Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Even When It Rains...

This morning was not an easy morning.

Last night I spent almost two full hours listening to one of my neighbors arguing with his girlfriend until about 2:45AM. Already having gone to bed later than usual, I was not a happy camped being kept up for two more hours listening to the argument ebb and flow. However, I finally drifted to sleep, despite a fitful one. This morning, my alarm went off at 8:30 for the first time and twice more after I snoozed it. I finally sat up in bed a little before 9 and looked out my window only to find it down pouring. There I was, sitting in bed, dreading the morning, tired beyond belief from the busy day before and the restless night of sleep--and contemplating just pulling the covers up over my head and not facing the world on this dreary Wednesday.

I was upset, to say the least.

But even when it rains, things don't always have to be miserable. Life can be what we make of it, and regardless of how much I know that I can directly affect my mood by simply thinking to myself. "Today will be a GREAT DAY!" this morning, I was making it miserable by complaining before I had even fully woken up.

So I cut myself a break. That's right--I skipped my first class: a non-majors biology course, and a class I resent to have to take. Despite what you might be thinking, I believe it was a good choice on my part. I was able to take a little extra time to eat my breakfast while listening to the constant rain coming down outside, and I was able to work on some Italian flash cards for the upcoming chapter (a subject I enjoy, unlike biology!).

After an hour of relaxation, I put on my rain jacket, picked up my umbrella, and braved the weather to get to my next class. Although it was cold and rainy, I began to tell myself that this day was going to get better.

Strangely enough, in my Sociological Theories course, we discussed the "self-fulfilling prophecy" of hyperreality. Of course, I may be stretching a little if I include the hyperreality bit, but the concept of a self-fulfilling prophecy on its own was exactly what I had been struggling with the entire morning. I woke up complaining, thinking about how miserable it was out, and therefore made myself miserable. If I had sat up, looked outside, and good things instead, I could very well have had a very different outlook on the day.

It's a learning process. I'm learning the world. And while this applies to the big picture, it also applies to the little things--like waking up with a smile and telling yourself that it is going to be a good day, despite the weather, the night before, and the blaring alarm clock that always seems to ring earlier than you want.

So even when it rains, what do you tell yourself or what do you do in order to ensure that you will start your day off with a smile and a good feeling?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

How Can I Be Happy

I find myself thinking about happiness a lot, recently. It's not necessarily that I am unhappy, but I know that I have been happier than I have recently been, and that I want to get back to that point.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery said, "A goal without a plan is just a wish."

Well, I don't wish to be happy. My goal is to be happy. And therefore I need a plan.

In these upcoming new few weeks I have a number of things to worry about, with the two largest things being exams and moving out of my townhouse--and to say "worry" is an understatement. I'm more than worried, because this semester has been largely more stressful than previous semesters. I am taking six fairly difficult courses, five of which have exams, and all of which cover a wide variety of topics... everything from macroeconomics to biology, philosophy to italian, sociological theories to sociological application. It's been quite a roller coaster, but I'm not about to give up with only three weeks of the semester left.

And so, instead of panicking like I've grown accustomed to doing in the past when things get tough, I'm making a plan--a plan to help me contain my stress and get things done while still maintaining my happiness.

But how can I go about doing this? Well, I've got a pretty good idea. It's just a matter of implementing my ideas and putting them to action.

1) I can cut back on things that are not necessary.
While, yes, I love my over-achieving, highly involved self, sometimes it is important to realize that extra-curricular activities can (and should) take a back seat. Just because I've attempted to join and participate in every aspect of campus life does not mean that I have to exhaust myself with my involvement. Now, don't get me wrong. I do love the things that I participate in, but sometimes a little rest and relaxation comes first. Over the past two years I've begun to realize that I just can't do it all, no matter how much I want to. If it means that I need to miss practice once a week in order to set my homework in order and be on top of things for classes without having to stay up until 2am every weeknight, I'm going to do it. If it means that I have to say no when someone asks me to do something extra for my job, I'm going to do it. Being the person who "does it all" takes a toll, and my happiness is worth more than someone else's opinion of me. Therefore, I'll make an effort to cut back and say no if it means getting an extra hour or two of homework or sleep in.

2) I can surround myself with good people.
This is so important for happiness. I've found that when I surround myself with people who complain about literally every. little. thing. it really begins to take a toll on my own happiness. Griping is contagious. If someone you see all the time does nothing but complain, whine and... I'll say it... bitch about his or her life, you'll find more and more that you're going to complain, whine and bitch, too. Instead, I've made an effort to spend time with people who make me laugh, make me smile, and make me feel relaxed when they enter the room instead of stressed out. I don't want to feel on edge the minute someone walks into my current space--I want to feel happy. And I think I've been able to achieve that by being more in tune to who I choose to spend the most amount of time with.

3) I can stop procrastinating.
Yes, it's difficult not to, but procrastination is a losing battle. Once you start, it's hard to stop, until suddenly a paper is due the next morning and you realize you haven't even read the prompt. So, instead, I'm going to make a conscious effort (and I have been doing so in the past two weeks), to use my time wisely. Instead of spending thirty minutes on Facebook, I'll choose to spend thirty minutes reading from my sociological theories texts. Instead of watching an hour of television, I'll spend an hour going over my Italian flash cards. If I have 40 minutes to spare before a class, I'll head to the computer lab to answer e-mails and work on a reflection paper. All of these sound easy enough to do in theory, but applying them to real life is the difficult part. It means being conscientious about how I spend my time and how much of my time I spend "doing nothing."

These are just three things, out of many, that I know I can do in order to be happier and maintain my happiness in the upcoming weeks when life will certainly get more stressful as exams approach and I begin to start moving.

What are some things you can think of that make you happy and help you maintain your happiness during stressful periods of life?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Temporary Hiatus

I haven't disappeared. I'm simply very busy lately, and haven't been able to schedule posting time.
I hope to be back and running starting in May. So please excuse the lack of posts this past month, and the lack of upcoming posts for the upcoming month.

Until then!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fundraising: Part 5 - Giving a Fundraising Speech

Know your audience. It's important to cater to the group you are speaking to. You need to tailor your speech based on your audience. Are they students, church members, business people? Also, keep in mind what you have in common with your audience. If people feel like they can relate to you, they are more likely to listen to you and keep their attention on you. Even if you think that you have nothing in common, dig deep and find something. It'll pay off (both literally and figuratively).

Tell stories. Pick a story from your experience. Make it heartfelt. Relate it to yourself and your audience. Make them feel compassionate toward your cause, because then they'll be more likely to help you out when you start asking for money.

Don't just talk in statistical terms. No one remembers the exact percentages and numbers. People remember stories. They remember compelling, heartwarming, and sometimes even bittersweet experiences that someone tells them about. Statistics don't put things into perspective for most people. It's better to talk about one person that you met and do know versus the million people you don't know talked about in a statistic.

If you can, use props to tell your story or relay your message. It could be a can of coins, an ice cube in a glass of orange juice, or a ruler. Tell them how every penny counts, how this is just the tip of the ice burg, or how every donation helps inch by inch. No matter how you use your prop, it not only helps your audience remember your story better, but helps you remember how to tell your story, as well.

Be careful with PowerPoints. If you do use a PowerPoint, don't read word for word from it. In fact, don't make your PowerPoint wordy at all. Instead, have photos, because these are more effective than words. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. However, avoid the PowerPoint unless it's completely necessary.

Practice makes perfect. Seriously. Prepare, prepare, prepare! Practice helps everyone, even the most talented of speakers. We all know that public speaking can be scary, so start practicing in advance and get comfortable speaking in front of friends and family if you need to. If you need to, write an outline to keep yourself on track. Speak slowly and deliberately so that people can hear and understand you.

Make it CLEAR how people can help. If you get up and give your speech, but never mention HOW they can help your cause, you're cause is hopeless. Give at least two or three concrete ways people can help, either by donating on the spot, signing up for emails, coming out for a walk, or some other event.

MEMORIZE your conclusion! This is important! You really want to drive home your last point, and you want it to be big, inspiring, and exciting. You want people to walk away WANTING to help you and donate to your cause, so having a killer ending, memorizing it and delivering it like a pro will work to your advantage.

Speak from your heart. Show your audience that you care about your cause. If they can tell you're not "in it" then they won't feel compassion for your cause, because you don't show compassion for your cause. Be honest, be sincere, be passionate. People connect to these traits.

Don't worry about the things you forget once you're done and you're walking away. What's said is said, and that's they best you can do, so don't beat yourself up over it. Instead, write the things you forgot down so that you can include them in your next speech. However, move on. No matter how many speeches you give, there will ALWAYS be something you feel like you left out, so get over it and be happy with how well you did instead.

Additionally, here are some books to read if you're really interested in public speaking:

Say It Like Obama: The Power of Speaking With Purpose and Vision by Shel Leanne
Quick and Easy Way to Public Speaking by Dale Carnegie
Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds

Do you have any home run tips for public speaking? Share your thoughts and ideas in a comment!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Fundraising: Part 4 - Tips For Fundraising

The third topic I'd like to cover in my five part fundraising series is "Tips For Fundraising"

This is an important topic. Not only is it important to know, but it's important to PASS IT ON to others once you know it. Don't hoard information, because if you want others to provide you with the information they may already know, then sometimes it takes giving a little to get a little. So if you have any other ideas, please share them in a comment after reading through!

While fundraising you must keep in mind the logistics.

Who, what, when, where, why and how.
Who is your audience? Who are you trying to target? Who are the people likely to donate to your cause? Who are you giving a speech to, discussing your ideas with, or writing a letter to?
What is your objective? What are your goals? What is the amount of money you want to raise? What is the money going to? What are the CONCRETE DETAILS of your cause?
When are you having your fundraiser? When meaning: time, place, date? When is a GOOD time to have your fundraiser?
Why are you fundraising? Why is it important that you fundraise? Why are you asking people to give you money? Why is it a good cause to fundraise for?
How do you plan to fundraise? How much money do you plan to make? How will your organization's members be involved? How can you get people excited about your cause so they are willing to donate?

Make sure you create excel sheets to stay organized. The last thing you want when you're fundraising is to be disorganized. If people are going to be donating money to your cause, the last thing you want to do is be careless with their donations -- not only because they might not donate again in the future, but also because that could be $20 less that your cause receives, and that's counterproductive.

Be unique in your fundraising. Tailor your fundraisers to the environment you are in. Are you on a campus? At a concert? At a fair or festival for a small town? A church? All of these environments cater to different people, meaning you should, too. Don't just have one spiel and hope it works for everyone. Also be willing to have some incentive for people, such as free food, candy, t-shirts, posters, keychains, or something that you can give away with your logo on it. Not only does that help get your name out there, but it helps people remember you.

I cannot stress this enough. If you plan on selling roses on and around Valentine's Day to raise money, and you want to sell them for a dollar a piece, but you have to purchase them for 50 cents initially, be sure you will be able to sell AT LEAST enough so that you don't LOSE money! If you buy 100 roses, you need to be sure that you can sell at least 50 of them in order to break even, that way, even if you don't end up making a profit, at least you don't lose money.

Know your budget, as well. If you can stand to lose some money (and let's face it, most of us can't) then maybe you won't feel as afraid to risk buying those 100 roses even though you know you might only sell 30 of them. However, knowing your budget helps you (or at least having a treasurer who DOES, and who knows it well) will keep you in the clear of wasting money and losing it to failed fundraising attempts with risky start up costs. Don't overestimate your turnout, because most of the time you won't get lucky and then you'll lose money. Additionally, try to get items donated. If you can find a flower shop that will donate 100 roses instead of selling them for 50 cents a piece, every rose you sell is 100% profit, and there are no start up costs. Donated items make fundraising much smoother and easier, and although it's not always possible, NEVER BE AFRAID TO ASK! It's worth a shot!

Get your name out there by telling a compelling story. Statistics mean nothing to most people, unless you're speaking in front of a group of statisticians. So instead of throwing numbers at people that don't mean a thing in the long run and that are hard to remember, tell your story. How did you get involved? Why did you get involved? What makes your cause important? Make it personal, make it compelling, and make it honest. The money will come. If you provide concrete examples of your time in a foreign country helping orphaned children, that will stir up compassion more than the fact that x-number of children are orphaned in that country.

If you're having a fundraiser, then relate it's theme to your cause. For example, with SHH, you could play some Reggaeton music, serve Baleadas for free food, and maybe have a slideshow of photos from Honduras and the children. Having a fun atmosphere at your fundraisers will engage people and encourage them to donate.

Is your fundraiser catered toward an older crowd who are all (or mostly) going to be above 21 years of age? Than hold a Happy Hour at a local bar or pub. 

Advertise, advertise, advertise!
Put up flyers, create a Facebook event or group, send out written or printed invitations, send out emails on listservs. Let people know about your fundraising event so that you have a good turn out. If people don't know, they won't come, so advertising is IMPORTANT! Viral advertising is probably the most successful kind in today's world. Social networking websites, youtube videos, and listservs can almost guarantee a successful turnout. And don't be afraid to send out a reminder email or invitation. People are busy and tend to forget, so reminders are appreciated (and necessary).

Think about impromptu ways to fundraise, as well. Don't always depend solely on the well planned fundraisers that take months or weeks of preparation. Did a snow storm just come through? Shovel for your neighbors and ask for a donation for doing so. Are the leaves falling from the trees? Rake some yards for a couple of bucks. Is someone looking to paint their fence soon? Offer to do it for them for a small fee towards your organization or cause.
Tournaments (like soccer, ultimate frisbee, flag football, kickball, or basketball) are also great ways to get people out, active, socializing and donating to a great cause! Babysit on weekends for some change for your organization. Start a coin jar, or what I like to call "Spare Change to Change the World."

Even have members of your organization compete in a "77 in 7" game, where pairs have 7 minutes to think of "77 fundraisers." Encourage them to write ANYTHING and be creative! How about bringing the circus to town? Renting out the nicest restaurant in town? Hot air ballon rides? Sure, some of those 77 ideas may be ridiculous and not plausible in the least, but you're bound to get SOME good ideas from the numerous pairs and their 77 ideas for fundraising.

What are some fundraisers that have worked for you?
What has been successful and what hasn't?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fundraising: Part 3 - Expanding Your Organization

There are many ways to expand your organization so that you have more members who are able to help you fundraise. Yesterday I covered how to maintain membership in your organization, and today I will discuss ways to expand your membership.

Recruit, recruit, recruit!

Talk to your friends, family, coworkers, classmates. Anyone who you can think of that will listen. Even if only two people from each group join, that's still 8 more people in your organization than before, and that's 8 more people with ideas for fundraising. Also, don't be afraid to tap the resources of other organizations, even ones you aren't involved in. Go to meetings of other organizations and speak briefly about yours. Maybe a few will decide to join.

Be sure to hold events to get your name out there. Have a table at activity fairs, expos, conventions, whatever there may be in your town or school. That way you are able to talk to people who are already open to looking for new organizations to join and participate in.

Take advantage of Listservs. Different universities and colleges have different regulations, so contact listserv administrators to find out what the rules are. But send out mass emails. Most people probably won't read your email, but there are always some people who do, and those people may be the ones who decide to come out to your next meeting. Listservs can be in all different varieties--classes, other clubs and organizations, offices on campus, departments, athletics, or even the entire university or college. Use these listservs to your advantage and send out an information filled, but brief email. If your email is too long, no one will read it. Make it short, sweet and to the point with all the important and relevant information about meeting times and places.

When you attend events to get your name out there, make sure that your purpose is clear. Have posters, photos, a slideshow on a laptop, and people who understand the mission of your organization there to answer questions. Set up a table during a high traffic time in a main building on campus. Cosponsor events with other organizations. Get noticed!

Be heard! Get out and talk about your organization. Give speeches, talk in front of your class briefly before it starts if your professor allows you to, network with other groups who have similar goals or topics. All of these are great ways to expand your membership.

Hold interest meetings! I stressed this is my post yesterday, but they are really important! People who want to join might feel funny coming out for a regular meeting without really knowing what you're all about, so interest meetings are a safe way to allow people to hear your spiel.

Don't forget to have fun! If you are fun, happy and welcoming people will feel more comfortable approaching you and getting involved! Have socials, movie nights, potluck dinners, etc. These create a relaxed atmosphere where people can get involved while having some fun with food or a movie.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fundraising: Part 2 - How To Retain Membership In Your Organization

The first presentation that I attended for the SHH Fundraising Summit yesterday was called: "How to Retain Membership At Your School's SHH Chapter."

This can apply for any organization or association, however, and not just a chapter of SHH at a university.

Hold interest meetings year round. These don't have to be weekly, but perhaps once every other month in order to allow people to come out and learn around your organization. It's important that new members feel welcome, and interest meetings are a great way to obtain this goal. Create conditions that make it easy for people who come to interest meetings to attend your regular meetings. Send out reminder emails three days before a meeting, and also the night before or the day of so that people won't forget. It's easy to forget meeting times, locations and details, especially if you're as busy as I am, so being the head of your group means that it's your responsibility to make sure new members have reminders. You can also distribute flyers, post signs, market your events, and use social networking sites like Facebook.

Once you get some new members, make them feel welcome. Don't scare them away. Involve them in meetings through icebreakers, where both new and old members can introduce themselves and have fun getting to know each other. Also give newcomers simple tasks that make them feel needed, but be sure not to give them too large of a task, or else they will feel overwhelmed and not come back.

Make sure you have an agenda for your meetings. Have an activity planned. Make the meetings fun and enjoyable, so that people desire to return to upcoming meetings. Plan events for fundraising, socials, or whatever it may be. Get people involved & feeling needed.

Make sure you distribute evaluation or suggestion sheets on a fairly regular basis. Allow members to input their own thoughts about what they life or do not like. Members are full of good ideas for how to make your organization stronger and better, so give them the opportunity to voice those opinions in a constructive way.

Make phone calls instead of emailing every once in a while. This gives your organization a more personal tone, and shows your members that you're interested enough in keeping them involved that you go out of your way to individually talk to them. Have socials, as well, because bonding is important for groups. This gives your members the opportunity to form lasting friendships with you and with each other.

Don't let your members get:

1) Burnt-Out - don't give them too much responsibility, because this can overwhelm them and deter them from coming back.

2) Cooled-Out - don't give them too little responsibility either, because this will make them feel unneeded and again, deter them from coming back.

3) Kept-out - make sure new members don't feel alienated from the group. Involve them through icebreakers, activities, and socials. Avoid inside jokes amongst veteran members, as this makes newcomers feel unwelcomed and "outside" of the circle.

4) Pulled-out - Keep your meetings fun! Crack a joke, have a reflection, learn something new, invite a speaker to your meeting. This gives diversity and variety to your meetings and keeps member from drifting away over time, or pulling out of your organization.

Establish challenging and creative goals. Don't set your sights too low, instead set them fairly high so that way you challenge your members to go above and beyond their perceived "limits." Once you achieve your goal, or even if you come up short, show your appreciate for all of the hard work by sending your thanks to your members, or by holding a social in order to celebrate. Perhaps institute a "Hustler of the Week" award so that each week you can honor a member who went above and beyond the expectations. Keep your group focused on the serious issues, but have fun, too!

Make sure you educate new members about the issues you discuss or the topics you cover. If there is any unfamiliar terminology, define it so that new members can understand what you are talking about during meetings. Discuss the mission of your organization often, so that everyone can be familiar with it.

Increase motivation of your members by allowing them to choose the jobs they want to do. Instead of assigning jobs, give them the opportunity to pick. That way you will gain the most out of the work your members do because they are doing the jobs they enjoy. During your meetings, create an enjoyable and comfortable atmosphere, perhaps by playing relevant music, having a slideshow of photos from past events, or allowing a member to talk about their ideas for fundraising or other goals.

There are so many ways to retain your membership, and these are only some.

Do you have any ways that you retain membership for an organization that you are involved in?
Have you ever started an organization?

Leave a comment with your ideas and thoughts!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fundraising: Part 1

Traveling is fun. You get to learn a lot, you get to try different foods, you get to meet many people.
However, it's expensive.

I've learned that fundraising, especially for service trips, is one of the best ways to help ease the expenses of traveling.

Today I went to the SHH Fundraising Summit at George Mason University in Virginia. SHH (Students Helping Honduras) is the organization I went through for traveling to Honduras several weeks ago over winter break. I was fortunate enough to apply and receive a scholarship for the full cost of the trip (minus airfare and the country exit tax), so that I did not have to do fundraising for this specific trip, but if I want to return in the future, and seeing as how I do want to,  I will most likely have to fundraise in order to afford it.

So todays conference was a great way to brainstorm ideas for fundraising and learn about starting an SHH Chapter at La Salle University.

I went to four of the eight presentations:
1.) How To Retain Membership For Your University's Chapter of SHH
2.) Expanding Your University's Chapter of SHH
3.) Fundraising Tips: Fundraisers That Work, and Fundraisers That Don't
4.) Giving a Fundraising Speech

The other four that I did not have time to attend were:
5.) Raise $600 In Two Hours: Letter Writing Campaigns
6.) Hosting a Successful Skype Chat
7.) Organizing a Service Trip
8.) Raise $40 An Hour By Selling SHH Coffee

Of the four presentations that I did have time to attend, I'm going to post an overview of the ideas from each one in a series of 5, starting with this post as my introduction.

Fundraising is difficult; it is time consuming; it takes a lot of effort, energy and patience. However, it is extremely rewarding. Whatever the cause, fundraising can be a great way to unite your group and create a fun bonding experience if done with enthusiasm and charisma. Although it's tough to fundraise, staying positive and being smart about decision making can make for a pleasant and successful experience--one that group members will enjoy and remember.

I've done a lot of fundraising over the past three years, and I've learned a lot of good and bad things to do. Going to these presentations was a great way to compile others' experiences with my own in order to form new ideas for future fundraising. I've actually enjoyed doing the majority of the fundraising that I've had to do--which is a good thing seeing as it's something that I'll probably be doing for the rest of my life with my tentative possible career choices for my future.

As for SHH, today marked the beginning of our 100 Day Fundraising Campaign to raise $200,000.
$100,000 will go to the Education and Empowerment Fund.
$50,000 will go to a Children's Home.
$50,000 will go to an income generating business center for Villa Soleada.

It's a huge goal, but one that is 100% achievable. There are, as of right now, 34 colleges, universities and high schools pledged to raise money for SHH. It's incredibly empowering to know that we are all working together for this common goal to help the people we all love who live in Honduras in Villa Soleada.

Friday, February 19, 2010

World Recipe Fridays - Afghanistan

It's been a while since my last post, and I apologize for that.
Unfortunately, I've been having a rough past two weeks and haven't had time to sit down and post. I also haven't had much time on my computer because of my commitment to organization and time management for the month of February, as I've been focusing more intently on my schoolwork and reading instead of time on the computer.
However, I feel that keeping this updated is important and should be part of my commitment to organization and time management, and therefore I am refocusing my efforts to include my blog.

I've also decided that I am going to designate Fridays as World Recipe days.

Each week I am going to post a recipe from a country of the world. I'll be trying to keep the recipes as authentic as possible. I'll determine which countries I choose from an alphabetical list of independent recognized nations according to That way if you are interested to know which recipe I will be covering each week, you can follow along from the list I've included here.

The first country I'll be covering is:

Afghanistan is located in the Middle East, or South Central Asia. It is a landlocked country, and it is bordered by Iran in the west, Pakistan in the south and east, TurkmenistanUzbekistan and Tajikistan in the north, and China in the far northeast. 

Afghan cuisine is largely reflective of its chief crops, including wheat, barley and rice. It also includes dairy products like yogurt and whey, various nuts, vegetables and fresh and dried fruits. There is emphasis on seasoning, but typically the food is neither too spicy or too bland. Lamb and chicken are the two most popular meats when available, but are typically consumed by more affluent citizens, as it is expensive, and domesticated animals are valued more for the products they produce like eggs and dairy rather than slaughtering them for meat. Rice dishes are the most widely consumed dishes.

Afghani Lamb with Spinach Stew

  • 2 and 1/2 lb lamb stew meat (preferably leg)

  • 1/3 cup of olive oil

  • 3/4 lb  of onions (diced large)

  • 4 ts of chopped garlic

  • 2 ts of turmeric

  • 1/4 ts of nutmeg

  • 1/4 ts of ground cardamom

  • 1 ts of crushed red pepper (or to your taste if you like it spicier or more bland)

  • 1/2 ts of cinnamon

  • 32 oz of can tomatoes (drain & chop)

  • 1 cup of rich brown veal stock OR 1 cup of rich beef stock

  • 1/3 lb of fresh spinach (wash & drain)

  • 1/2 cup of yogurt

  • 1 tb of grated lemon peel

  • salt (add as much or as little as you see fit, depending on your taste)

  • 1/4 cup of pine nuts (roasted at 350 F. for about 3 minutes)

  • Sear the lamb in the olive oil in a cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven. 
    Add the onions and saute them for 2 minutes.
    Then add the garlic and saute it for 1 minute. 
    Put in the turmeric, nutmeg, cardamom, crushed red pepper and cinnamon and saute the mixture for 1 to 2 minutes more, being careful not to burn the onions or garlic. 
    Add the tomatoes and veal stock and stir.Cover the dish and bake at 350 F. for about 1 hour, until the meat is tender and begins to break up.
    Remove the dish from the oven and add the spinach, stirring until the spinach is wilted and blended in.
    Allow the stew to cool slightly.
    Add the yogurt, lemon peel and salt to your liking.
    Sprinkle with the roasted pine nuts.

    Approximately 4 servings.

    Saturday, February 6, 2010

    Charity Navigator: Your Guide to Intelligent Giving

    Have you ever felt hesitant about donating to a charity? Do you ever wonder how exactly your contribution gets used? Where your money goes? How much of it goes to administrative costs? Does most of your money actually go to the cause you intend to support through your donation?

    These are all valid questions, and should absolutely be considered before donating to a charity. However, it's difficult to determine exactly which charities do the best in terms of using your money for how you intend it to be used. Sometimes the information to answer these questions isn't available through a charity's website, and therefore you're stuck. At that point, the questions comes down to: Do you donate, and risk having a large percentage of your donation go to administrative costs of the charity? Or do you forget making a contribution all together?

    However, there are ways of determining which charities do a good job at handling donations wisely and the way that donators intend their money to be used. Websites such as Charity Navigator help you determine all the answers to those hard to answer questions. Especially recently, people want to donate to charities to help Haiti, and many people aren't considering other implications when it comes to donating--but they should.

    What if you donate $100 to an organization that states it's mission is to help get prosthetics to people who lost limbs from the earthquake, collapsing buildings, and other objects in Haiti. Not all of that $100 donation is going to go directly to purchasing a prosthetic for a person who lost a leg or an arm. There is a percentage of that donation that goes to administrative costs. There is typically also a percentage that goes to fundraising efforts. Yes, you read that right--fundraising. Although it may be hard to believe, it does COST something in order to RAISE more money, so there is a fundraising cost for many charities. Then there are other various expenses that programs also have. And this is all before money goes to the actual program means.

    Charities NEED to have these preliminary expenses, though. It's important for a charity to have fundraising efforts, administrative components, and other program components, because without them, the charity would not exist. However, some charities are much more effective and efficient than others in terms of how donations and partitioned, which is why it's important to RESEARCH a charity BEFORE you donate.

    Using websites like Charity Navigator is a great way to do so.

    So before you give, get informed! It's important, and it's the best way to know that your money is going to do the most amount of good possible!

    Thursday, February 4, 2010

    February: Organization & Time Management

    Already January has come and gone. The "New Year" is already 1/12th over. Hard to believe how quickly time flies!

    Anyway, as part of my Happiness Project for the year 2010, I set up a syllabus of sorts for my year in terms of goals I set for myself. January, which has come and gone, was "Maintaining Healthy Relationships." Just because January is over does not, however, mean that the goal is over. It means that I worked towards establishing and maintaining healthy relationships in January as a start, and that it will now carry on throughout my year, and years to come.

    I feel that maintaining relationships in life is important. It's difficult to maintain a relationship with every person that you meet throughout your life--in fact it's impossible to do so. Think of the hundreds and thousands of people you've met throughout your life. You can't. Because there are far too many to count. However, keeping up to date with certain people is absolutely important. Family, friends, coworkers--all of these people are important people to keep healthy relationships with. If you find yourself in an environment surrounded by the same people day-to-day, it makes work, leisure and life much more enjoyable if you are able to be on good terms with those people instead of awkward, unsure, or even bad terms with them.

    For February, I've set the goal of "Organization & Time Management."

    I'm going to focus on keeping my environment organized. This helps to reduce stress in whatever atmosphere in which you find yourself. If your room is disorganized and a mess, it is much harder to feel comfortable and stress free (especially on a subconscious level). Therefore, keeping a clean and tidy living space is important. The same goes for work space, you car, your yard, or whatever area you spend a lot of time in. Keep it clean. Keep it tidy. It'll pay off.

    I'm also going to focus on spending my time wisely. Instead of wasting time needlessly "surfing the web" or doing other needless activities, I plan to keep organization in the way I spend my time as well. This will also reduce stress, because I'll get my work done ahead of time, affording me more leisure time when I actually need or want it. This will also help me improve my quality of work for classes and other various extra-curricular activities that I participate in.

    It's already 4 days into February, but these goals are certainly doable and important.

    What are your goals for February?

    Friday, January 29, 2010

    GoodSearch & GoodShop

    Interested in helping out your favorite charity?

    Check out, then. It's a great way to do nothing except USE THE INTERNET and donate to your favorite charity! All you have to do is use GoodSearch as your primary search engine, and every time you search for ANYTHING $00.01 goes to the charity of your choice. Imagine if you search 15 things a day (and this is a huge underestimate of what most individuals search on Google or Yahoo! every day) for an entire year. That's $00.15 a day. Multiply that by 365 days, and you just donated $54.75 to your charity without even having to leave the comfort of your office, library, school, or home.

    Better yet, if you use GoodSearch to do your online shopping, a percentage of each purchase ALSO goes to your charity. Looking to book a flight? Search for flights through GoodSearch. Want to buy that cute shirt you've been eyeing for weeks? Check out your favorite clothing store by going through GoodSearch. Want to buy your mom a birthday present, or your grandfather a Father's Day gift? Look for any item through GoodSearch, and depending on how much you spend on those purchase, a percentage ends up going to your charity.

    It's a great way to support, and just as good a search engine as Google or Yahoo.

    Also, don't know a charity you'd like to donate to? Set your charity to La Salle University, and you'll help our Service Trips reach our fundraising goals! We have 5 trips: Estudientes Unidos that travels to Guatemala in May, Project Mapendo that travels to Tanzania in May and June, Blackfeet Montana that travels to the Blackfeet Nation in Browning, Montana in January and May, Habitat for Humanity that travels to different locations throughout the country in May, or Project Appalachia that travels to Harlan, Kentucky in March.

    So what are you waiting for?
    Search today and donate!

    Search the Web Money-saving coupons
    Raise money for La Salle University (Philadelphia just by searching the web and shopping online!

    Thursday, January 28, 2010

    Climb Your Mountain

    If there is something I've learned from my experiences with programs like Outward Bound and the service projects and trips that I do, it's to climb your mountain.

    It doesn't matter what your mountain is--just start putting one foot in front of the other and get yourself to the top. Don't stop. Once you stop, it's hard to start again. Motivation is often a fleeting concept, and if you allow yourself to stop walking forward, you might just decide it's much easier to turn around and head back to where you started--to walk away from the mountain and leave it for someone else to climb and conquer.

    Maybe your mountain is a paper for a class that requires copious amounts of research and annotation. Perhaps your mountain is talking to a person with whom you've had a falling out. Maybe you haven't spoken with them in days, weeks or even months, but there is no time like the present to try and repair what is broken, especially when it comes to relationships. Maybe your mountain is a change in careers. Yes, it's tough. And yes, it's scary. It's unknown territory, and there is that thought of failure that lurks in the back of your mind, but ignore that thought. Go for the career change, and throw yourself into your new work, learning everything you can so that you guarantee yourself success.

    Maybe your mountain is big, or maybe it's small. No matter the size, it's important to keep your eyes on the goal. Push yourself, because even though it may hurt, even though you might face some obstacles and challenges along the way, and even though there may be no one there to pick you back up if you stumble, once you reach your goal, the mountain seems a lot smaller and much less daunting than when you started. Looking at the world from the top is exhilarating, inspiring, breathtaking, and awesome, and you can know that YOU DID IT.

    You made it to the top, and the climb back down is going to be easy going and swift, and so much sweeter. You can do it. You can climb your mountain.

    Thursday, January 21, 2010

    Classes Have Begun...

    I'm taking 5 courses this semester at La Salle. For a while taking 6 courses was a consideration, but I figured with everything else I'm doing it would be too much to handle. The 5 that I decided on all seem interesting so far, although I've only been to 4 of them. I go to the last of the 5 on Monday nights, and since we started classes on Tuesday this week, I have to wait until next week.

    I'm taking "Religion Is..."on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 to 10:50AM. It is a world religions course focused on an analytical approach to religions instead of a catechetical approach. We'll be covering the standard religions of Islam, Christianity and Judaism. We'll also be looking at what, exactly religion is, and we'll be looking at other religions like Hinduism, Buddhism and Indigenous religions. I've heard some horror stories about the class, since many people have taken it because it's a required Honors Program course, but my first impression was pretty good. I know the professor is a strict grader, but I feel like I'll do well in the class.

    I'm taking "Ethical Issues in the Life Sciences" on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 12 to 12:50PM. This course, I feel, is going to be tied for my favorite course, as far as first impressions go. The professor seems engaging and the material of the course is going to cover things like genetical ethical issues, stem cell research, in vitro fertilization, and other such issues that effect the life sciences. It's a small class, only 9 people, which is great, too. I love smaller classes because you get more of an intimate and involved setting, as opposed to my next course which is...

    A Sociology course called "Urban Development" on Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 to 10:45AM. I'm really excited about taking this course. I had the professor for two of my classes last semester ("Principles of Sociology" and "Race Relations"). I absolutely love this professor and I love the material that he covers. I'm really looking forward to this class. It fulfills a requirement for my Sociology major, as well. I also have this professor for another one of my classes this semester, as well, although he is sitting in as a "co-professor."

    That course that he is co-teaching is called "Argentina: Education and Economic Justice - Opportunities for Empowerment" on Wednesday nights from 5 to 7:45PM. It meets only once a week, and is a course I'm taking for my Leadership and Global Understanding minor. I think this might be my favorite course for the semester. It's a great group of students, the professor (and co-professor) is awesome, and the course material is going to be really interesting. We then travel to Argentina over Spring Break for 10 days, which I am really excited about.

    My final course which is on Monday nights from 6:15 to 9:05PM is "Global Art: Art of India, China and Japan." I haven't been able to go to it yet, so I haven't met the professor or been able to gather a first impression, but the material looks interesting, and so I'm excited about it, as well.

    As of right now I'm a Sociology and Art History double major with a minor in Leadership and Global Understanding, but I may drop the Art History completely in order to take electives junior and senior year instead of cramming my schedule full with my degrees. If I continue with my degrees at this point, I'll have no space whatsoever for any other courses, and there are courses in Economics, Political Science and Spanish that I'd love to take. So I'm still debating on what I'm going to do in terms of keeping or nixing my Art History secondary major.

    Sunday, January 17, 2010

    Nature Doesn't Discriminate

    It's hard to keep up with world news while traveling. Internet connection is unpredictable, and TVs are few and far between at times. Cell phones lack service, unless you purchase a phone card specific to the country you find yourself in. Newspapers can even be hard to come by. However, just because you're removed from the media, does not mean that the media ceases to exist.

    This is something I've learned throughout my time traveling both in and out of the United States.

    On Monday in Honduras, after we had returned from the worksite, my three other roommates and myself decided on a shower order. I agreed to go last, because I had baby-wiped the dirt off my arms and legs and crawled into my bed for a short nap.

    I slept lightly and half-listened to the conversations that the others girls were having in between showers. At one point as I drifted more into sleep than conciousness I suddenly felt my bed shaking lightly. I thought that one of the other girls and bumped into the end of my bed accidentally, because the room was small and had four beds packed tightly into it with minimal space for navigating. I ignored the shaking and continued to sleep until it was my turn for a shower.

    The next day at breakfast I overheard someone mention an earthquake that had hit the previous night, and whether anyone had felt it. I chimed in that I had, although I hadn't realized it was an earthquake at the time.

    The quake hit in Southern Honduras, somewhere between the boarder of Honduras and Guatemala, outside the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa around 5:40pm. The earthquake was felt specifically in the western areas and the northern Caribbean cities of Tela, La Cieba, El Progreso, and San Pedro Sula. It was recorded at 4.9 on the Richter Scale, although the effects felt in El Progreso, where we were located, were much smaller.

    Around 5:40pm was the time I felt my bed shaking.

    Thankfully, there was no death toll or significant property damage (although "significant" is a word I'm hesitant to use, because that word probably applies to people with higher incomes who live in more stable housing than the many in the country who live in extreme poverty and live in scrap metal, tin and mud brick houses).

    The lack of damage is good news for Honduras. They already endured a large scale earthquake, recorded at 7.3 on the Richter Scale, back on May 28th, 2009. The earthquake destroyed three bridges, one of which was the main connection between El Progreso and San Pedro Sula over the Ulua River, called the Democracy Bridge. Since then, another bridge has been built directly beside the collapsed Democracy Bridge. The collapsed bridges were in addition to large scale damage and collapse of schools and homes, as well as killing at least 3 people, with other death tolls ranging from 6 to 12 people.

    Unfortunately, only a day after the minor effects we felt in El Progreso from the Guatemalan-Honduran boarder earthquake, Haiti experienced an earthquake 7.0 on the Richter Scale.

    The earthquake in Haiti is something I didn't hear about until Friday, and that is what I mean by "It's hard to keep up with world news while traveling." Returning home and hearing about the destruction that occured in Haiti really struck a chord in me because of the stories I heard about the destruction that occured in Honduras only months earlier.

    One article that I've read gave more information than most about the earthquake. It's heartbreaking hearing about how many people have died, the lack and inability of immediate emergency response, and the destruction of the entire country.

    Nature doesn't discriminate. It levels the playing field and targets people from all backgrounds and walks of life. The archbishop died in the earthquake. Dozens of UN officials are dead, and hundreds are unaccounted for. Thousands of the poor, middle class, and wealthy are dead or missing. The death toll estimates come as high as 200,000 with the count right now somewhere around 70,000.

    It's mind boggling.

    If you're interested in helping, there are numerous ways to do so.
    You can find some information here on how to donate and help the people of Haiti.

    Wednesday, January 13, 2010

    Cheke Leke. It's ok!

    I'm more than halfway through my week in El Progreso, Honduras. It's hard to believe that the time has gone by this quickly. It feels like yesterday I was flying into the airport in San Pedro Sula.

    The time here has been incredible, to say the least. There really aren't words for everything I've experienced thus far. Yesterday we mixed concrete for several hours and began to lay the foundation for the library at Villa Soleada. We finished the entire perimeter, which was more work than any other group has ever done according to Ramon (the village head patron) and Russ (one of the SHH staff members). I was so proud of all the work we did and how much we accomplished. It was incredible watching everyone come together. We had a lot of the men from Villa Soleada helping us, but some of the women and many of the children helped as well. Everyone was shoveling and mixing and carrying buckets of concrete. This one woman (who is probably twice my age and half my height) carried full buckets of concrete while I could only carry half full buckets. I couldn't believe how strong she was. She kept cracking jokes in Spanish, too, as if we all understood. I just smiled and laughed whenever she did, but it definitely made the work easier and more fun. I was surprised at how hard all the kids worked, too. It was definitely a rewarding day.

    I've learned a lot more while being here, too.

    I've learned you cannot throw your toilet paper in the toilet, because the sewage system here can't handle it. This is something we learned the first day here, but it's been hard to remember, resulting in a not-so-fun attempt to get toilet paper out of the toilet and into the trash can. I've also learned that there are lots of of other critters besides frogs in bathrooms. Tarantulas are prevalent at Villa Soleada, along with skinny dogs, chickens, and geckos. The only ones I have a problem with are the tarantulas. Those aren't fun to find, especially when you're digging a trench. I'm beginning to pick up words of Spanish here and there, as well, so little by little I can understand more of what the kids and other people are saying... although it's mostly only words and then guessing the rest of what someone is saying. But I'm ok with it. Communicating is fairly easy with hand motions and my phrasebook. The kids don't care that I can't speak Spanish either.

    We're heading out to a market today, and then to an orphanage. It's going to be different from Por Venir, the school we've been working at, but it'll be interesting to see how different.

    Monday, January 11, 2010

    Things I'm Learning About Honduras.

    Although I’ve only been here for about 36 hours, I’ve already learned a lot about Honduras. Well, at least about El Progreso, although the staff members from SHH tell me that things are similar throughout the country. Anyway, here is what I’ve learned throughout the day.

    1.) If you wear contacts and/or glasses, put them on first thing when you wake up.

    The reasoning behind this lesson follows in #2.

    2.) Don’t be surprised to find wildlife in your bathroom.

    After waking up at 5:50 this morning and stumbling into the bathroom to turn on the shower, and after turning on the shower, I was (un)pleasantly surprised to find a small frog leap out from the hot water knob. Without my contacts in (hence, #1) I thought it was a large spider. Needless to say, I was freaked out. I showered with the frog hanging out on the curtain, because I didn’t know what to do with him… so I let him be. Thankfully, we kept the bathroom door closed throughout the day while we were at Por Venir and Villa Soleada, and I was able to capture the frog with my hat after we got back to Hotel La Cascada. He’s now outdoors, where he’s probably much better off.

    3.) Make sure your camera batteries are charged.

    I speak on behalf of one of my roommates and myself when I say this. If you’re looking to take photos, charge your batteries the night before. Thankfully I have both my SLR Nikon D60 and my Point and Shoot Canon PowerShot SD600. I was able to use my Nikon throughout the day, even though my battery for my Canon was dead. Obviously, I’m charging both batteries tonight so that I’ll be prepared for whatever tomorrow brings.

    4.) Just because you’re offered more food, does not mean you should eat it.

    Yes, the people here take pride in being able to offer a guest food. However, most people don’t even have enough to be offering one serving, let alone more than one. So when a person offers food, eating one serving is showing gratitude, while having more than one is not exactly impolite, but it’s not exactly polite either.

    5.) Not being able to speak a language does not mean communication is futile.

    Communication is often done with language, but it’s certainly not the only way we can understand each other. Pictures, actions, and simply being in another’s presence can be enough communication, especially with children. However, having a translation dictionary and/or a phrasebook never hurts.

    Sunday, January 10, 2010

    Maciso, de Miedo! Cool!

    I arrived in Honduras this afternoon around 12:45pm. It was 1:45pm back home in Jersey once we got here. Our flight took off a little later than scheduled, but it still made good time to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Many of the passengers were Latino/a, and I heard Spanish all around me. As we landed the entire plane erupted in applause. I’ve never been on a plane that applauded at landing, but it was fun. It made me smile and finally get excited about being in Honduras. It was instantly muggy and warm once we stepped off the plane, but it was a welcome change in weather from the freezing temperatures back home in Jersey.

    I can’t really explain well enough with words how I felt once I left the airport with the group from SHH (Students Helping Honduras). We boarded a big yellow school bus (they’re called Chicken Boxes down here…) and watching the landscape out the window pass by as we drove from San Pedro Sula to El Progreso was such a trip of nostalgia for me. I literally felt like I was back in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. There are advertisements on the sides of buildings for the Tigo phone company; there are advertisements everywhere for Pepsi, Wendy’s, and other large corporations. The traffic is not nearly as bad as Kiwawa Road or the other roads we traveled while in Dar, but there are more motorbikes here, and fewer cars.

    There is one other guy from La Salle University here with me, although I did not know him previous to this trip besides a few e-mails back and forth. I met a few of the other people on the trip after we got off the train, and then had a good time talking to and getting to know a few others throughout the afternoon and night at lunch, dinner, a walk around Hotel La Cascada where we are staying, and hanging out with the other three girls I’m rooming with at the hotel. Two of the girls are from Towson University, and the other girl is from University of Maryland. I’m excited to get to know them throughout the week.

    Otherwise we did an icebreaker, and were given a run down of the policies and “rules” for the week, involving “Do NOT flush toilet paper. Throw it in the waste bin. Honduran sewage systems cannot handle anything besides human waste,” and, “Wear sunscreen and bug spray at all times” (for obvious reasons). I’m taking Malarone for Malaria, but Dengue is still a huge risk with the mosquitos, and it’s been raining here for the past two days (including today) and will continue to do so, apparently, for the next two days. In other words, the mosquitoes are going to have a party by the end of the week.

    At this point, I’m tired, but incredibly excited to get to Por Venir (pronounced “pour vi-neer”; the children’s camp we’re working at) tomorrow, and also to Villa Soleada (pronounced “vee-ya so-lee-a-da”; the village that was built throughout this last year). It’s only 9:30, but I’m exhausted from traveling and am heading to bed.

    Updates to follow!

    Saturday, January 2, 2010

    Imagine Yourself... A Leader.

    "The wicked leader is he who the people despise. The good leader is he who the people revere. The great leader is he who the people say, 'We did it ourselves.'"
    -Lao Tzu

    "The Constitution does not just protect those whose views we share; it also protects those with whose views we disagree."
    -Edward Kennedy

    "You may read from time to time the voice of small radical groups. But this voice will not change the fact that mainstream Indonesia will continue to be moderate, tolerant and democratic."
    - Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

    "We cannot turn the clock back nor can we undo the harm caused, but we have the power to determine the future and to ensure that what happened never happens again."
    - Paul Kagame

    "All of us are driven by a simple belief that the world as it is just won't do - that we have an obligation to fight for the world as it should be."
    - Michelle Obama

    "“Preventive vaccines have ended or helped control the most deadly infectious diseases known to man. Finding a vaccine to stop the spread of the HIV virus must be a global priority."
    - Seth Berkley

    All of these people are leaders. They have done incredible things for the world--things like helping to find a cure for HIV/AIDS, restoring peace to Rwanda, and being a voice for those less fortunate or able.

    Great leadership takes great courage, hope, strength, responsibility, and integrity. There are hundreds and thousands of people who do great things for this world. Leaders come from all walks of life and all circumstances. They do things like run governments, lead huge movements, develop astounding technology, and own enormous businesses. But leaders also do things like tutor children who struggle in math after school hours, volunteer at local soup kitchens and nursing homes, write to their representatives about their concerns, and make thanksgiving and christmas dinners for handicapped friends.

    Leaders are great and may be rich or famous or unbelievably intelligent, but they are also wealthy without money, famous without world renown, and intelligent without the best that education can offer.

    Mother Teresa said, "If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one." Maybe individually we can't make a huge difference in the issues we are passionate about. Maybe individually we can't stop the wars that carry on throughout the world--or the wars that our own country are waging. Maybe individually we can't feed the millions of people who starve every day or quench the thirst of the millions of people who have no clean water to drink. But if, individually, we can't do this great things that seem vast and complex beyond our comparisons, then we can at least spread the word to others about the issues we are passionate about, promote peace to others about the wars of the world and of our country, and feed or quench the thirst of at least one person who is hungry and thirsty.

    There are so many ways that people can become great leaders, and it always starts small.

    Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia to a Reverend and his wife. He worked hard to educate himself and relied on his friends and family to help him achieve success. He relied on supporters during his activism. He took advantage of the opportunities that presented themselves to him instead of letting them pass by.

    Dorothy Day was born in Brooklyn, NY to her mother and father, who were middle class, average Americans in the late 1890s. She strongly supported women's rights, pacifism, and equality for all. She made a difference in the lives of thousands despite the fact that she began relying completely upon herself with no monetary help from her parents and struggled to raise a child (Tamar) throughout it all.

    The "Unknown Rebel" who, at Tiananmen Square in June of 1989 during Tiananmen Protests in China, stood before a line of 17 tanks to block their path is an iconic figure who represents courage and heroism to millions. Little to nothing is known about this man, or whether he is still alive, but he is surely an unknown leader who symbolizes the Everyman and gave hope to watchers.

    These people could just have easily led lives where they chose not to do the courageous things that they did. They could have made decisions to lead quiet lives, hidden from the eyes of the public. But instead they stood up for what they believed in. They spoke up and found people to rely on and support them. It's certainly not easy to do the things that MLK, Jr., Dorothy Day, or the "Unknown Rebel" did. It's not easy to do things that Jesus of Nazareth, The Dalai Lama, Christine Lagarde, Nelson Mandela, or Gordon Brown did and still do.

    However, taking small steps and again, as Mother Teresa said, "We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love," and that is how great leaders are made. They begin by doing small things with great love.

    Friday, January 1, 2010

    My Happiness Project

    There's a blog called The Happiness Project written by woman called Gretchen Rubin.

    I've been following her for two months or so, now. I love her posts. She has a tip day every Wednesday, which always has awesome tips. Her book also just hit the shelves recently, and I'm going to be looking into purchasing it.

    Anyway, the reason I bring up her blog, is she's been talking about New Years Resolutions a lot lately. Her concept of making resolutions is really interesting, and I've decided to try it out.

    I want 2010 to be a smoother, more organized, and happier year. 2009 was good, don't get me wrong, but 2010 will be great.

    My breakdown of goals is as follows:

    January - Maintaining Healthy Relationships
    February - Organization & Time Management
    March - Mindfulness
    April - Exercise & Nutrition
    May - Spirituality
    June - Family
    July - Relaxation & Fun
    August - Work
    September - Energy
    October - Attitude
    November - Friends
    December - Final Touches & Overview of Year

    I've already started with January and Maintaining Healthy Relationships.
    My overview of this goal is to be honest and open with people to the best of my ability. I want to confront situations and find solutions to any problems so that I can avoid problems arising in my relationships with people, whether they are family or friends. I want to be able to talk to people and be genuine with them, and listen to them when they talk to me. I want to form better relationships with people that I meet, as well.

    I'll update each month with the overview of each new goal for every month.

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...