz’s.  It was just too early for all that.

A few months back, I talked about getting back to the gym after another long hiatus.  I also talked about firing my trainer.  All that coupled with the winter, I was the queen of L-A-Z-Y!

In the last few weeks, I have been slowly (emphasis on slow) getting back into the game. I know the key is getting up early and working out before work, but I am just so tired and sleepy…and my head hurts just thinking about it.

But I have to do it.

One, I just need to.  Secondly, I just pulled out my summer clothes and I’m pretty sure most of them don’t fit (just keeping it real).

With that being said, the focus of this post is not so much on what to do at the gym, but how to prepare for early and frequent workouts.


Where does the time go!

Now for the anal and super-organized people reading, this won’t be such a struggle for you. You know how to maneuver and create time.  You still might not get up, but I have every confidence the time WILL be scheduled.

But for those of you that are not organized, have a lot of responsibilities or have those crumb snatchers (your children) waiting for WHATEVER, this might not be so easy for you. You ain’t trying to hear NONE of this.

Oh, don’t let me forget about the middle, night shift or entrepreneurs (you think you’re slick).  You also need to start your day (whatever time it starts) with some exercise.

Now, I am not a morning person (and actually not a night person either; yes, issues galore), so this whole working out in the morning is not a sexy concept for me either.

However, after studying highly productive and successful people, the common denominator is that they FIND and MAKE time to do those things that will bring success. Additionally, highly productive and successful people value their time.  Time is that commodity that we cannot get back. That time has to be planned out.


 “One of the most important keys to Success is having the discipline to do what you know you should do, even when you don’t feel like doing it.” - Unknown


At the end of the work day, the average person is like a roach when you turn the lights on; they want to get out of dodge.  They are tired, ready to go home, have a glass and sit and relax.  In a lot of cases, people have another job or overwhelmed with other tasks that require their personal attention.

The last thing they are thinking about is working out.

With that being said, for those of us that want to make working out a priority but have a ton of stuff to do, it needs to be done before going to work. Otherwise, you’ll get distracted and use that as another lame excuse.  The T.V. is one of the biggest culprits of stolen time.


Benefits for working out in the morning:

  • The obvious: You get it out-of-the-way!  You don’t have to go later in the day unless you choose to.
  • Get your energy back. I doesn’t make any sense to combat fatigue with working out and getting even more tired, but that’s how it works.  If you are consistent with that, the fatigue converts to bursts of energy.
  • A regulated metabolism. Once you get on a roll you will actually feel your metabolism burning. When you feel hungry, your body physically needs food.
  • You start your day fully alert energized.  Unless you are one of those chipper morning people, it usually takes at least an hour to get going at work. I usually have a little extra bounce and am a bit more hype than usual when I work out in the am.  This annoys the heck out of my students when I greet them in the morning (they say, you were at the gym today weren’t you?). You just can’t win with these guys…
  • Check out these articles for more info10 Reasons to Exercise in the Morning, Morning Exercise for Weight loss, and 6 Benefits of a Morning Exerciser


Preparation is the Key!

When you prep your meals for the day, it pretty much has to be done ahead of time.  When I am on my A-game, I usually cook up everything on a Saturday or Sunday.  I am one of those people who can eat the same thing for breakfast every day so it’s not a big deal.


Food for breakfast, snack(2), lunch for the week

For breakfast, I usually have steel-cut oatmeal, two slices of turkey bacon and a boiled egg.  This meal is at least 18 grams of protein, which is especially good if you are lifting weights.

Steel-cut oatmeal is much better for you because it is minimally processed and it holds better. I put it in small containers and put a layer of almond milk on the top.  When it is reheated it fresh as the day you made it.

The turkey bacon is in wrap-and-seal, two to a sleeve.

The second photo shows what would go in my lunch bag for the day: oatmeal, bacon, egg, a salad with grilled chicken or salmon, a cheese stick, a smoothie (made from scratch to cut down on processing and unnecessary sugar) and a bag of nuts.  There is also a bottle of water and a pack of Emergency.  I put everything (except the

Breakfast, snack (2) and lunch for the day

Breakfast, snack (2) and lunch for the day

water) in the bag the night before with freezer packs.  In the winter, I just put it in the car the night before.

For more details and specifics on weight loss and strategic eating, read my post The 45-day Detox is on. Eat a Biscuit for Me.

It seems like a lot of prep time, but once you get it down you can get it done fast while you are doing something else.  Then when the week comes you can just grab the items really quick and put them in the bag.

If you are prepared, it dramatically cuts down on snacking and eating something that will totally ruin your efforts for the day.

I frequently over-pack so if I don’t go straight home from work, I have some type of snack or meal to hold me over until I get home.


 “Life has two rules: #1 Never quit #2 Always remember rule # 1.” - Unknown



I hope that you will consider working out in the morning (whatever time fits your schedule), whether it’s a few days a week or every day.  The benefits far outweigh the annoyance of getting out of your bed at some God-awful hour.

You can make that time, even those of you that have small children (yes, the excuses can stop now).  Check out my girl Stephanie at Team Fit Mommy and she will show you how it’s done.  Actually, you can join us on her “30 Day Plank Challenge” for the month of May (the ladies and the fellas).

For those of you that are still not convinced and just the thought of getting the gym to look through the window is a task in itself, the video below is just for you.




If you like this post you’ll love:


What are your thoughts on this post?  What are workout tips or tricks do you have to share? Let discuss so make your comments below!


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Happy Easter

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Homeless woman leaves toddler and infant in car for job interview: Right or Wrong?


mom crying

If you’ve watched the news in the last few weeks or are on social media quite frequently, you have seen this picture and heard about this case.

It is the case of a Phoenix woman, Shanesha Taylor, leaving her two children in the car to go on a job interview.  A passerby saw the children in the car sweating and crying.  The police were called and the children were removed from the vehicle and taken to the hospital. When the mother returned to her car 45-60 minutes later, she was greeted by the police and questioned.  She allegedly stated that she is homeless and couldn’t find child care.

There are a ton of articles for and against this case.  Some state that she is not homeless and lives with a parent.  Some say she had family in the area and was either estranged from them or too proud to ask for help. Some even questioned if she actually had an interview.

I’ve spoken with friends and co-workers( of diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds), particularly women with children to get their thoughts.  They were all torn and couldn’t provide a concise answer.

So as the old folks say, let’s eat the meat and spit out the fat.

These are the facts:

  • Mom left her 2-year-old and 6 month-old in a car unattended
  • It was very hot in the car and the children were sweating. Click here to see the dangers of child heatstroke.
  • Mom went back to the car when she finished what she was doing.
  • It is clear in every article that I have read that she didn’t intend to abandon or harm the children.
  • The children appear not to have suffered any injuries.

Everything else is left up to our opinions, biases and interpretations.

So for the purpose of this post, let’s assume she is homeless, didn’t feel she had someone to watch the children and didn’t intend the children harm.


You can make bad choices and find yourself in a downward spiral or you can find something that gets you out of it.“ -Ray LaMontagne


There has been an outpouring of support for Ms. Taylor and a woman has put together the Shanesha Taylor Fundraiser. There was a goal of raising $9,000 to assist her in raising bail.  The total raised has reached $101,000 and is set to be used for an attorney, court fees and items related to the children and shelter.

There is a section on the site that contains comments and of course a hot debate is brewing. One of the commenters named Karen had this to say:

“While I can certainly sympathize and empathize with Shanesha …. I was a single mother of four ….. leaving a 2-year-old and a 6 month old alone in a car in the heat, with the keys in the ignition is just WRONG! I have 3 dogs and wouldn’t do that to them, let alone a child …. and for over an hour??? If it was not for an apparent passer-by who saw the children ‘sweating profusely’ who called the paramedics, those children might not be with us today. Rewarding bad behavior only encourages more bad behavior. Ms. Taylor should have rescheduled the interview to a day and time when she would have had childcare available rather than risk the lives of her children….which is exactly what she did, and why her children were taken into protective custody and she was arrested.”

This is where I will sit for a few.

I was kinda with Karen until she got to the section in bold.  It is clear that ”Karen” comes from a background of privilege.  She probably has had no real struggles and has no clue of what’s it’s like to live in poverty.  If indeed this woman was homeless and is desperately trying to find a job, there is no re-scheduling of anything.  When you are fighting for your life each opportunity is seized when it comes.

Unfortunately, her opportunity resulted in making a terrible choice. But haven’t we all been guilty of making a bad choice? 

Oh, I’m sorry.  This is the part where we get self-righteous and say that we make bad decisions, but not decisions like that.

What I can say after 19 years working with children and families in the school system and ministry, coupled with my recent personal drama, I am making a concerted effort not to judge people.  People have a lot of ish going on in their lives and you would be amazed at the things that people have to endure to survive.


People do make mistakes and I think they should be punished. But they should be forgiven and given the opportunity for a second chance. We are human beings.”           -David Millar


The real issue

What needs to be identified is not the issue of right or wrong, but what put her in the predicament where she felt her only option was to leave the children in the car. Once the root of the problem is discovered and dealt with, a plan can be put in place to deal with everything else.

A recent episode of Oprah’s Life Class with Iyanla Vanzant showcased the issue of guilt with a woman who was driving drunk with her two children in the car. One child ended up in critical condition when she ran off the road and slammed into a tree.  This clip tells her story and the root of her issue was revealed.




There will be repercussions in regards to Shanesha’s actions.  This could show up as probation, parenting classes, jail time or losing her children.

She made a bad decision and her children are unharmed. Mom deserves a second chance.  My prayer and hope for her is that she is surrounded by people who have her best interests at heart, get her through these trials and take her to the next level.

At the end of the day, I’m rooting for the kids.  Why make their lives any more difficult? If that means the best thing for them is to get their mom back, so be it.


Let’s have some candid conversation about this issue or anything else related to decisions that had to be made in dire circumstances.  Weigh in and leave your thoughts in the comments section below.  All responses are valued!



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Reflections and Appreciation while on the Grind…


If you read my last few posts Un-Stucking ThyselfUn-Stucking Thyself…Some More and Covert Operations, a Broken Penis and Grandma you know I have been on a serious grind for the last few weeks trying to take my blog to the next level.  And I’ve been running hard!

With that being said, I decided to dedicate this post to the many people who I’ve gleaned from over the past two weeks. They took time out of their busy schedules (when they could have charged or ignored me) to share some nuggets and words of wisdom.

I wanted to show my appreciation because so many times, we take, take, take and don’t give back. So my form of thanks is giving them some free advertising and exposure. I would encourage you to click on their sites and subscribe to their social media pages.

Surround yourself with people who are going to lift you higher. -Oprah Winfrey

Listed is what each person does, specialty areas and inspiration provided. Clicking on their name will direct you to their site or page. If you must skim, each profession is listed right after their name and you can do your thing. So here goes:

People I already knew:

Laney Johnson- Certified Public Account, Financial Analyst and Management Consultant and does a ton of business in the world of finance with a number of my friends and associates. She does my taxes and consults with my business endeavors. If she can’t do it in integrity, she’s not doing it. Period.

Tameika McPhaulrising motivational speaker, coach and author.  Does a lot of work with teenage girls in the area of self-esteem and motivation. She is my competition but took time to school me on being a beginning speaker. She also introduced me to two impactful individuals below. She is releasing her new book Confessions of a GLAMfident Woman in a few weeks so check out her promo!

Carl Shaw (Coach Carl)- former college-mate and rising motivational speaker, coach and author. Specializes in the area of educational leadership, parenting programs and creating motivation in school-aged children. He is my competition but took time to school me on being a beginning speaker and developing fee negotiation strategies.

Dr. Bob Jarvis- the Director of Equity Leadership at the University of Penn.  I have worked with him over the last 7 years in relation to an annual leadership conference that he hosts for middle and high school aged students. He has a passion for creating leaders and a strong sense of community.  He works with and contracts tons of motivational speakers.  He allowed me to pick his brain regarding the world of speaking.

Solomon Edmonds- established graphic designer with over 20 years of experience working with corporations, mega churches and various other small businesses. He is my go-to person for logos and book covers. He served as my mentor in my graphic design days (last 15 years) and always has an awesome nugget to share.

Andrea Lawful-Trainer- established motivational speaker and trainer in the area of education.  She specializes in training school administrators and teachers, as well as mentoring and workshops for teenagers.  She taught me that you should always put yourself in the position of being the teacher or being inspired.

Dr. Deidre Anderson- established motivational speaker, coach, author and strategic planner with over 20 years experience serving an adult clientele. She is my go-to person for ensuring that my life and plans are in sync. She took an hour out of her schedule this week to help me sort out my short and long-term business goals. She was instrumental in getting me out of my last phase of un-stucking.

Darrell Andrews (Coach D)- established and passionate motivational speaker, coach and author with over 20 years experience.  He specializes in training school administrators and teachers, as well as mentoring and workshops for teens. He sparked my interest in the area of motivational speaking and authoring books. He took time out of his insane schedule last week to school me on being a beginning speaker and taught me that the fee charged is not always the most important aspect of taking on an engagement–it’s the impartation that you are providing to your audience and expanding your market base.

People I met through connections:

Renita Bryant: A professional blogger in my niche area.  I stumbled upon her blog as a guest poster on Paul C. Brunson’s blog.  I in-boxed her on FaceBook (FB) on a whim because I wanted to know how she began guest posting.  She provided me with a ton of tips in that area and many others. She provided me with some encouragement and hunted down some useful links. She is my competition but took time to help a stranger.

Robin Devonish Scott (the Self Publishing Maven) Met her through Tameika McPhaul and was scheduled to attend her self-publishing (books) seminar, but ended up getting personal coaching over a period of 3 sessions instead.  She is very personable, focused and knowledgeable (her workbook is the TRUTH!).  She is the inspiration of this post of appreciation (yes, I was listening!) and demonstrated the importance of using Skype for business (I didn’t have an account before I met her) and having a moniker.

Lucinda Cross: Met her through Tamika McPhaul (and Robin Scott).  I emailed her to get information about her services and an upcoming mastermind group.   Her assistant had already sent me a very detailed email that answered all my questions, but within a few hours after the email was sent she made it her business to initiate personal contact and spent 30 minutes on the phone answering questions. Who does that?

People who don’t know me…yet

Amy Porterfield: I saw a post on FB and became a participant in one of her webinars.  She is an expert in the area of social media, specializing in FB marketing.  If you are interested in knowing the ins and outs of FB and learning strategies to market your brand, subscribe to her site and jump in on her webinars. I purchased one of her FB programs and have begun implementing some of her strategies on my fan page. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Matt Wolfe & Bradley Will: I saw a post on FB and became a participant in one of their webinars.  They are experts in the area of blogging and social media, with emphasis on FB and YouTube.  If you are interested in learning how to monetize your blog or website through the use of social media, these are your guys. I will be using a few of their tips after this post is executed and they will let me know if it I did them correctly (and I’ll let you know when they let me know).

Paul C Brunson- This guy is a professional matchmaker and is my social media crush!  I’m not at all interested in going into the area of matchmaking, but any and everything related to blogging, guest posting, coaching, mentoring, FB marketing and reader engagement this guy does sooo well. He is a branding genius! I am on his site just about every day and will be using his site as a template for the direction that I want to go. Also, one of my goals is to be a guest poster on his site…so look out for me!

People never improve unless they look at some standard or example higher and better than themselves.” -Tyrone Edwards



My intent with this post was to showcase the power of connections and utilizing people in your own network. Additionally, I wanted to stress the importance of moving outside of your comfort zone to meet new people and learn new things in the area(s) you are striving to improve.

I was hesitant to contact many of these people for help but like I said in my last post, iron sharpens iron.  When you are hungry for something, ‘you gotta do what you gotta do to get to the places you gotta get.” You must be strategic and take initiative if you want to succeed at anything.

See you at the top!

 Let me know if you appreciated this post by commenting below.  Did you find any of these sites helpful?  Do you have any connections that you want to share?  Let’s engage!




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Covert Operations, a Broken Penis and Grandma





Ok, so my mom officially retired– actually today is her last day.  Last Sunday, her job planned a surprise recognition  party for her. I call myself flying down to Atlanta on Saturday and ‘hiding out’ at my sister’s house (here I am ‘hiding’ at one of my favorite spots in Atlanta–Jim & Nick’s).

She works at her church, so I really couldn’t go anywhere because you never know who you’ll run into and spoil it right before service. We purposely got to church late and sat in the back.  After my mom was recognized, we met up with her in the hallway to surprise her.  She says ” Hey, I figured you were here.”

Now let me park here for a minute.

That is really annoying! She takes pride in the fact that she always figures stuff out and you can’t really get much past her.  I wish she would have figured to call me and tell me that she knew I was there.  I could have hung out in ATL on a BEAUTIFUL 70 DEGREE DAY, partied a bit and slept in a bed instead of on my sister’s couch. I’m just saying.

Ok, back to the story.

cajun_creole_cookingThe retirement dinner was at this really cool Louisiana style restaurant called Pappadeuxs. So, I sit next to dad who is in front of the pastor and his wife.  Not a big deal as I have known him for almost 20 years.

I went to the bathroom and when I came back in the room there she was.  I totally forgot she was coming.

Dad offered her his seat and my fate was sealed.  I had to sit next to grandma for the night. So much for the enjoyable dinner.

Before you judge me, remember my birthday post and my mom’s birthday post.  You just never know what she is going to say, like some random comment about my weight.  I gained back about 6 pounds since I last saw her so I was doomed.  We do our hugs and pleasantries and sit down.

Then the pastor says something to her and she makes some deep comment which included the word Jesus and did this super deep church nod.  I just rolled my eyes. Great, she is going to sit with the pastor and talk about Jesus all night.  Not that I have anything against Jesus, for the record I think he’s pretty cool. But at that very moment all I was concerned about was getting into the business of eating crawdads, shrimp, and a slew of Cajun dishes. It just wasn’t the time for all that.

Luckily, the pastor is not deep like that either so somehow, somewhere the subject changed to something else. Maybe somebody warned him about her. I am sure he was ready to get into the business of eating too.

Dinner was FABULOUS and grandma enjoyed the whole dinner—except for the “string beans.”  It’s ALWAYS the green beans.  I asked her what was wrong with them this time. She leans over and whispers “This is how white people like them.  They’re not cooked all the way.”  She frowns up her face.

Now, I didn’t have the heart to tell her that white people are not the only ones that like nutrient-rich vegetables.  She packed up her food and I didn’t see the beans on the plate.  I asked her what she did with them and she leans over and whispers ‘Cook them some more.  Gonna steam them.”  WHY IS SHE ALWAYS WHISPERING???

She looked at me like she was going to make the situation right.  I just looked and was like ‘yeah, just go ahead and make it that much harder for your bowels to move.’green-beans-almonds-new

The hilarity ensues…

Since grandma didn’t reference any weight loss or gains over dinner or on the ride home, I just knew we were clear of shenanigans.

My sister and I had to get her home quickly to relieve the caregiver with her sister, Aunt Lillian.

Aunt Lillian is 4′ 8″, petite, and 70 lbs dripping wet, but don’t sleep on her. She is that heavy-handed aunt that you always avoid hugging because she will take your back out.  With extreme excitement, she would grab you tight and proceed with a series of quick, open-handed smacks.  You have to be really strategic when you hug people like that because if you don’t tighten up before they strike your back it will sting for like 10 minutes. She also is the one that usually gives you a dollar and has some stale, chewy peppermints in some old glass bowl that stick to the wrapper.

Well, she has Alzheimer’s now so none of that is going on. As the caregiver (an older woman) gave us the run down on how Auntie gave her drama when she tried to touch, bath or help her get dressed we just shook our heads.  She then told us that she is as strong as an ox and can eat like 5 men.

Then it Begins…

Don’t ask me how the conversation moved to the caregivers last job in urology, but she started telling us a bunch of penis stories. Yes, penis stories.

It was kind of like listening to Bubba from Forrest Gump talk about all of his shrimp recipes. She told us about the black ones, the white ones, the long ones, and the vasectimized ones (yes, I know that’s not a real word).  She must have had super respect for privacy because she didn’t tell us about any little ones.  My sister and I laughed and snickered at first, watching the golden girls just chat it up.

She told us about the famous athlete that stripped butt-naked before she asked him to. Then she tells us this story about how this couple came in together and how the woman tried to explain how she broke it. I won’t go in to full detail, but it involved something being too long, her being really tall and not maneuvering correctly. Grandma howled.


Then she takes joy in telling the couple what it would take to fix it.


Then she told us it’s not a bone and how it breaks because of the muscle, tendons, ligaments, etc. I was like, can’t he just drink a protein shake?


By then my head hurt and I sat there with my head in my hand.  The lady asked me was I embarrassed.

*Crickets and blank stare*

She said ‘Weren’t you were married before’ and I said yes.  She says ‘Oh, then you’ve seen penis’ a number of times.”  Grandma just howled again.  I was like ‘REALLY!”  I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want them to ask me how many I had seen.

The traumatic part to this was not the conversation about the penis, it was the fact that grandma was just howling and laughing through all these stories.  I mean, I thought her dentures were going to just pop out of her mouth. Seriously, what happened to that sweet old lady that used to teach me how to sew and gave me graham crackers and juice?

But this took the focus off my recent weight gain, so I endured the next 10 minutes of the penis conversation and her howling.


All Jokes Aside…

Congratulations mom on your retirement!  I’m sure the lanyard with the keys to the kingdom is off the neck and sitting in the tray for the next chick. Go to church late and leave when you want.

Bake all the cakes, cookies and pies you want. Plan parties and baby showers all over town.

Sit with your bag of Lays with half of the bag cut off with a glass of Coca Cola classic. Continue to tag all of us in these random things you find online that none of us have time to look for. Take all the time in the world to go on FB and create a bunch of nothing like this veggie thing on the side.  Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

If you liked this post, you’ll love:


 I’d love to hear your comments on this post!  

Your favorite “old people” stories would be great too!



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Un-Stucking Thyself…Some More




Please don’t drop Nichole Renee!


The feeling of productivity after you have tackled a huge task is something that can keep you so energized and accomplished you want to keep going and take it deeper.

But how can you keep the momentum going?

This week’s post will focus on the last bulleted item in my last post Un-Stucking Thyself. It deals with surrounding yourself with people who keep you motivated.

Having these people in your corner is one of the most important things that you can do to keep yourself going after you begin the process of “un-stucking.”  It’s just too easy to go back to where you were.

I know this to be true because I had many of these people in my crew, especially as I have traveled through my divorce.  I can’t tell you how they have literally saved my life.

So with that being said, I have identified four (4) groups of people who should be in your support system:

People that ALWAYS have your back

These are your most obvious choices.  Most of us have that person in our lives that gives us some really great advice and is our #1 cheerleader.  Your parents. Your favorite uncle. Your mentor. Your homie. Your girl. Your ride-or-die folks. When your butt stinks they will tell you and when you need some motivation they will push you hard.


If you ever want to know who people really are, watch and see how they treat people they think they don’t need – T.D. Jakes

Support from those you LEAST expect

There are times when things happen and there is some random person that helps you with something. It may manifests itself in the form of a quiet person at work that may fix your computer, or somebody who you really don’t like (and knows you don’t like them) that may help wrap up a project.

In my case, I was talking to a lady named Donna at my church. I don’t know her that well, but we are friendly and chat sometimes. She’s that person in the audience that is co-signing and encouraging the pastor while he is preaching. Just a ton of energy and passion.

We were talking about struggles that we’ve been having over the last few weeks.  As I told her about my struggles with low motivation, she weighed in.  She really didn’t tell me anything that I hadn’t already heard or told anyone myself, but it was the timing, passion and enthusiasm in which she spoke that moved me to action. She’s like Coach Carter on steroids.

I went home that day and put my un-stucking into action after that conversation.  I didn’t need to watch Iyanla, Tony Robbins or watch one of those inspirational sports movie.  I had talked to Donna.

That conversation gave me the fuel that I needed to take control of my week and get some major things done. Click here to see what I accomplished.

People who you don’t know or hesitant to ask

At some point, we need to involve people in our goals to get to the next place.

I don’t know why most of us hate asking people for things.  I guess it’s innate or maybe a pride thing. We probably fear rejection, appearing needy or we just feel stupid.  Sometimes we just don’t know what to say.  Sometimes we think that we have no right asking the person.

Just as a starving person with no money has to go to someone to get food so they won’t die, you must do the same.  If you are really hungry for success, your cause will die if you don’t get resources.  In these times you’re forced to ask for help—from anyone who will listen.

A few summers ago, I went to a leadership retreat through Klemmer & Associates. The pic above involves me scaling this 20+ foot wall (yes, that’s me being pulled up). Every person in the group had to get over the wall which entailed the first person being pushed up as high as the tallest person could lift and the person being limber enough to reach the top and pull themselves up.  Interestingly enough, it was a woman.  She then had to help pull guys up and put together a process of pulling everyone over the wall.

The most interesting thing to see was the group working together to make us feel confident that they wouldn’t drop us, particularly the larger folks.  We all had that fear of dropping or being dropped. But as each person went over the wall, both sides gained more confidence that the task would get done.

There are times in our lives where we are dependent on other people and we have to ask for help in order to get the task accomplished.  Otherwise, it won’t get done.

This picture sits on my desk at work as a reminder, especially when those hard times come.


    If you want to stay fit, surround yourself with a couple of chicks who are fired up, so that the one day you’re not, you can feed off their energy. -Gabrielle Reece

Divine Appointments

There are times the perfect mix of people and a stirring message creates a divine appointment. It happens when you are in the right place at the right time. You may never be connected with these people again, but the impact of them can last forever.

Just about every spring, I find myself at some conference or workshop where I get so inspired it keeps me going for months.  Last week, I attended a Saturday field trip for girls interested in careers in technology.  I wasn’t really interested in the subject, but just wanted to support the kids and help out the folks sponsoring the trip.

At the end of the day, the six young ladies from my school gave us a run down of their day, the workshops they attended and were very descriptive and detailed about what they saw and heard. They smiled from ear to ear and were beaming as they talked.  They said they wanted to start a “Coding Club” at our school.  I was shocked. I told the girls that I had a basic concept of coding and they proceeded to break it down to me with their techno jargon. They sounded like they really know their stuff.GETT 2


When these young ladies spoke you saw the wheels churning and their eyes beamed. The energy and passion that poured from these young ladies was very moving. They found themselves that day and it was very refreshing to see.  It reminded me of why we do what we do as educators and was officially inspired.

Three of these girls came to my office first thing Tuesday morning and with and with authority said ” Hi!  We are going to start the coding club (not “can” we), we already have an advisor, we have already been in contact with someone from the conference who will send us information on how to start the club. So what needs to be done next?” I was in awe-again.

My dad has a quote, “You can’t let her/him fail.” So, yes another teacher and I will be assisting the advisor.  None of us of know anything about coding, but we are going to help these take-charge chicks! These young ladies have moved us because they been inspired and made a decision to make it happen.  Just like that!

And we thought we were teaching them something. Ha!


Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its brevity. -Jean de la Bruyere

Your Time is NOW!

Determine the people that have your back, the ones that you least expect, the ones you are afraid to ask and your divine appointments.  Don’t let my students make you look bad!

Remember, the key is controlling your distractions. From last week’s experiment,  I have now adopted the process of only watching one (1) hour of TV from Monday morning through Friday afternoon during the school year.

For more on focus and determination, check out these posts:

Happy Un-Stucking!  I would love to hear your success stories as you go through this process with me and so many others.  No story is insignificant. Also, If you have some tips that have worked for you in the past, make sure you share in the comments section below.

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