a simplified life · encouragement · Path of Peace · Simple Living · simplify

Begin with the End in Mind

How often do we neglect developing new habits because we think a positive outcome will take too much effort? Or maybe we start to improve our lifestyle only to give up prematurely because we don’t get what we want fast enough. It’s easy to allow today’s challenges to become tomorrow’s excuses.

Have you wondered how you became  a member of the Start-Big-Finish-Small-if-at-All-Club? Perhaps, you’ve set targets that are difficult to reach. Often, the pain of disappointment may leave you feeling burned out with little desire to follow through. Remember, you do have options. The breakthrough you’ve needed could be to practice thinking small to help you transform your life.

Often, we may be full of ideas and eager to establish a new plan. We may soon realize it’s easy to bite off more than we can chew. We want rapid success and no hitches. The size of the task and the time it takes to get there may make it tempting to throw in the towel. It may be frustrating trying to determine the best steps as opposed to just doing more believing this equates to doing better. By focusing more on the here and now, it is easier to find a steady pace that is easier to adjust to. Besides, it worked for the tortoise!

Whatever you hope to gain in your endeavors, you need to decide precisely what it is you want, and be specific as you define what exactly it is you hope to achieve. Reflect in why you desire this outcome. Goals are often more “real” if they are written. Decide what is a reasonable length of time to realize your desire and be realistic. Make it measurable so you will have a target at which to aim. Once you have a clearly defined idea of the what, why and how long to reach your goal, you can break down the entire process.

Here are a few tips for breaking it down into bite-size pieces:

1. Brainstorm all of your options and determine what can be divided into smaller, detailed steps. Each task is a stepping stone towards achieving your end result.

2. Simplify the action plan. Think of the steps as actions. When you understand what actions are needed to achieve your desired result, you can pull these together into a plan.

3. Establish daily and weekly tasks. When you create your action plan, work out a series of targets that you believe are possible to reach on the way to your goal. Keep it simple with many small victories to keep the momentum.

4. Keep on track. The small-scale approach is flexible and allows for instant changes.  Continue tweaking and completing the simple tasks so the end result will be well within your grasp.

5. Focus on your daily actions plans and not so much on the end date. Like the tortoise, concentrate on one small step and repeat consistently.

6. Master the art of delaying gratification. Though you may be tempted, avoid trying to rush things and bite off more than you can chew. Refer to the reasons why you want the desired goal. Concentrate on where you are in the journey, and not on what’s next. Reflect on how far you’ve come and what a waste it would be to throw in the towel.

In order for us to grow, we will need to allow ourselves to be stretched at times. In most endeavors, if we don’t grow, our plans and goals won’t either. Long-lasting lifestyle change requires an investment of your time and effort, as well as some patience. The road to achieving great things is much less intimidating when you break down the end result into smaller steps.

And absolutely nothing can compare to how you will feel when you finally make it to the place you wanted to be.

Sheri Geyer is a Realtor & Life Coach

If you’ve enjoyed this, please share! @Sheri_Geyer

a simplified life · Contentment · encouragement · Love Others · Path of Peace

The Power of Listening

I have often found it hard to avoid the temptation of telling people how to do something they are attempting to do in a different way. Different from the way I do it, of course! It has to be easier or I wouldn’t be doing it this way, right? At least, that is what the logical sense side of my brain screams to me. It almost seems natural to tell others our way of doing, seeing, being, etc. 

What I have been slow to learn is that we all have ideas on how to do something and many times if we are just present with someone and observing their efforts, we bring a lot to the table. Many of us are overdue for a few “attaboy” pats on the back and are overwhelmed with the telling feature of others.

I’ve learned that asking people questions about what they are doing or how they decided to do a certain task or project is a great way to offer encouragement and acceptance. I am now convinced that people need encouragement much more than they need instruction.

Asking a question and then giving someone the latitude to share their thoughts on it offers acceptance of the differences we have from others. Listening without mentally focusing on how we are going to tell them to do it a better way can bond us together in deeper ways. Active listening offers people the respect and courtesy to share their hearts and ideas without feeling corrected or as if they are in need of “fixing”.

I’ve heard it said that if you give someone 15 minutes to speak, they will tell you everything that is important to them. How much more value could we bring to our relationships if we offered the gift of listening to people who are important to us, and then using what we learn to offer encouragement in their endeavors?

Think about it. People often point out the mistakes, flaws and errors they see in others or in situations. How often do you hear someone comment on how enjoyable something they experienced proved to be? It’s refreshing, but rare.

Take every opportunity to develop the strength of character that is found in truly listening. People will be drawn to you as you, in turn, encourage them and open your heart to share the things you value.

If we pass this idea on to others, we may just find that listening is the most favored of all of the love languages.

Oh, and thanks for listening to my ramblings!

Sheri Geyer is a Realtor and Christian Life Coach.

If this has been an encouragement to you, please share @Sheri_Geyer. Thank you!

a simplified life · Contentment · Life Coaching · Path of Peace · Simple Living · simplify

Roll with it, Baby!

Each day brings a variety of events. Some routine and anticipated things and some possible surprises. There is a strong temptation to judge the unanticipated happenings as bad or negative. We may feel it necessary to try to fight or run from these situations rather than embrace them for the good we can learn from them. 

We are unable to control or have advance notice on all that happens. We do have the advantage of controlling what we choose to think and do about everything that does happen. 

Even when we face negative situations, we can respond in ways that are helpful and beneficial. Developing a resolve to follow our purpose can be a strong motivator to not let our circumstances deter us from what we deem to be worthy of our most firm commitments. 

While the wind will vary its direction, by changing our sails we can allow our ship to maintain its course.

We can make a determination of what we will do with each day and the purpose we will follow for our life, and decide to live true to these choices. We will be surprised what we can do when we have the ‘want to’!

Sheri Geyer is a Realtor and Life Coach. 

If this has been an encouragement to you, please share @Sheri_Geyer. Thank you! 

a simplified life · Contentment · Growing Relationships · Path of Peace · Simple Living

Life: A Balancing Act?

Sometimes it seems that life balance means simply juggling plates and successfully keeping them all up in the air. Consider what balance means in other processes. In accounting, things must add up. In physics, what goes up, must come down. In life, we can’t live like a gazelle being chased by a cheetah all the time — we’d be a code red, high adrenaline, super stress, possible heart attack or stroke waiting for a place to happen. 

Balance is more about a calm and stable mindset that allows us to make decisions based on personal values helping us learn to be intentional in the moment. Life balance may best be defined as the calmness and security of being able to manage the things we treasure, i.e. feelings, thoughts, talents, attitudes, behavior, personal well-being, etc. so in effect, we are able to assertively confront issues in life without a perpetual feeling of being overwhelmed. 

For me, personally, it’s about owning my life and choosing who and what to allow into it. This has made what is most important in my life — my relationships — more peaceful, loving and respectful. I don’t want to stress over things I’m unable to change. I want to have the energy I need when I’m required to manage necessary stress … and for the adventures I want to jump into with both feet! 

I want to focus on the truth that God will never allow more in my life than what I need to be all He desires for me. He will provide the resources, support and accountability I need. My job is to routinely take the initiative to renew my mind with His truth and love, and gain strength from those who support, encourage and hold me accountable to do what I say and finish what I start.

A consistent balance allows our lives to continually improve, not necessarily with more money or more stuff, but by simply having an awareness that every day holds challenges and successes, and that truly what we look for is what we will find, be it good or bad. 

As for me, I choose to live with the mantra, that indeed, Life is Good and, I’ve got the tee shirt to prove it! 

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach, Realtor, Writer, Wife & Mom

a simplified life · Contentment · Resolving Conflict · Simple Living

Empowered by Solitude

Consider the benefit of solitude… In our fast-paced, high performing lifestyles, it is often very hard to find a time for solitude, and most of us try to avoid it anyway. 

Why do we attempt to avoid it? I believe people may think of solitude as “loneliness” But they are two very different mindsets.
Loneliness brings to mind times when we have been down or have felt overlooked, unloved or rejected. Not so with solitude. 

Solitude is a purposeful choice that we make to come apart, if you will, before we “come a-part”. It is a place where we recognize that we need to take a breather, to get a second wind in facing our lives and circumstances.

Isaiah, a major prophet in the Old Testament reported that …”in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” [Isaiah 30:15b] Solitude can be a divine appointment with ourselves in the presence of God only. It can be a place where we can determine our purpose for the here and now.

Be warned that there are many distractions that seek to monopolize our time and to prevent us from this wonderful opportunity for renewal that we find in separating ourselves to gain perspective.

Our dealings with difficult situations [or people] can best be put in proper perspective when we move away from the circumstance or person and evaluate the true issues of conflict or division, something that is rarely accomplished in a head-to-head debate.

Nothing good comes without cost, and solitude is no exception. The cost is that of separation and commitment to the effort of trading off some “good” plans or events for some in our “best” interest. 

To attain the best from our times of solitude, we need to make it a priority. It is important that we learn to take care of ourselves, in order that we are best prepared to handle the other “important” issues of our lives. It is okay to prepare and equip yourself for difficult or stressful times.

A major benefit of solitude, when practiced on a regular basis, is good health [it’s fat free as well]. It de-stresses and energizes us when we make it a habit. We can experience better productivity in our work and projects and often, receive clarity, because our mind is cleared, concerning a problem that we have been perplexed by or perhaps just haven’t had the time to deal with appropriately.

Solitude helps repair the “noise” that we endure in so much of our waking lives. It brings a quietness and a calmness that will be a comfort to us as well as to others. Overall, solitude brings us to a place of peace and communion with our Creator, and can restore our hope to press on through rough times.

Do not underestimate the empowering characteristics of solitude. One final benefit, you will be in good company!

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach, Realtor, Writer, Wife & Mom

2017 · a simplified life · Contentment · Growing Relationships · Path of Peace · Simple Living · Simple Wisdom for Living

Reflections for 2017

Here we are ~ the end of another year of activities, events, victories, defeats, hopes, plans, some realized, some not ~ the beginning of a new year filled with hope, some trepidation, the ability to start with a clean slate, and the opportunity to grow and learn.

I have pretty much eradicated the making of New Year’s Resolutions from my life. Not so much that I think it’s a bad thing, but I have found that it is an easy way for me to experience a defeat fairly early in the year and I’d like to avoid the disappointment.

What I have found to bring success regarding changes for the coming new year is to journal my thoughts so that I am able to aim my focus on some important areas in my life and ask God for wisdom to know what to replace or add that will be the best use of my time, energy and resources.

After careful review of these important areas, I reflect on how I can learn, grow and more positively impact each area by making better choices or simply continuing with some that are working well. This is a good time for a chat with a close friend or mentor to determine what to embrace, fine tune or remove. This has proven to be very helpful for me.

I want to make it a priority to spend time reflecting over my life and thinking on the many blessings I have been given. A new year full of new beginnings always gets me excited! I love that ‘clean-slate-start-fresh’ feeling.

Whatever your year-end or new year tradition, I hope you will allow your heart and mind to find a quiet place to rest, reflect and be refreshed. As you scan the horizon of 2017, remember that living a life of thankfulness for all God has done and will do prepares you to face each challenge with an optimistic determination that it will work together for good. And consider it preparation for whatever lies ahead.

I look forward to all the new year brings! May yours be the best you could imagine!

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach and Realtor on The Geyer Home Team in Savannah, Georgia.