A Work in Progress
Thursday February 28, 2013

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First of all, I want to thank you for your patience and delay in this week’s motivational Monday post. Even though today is Thursday, I thought it fitting to save this week’s until today as it is my birthday.

Today I am 34.

And I am thrilled to be 34 and feel fortunate for the life and lessons I have lived through thus far, thankful for where I am today and excited about where tomorrow will lead as I am confident while there will be challenges, there will also be wonderful moments to celebrate as well.

Birthday’s always prompt me to reflect, analyze and set goals, so when I came across the quote above, I couldn’t help but ponder my answer to the question it posed.

After all, perfection while not attainable, when understood as striving for our best self is something that can’t help but allow our answer to the above question to be YES!

It should ease our minds to know that we will make mistakes constantly along the way. After all, if we wish to grow we must try new things, and in the process we will become bruised as we are very much like a toddler trying to walk. But unless we try, we will never grow. We will never improve.

Today I’d like to share with you a few ways to continue to grow, improve and change as we all continue down the path of becoming our best selves that our old selves will most certainly be proud of. Have a look:

1. Read nonfiction. Learn how things function, work and once were. Allow others’ time, energy and experience help you to avoid unnecessary mistakes and setbacks.

2. Let go of what you don’t use (household) and what doesn’t support what you value (people, responsibilities, etc). By doing so you opening up the door to new experiences, more time and less stress.

3. Travel.

4. Master your thoughts. When we adjust our attitude, we adjust our perception of the world we live in which allows us to see things differently. And when we see things differently, we see new opportunities, new inspiration for creativity and more hope that indeed the life we are trying to create is possible.

5. Keep a gratitude journal or simply keep a journal.

6. Eat lunch outside when the weather becomes lovely once again. It is amazing what basking in the sunshine, hearing the birds and squirrels dither about can do for our psyche in the middle of a work day or plopped in the middle of a delightful weekend.

7. Become determined to learn one new thing each day. Whether it’s learning a new vocabulary word (mellifluousadj. sweet or musical; pleasant to hear. “She had a mellifluous voice.”), or becoming more acquainted with a new law that is on the ballot in an upcoming election, consciously choose to invite more knowledge into your life.

8. Stop complaining. When we complain, we actually invite more negative thoughts into our minds, squeezing out our attempts at becoming optimistic and hopeful. Think of it this way, if you can do something about whatever it is that is frustrating you, do it, don’t complain. And if you can’t, keep your mouth zipped.

9. Take control of your money. Set a budget, reduce or stay out of debt, eliminate unnecessary expenditures. (See TSLL money page. Full of posts on just this topic.)

10. Use only cash for purchases. Upon having to actually see how much money you are paying for something, you are less likely to fork it over so quickly and absent-mindedly.

11. End multi-tasking. While many things may get done, they aren’t typically completed with high-quality results.

12. Leave your cell phone out of the bedroom when you go to bed. My friend recently shared with me that she has every member of her family leave their cells in the kitchen upon going to bed. We need our sleep, and often we get in our own way of a blissful night’s slumber.

13. Take a look at your schedule for the following day the night before. Organize it in such a way that is feasible. Eliminate any tasks that are unnecessary. Each day should be very much goal-oriented as well as it includes small steps that we take to reach our larger goals. Knowing what to wear, how early to get up, when a bit of exercise can be squeezed in is often sabotaged by not planning ahead.

14. Eliminate eating processed foods. Read Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us to discover the grip processed food companies have on our eating habits and health.

15. Spotlight one food that sabotages your eating habits and eliminate it cold-turkey today. For me it was cookies. I used to be able to eat a whole batch in very little time. Deadly! Now, only on vacations do I let myself enjoy, and I never bake them anymore.

16. When in discussions, keep in mind, raising your voice doesn’t mean what you have to say is more important or deemed right and someone else’s opinion wrong. Easier said than done, but with practice, it is a tremendous ability to have in your arsenal.

17. Stop comparing your life to others. You may look to them for inspiration, but not competition.

18. Ascertain what you are passionate about and pursue it without delay.

19. Give compliments freely, but make sure they are sincere and specific.

20. Associate and work with people who inspire you and whom you respect.

It is the little events, at-first-glance small steps that we make each day that create a life we can look back on and smile as we realize how far we have come. Today, pat yourself on the back for how well you have done thus far, and always know that you can always learn something more to polish your best-self. Have a wonderful Thursday everyone.


~Take Time to Reflect & Gain Reassurance

~Remember to Spread Your Wings

~Why Not . . . Read? (a three part series)

34 thoughts on “A Work in Progress

  1. happy birthday! your blog is a daily inspiration to me right across the world from you, hope you had a fabulous day x

  2. Many Many HAppy Returns of the day Shannon..May God gives you everything you wnat in life. My heartfull wishes..Have a very good day and a beautiful life ahead..Hugs xoxo by Diya..

  3. Love this list! And yes, it does motivate me. The very first item on the list is something I practice all the time. I am a voracious reader and much of it is nonfiction.

  4. First off Shannon, Happy Birthday! Next I have to say that this list is absolutely perfect and to the point. We should all print this out or write it down on a pretty piece of paper and post it where we can see it everyday as a constant reminder.
    Cheers to a wonderful day, hopefully your pups got you something nice 🙂
    xoxoxoxo Carrie

  5. Happy, Happy BDay Shannon,

    Your blog is a ray of sunshine in my snowy February.
    May health and happiness always be with you. Don’t be afraid to dream…BIG !!!!
    All the best from another Pisces
    Hugs from the Winter wonderland

  6. Happy Birthday Shannon! I hope you have a wonderful celebration. Enjoy your thirties – they are a wonderful time in a woman’s life.

  7. Happy Birthday, Shannon. Today is my birthday, too. Though it’s been a while since I’ve been 34, I think your suggestions are spot on. It’s good to see that some people still care about the quality of their lives. It’s not always the destination, but the journey as they say. Thanks.

  8. I wish you very happy birthday! And wanted to thank you for sharing your beautiful inner world with your readers. I come to your blog almost everyday , at times anxious and sad , but always leave with a smile and some sort of plan of action how to solve the problem. Jennet

  9. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Shannon!!! On this most special day I wish you all the joy, peace, and love in the world. Thank you for always sharing your wisdom, insight, and style with us all. I pray that this is the best birthday yet <3

  10. Wishing you all the best on your birthday!! Your blog is my fave and I love to visit and I find that sometimes the post of the day may not have any interest to me but I find that they always do for you write with a quality that everyone (at least me) can relate to 🙂
    Enjoy the rest of your special day.

  11. Happy Belated Birthday fellow Piscean!! My BD was the 25th. To feel fortunate and thankful for one’s life, especially in the context of current global struggles, is life reaffirming. I do hope your birthday was simply luxurious. And… thank you for giving us this wonderful blog to look forward to.

  12. Happy Birthday! Thank you for this list. I am trying to work on #9 and #18. I have some feelings of guilt and shame associated with money but I need to master money in order to move forward with the life I desire. This has been on my mind for awhile and I would like to get moving.

  13. Dear Shannon,

    I wish you, (sorry to be a little late) a marvelous, and splendid birthday.

    You are one of the most brillant bloggers that I ever read on the net.
    I wish to tell you you are an amazing, refined, cultivated and extremely smart young woman; I do read your blogs every day : you bring so much sunchine into my world.

    Thank you for this. thank you for being you!
    You are amazing!

    Happy birthday,


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