Friday, January 24, 2020

A Lesson from the Parking Lot

Carts in parking lots have consistently perplexed me. Call me crazy, it seems simple: use a cart, empty a cart, return the cart to the store or cart corral.

Still, month by month (admittedly, Michael does the grocery shopping for us), I see people leave carts in the aisles of the parking lot, against cars, up on grassy areas, and many places other than in the store's designated areas.

I was frustrated. I moaned and groaned about it. It was exasperation at its finest (or at its worst, really)...

Even though it was my goal to take in many carts, I did it out of flabbergastedness (not that it is a word).

This month, the start of a new year and new decade, it dawned on me that this is my issue. This is my challenge (of many for growth), and it was decided that a new approach would be best.

I did just that.

Oh, I still take in the carts for others. Instead of being snitty or covert, I see that person, acknowledge them as a person who perhaps has a lot on his/her plate, smile and say something similar to "Hello. May I please take that in for you?". The responses have been interesting. Some people seem "caught" and they apologize, and now I sincerely let them know I am happy to do it. Others seem happy to be acknowledged at all. Still, many (I've been at the store more intentionally) give a genuine "Thank you", and, in turn, share a genuine "You're welcome!".

While I am still not "cured" of my near-obsession with people and carts, shifting approaches from one of irritability to service has made the difference in how my Emotional Intelligence, care, and empathy seem to be serving myself and others.

So, if you see me pushing one, two, or yes, even up to four carts in at Publix or Costco, know that this is a form of restitution and joy from a self-inflicted tortured soul to a self-aware serving soul!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Getting Back on Track Post-Holidays

With the trees and menorahs put away, and the Happy New Year greetings capturing our energy and interest, the holiday hangover can be real!
So, how do you get back on track after the holidays, or any break? Please consider these four steps to regaining focus, purpose and enthusiasm for what you are going to accomplish:
  1. Make a list of all your previous accomplishments and a list of things for which you are grateful
  2. Clean/clear out your space – whether that be physical or electronic – make that a priority, as a clean space is a productive space
  3. Make a list of goals and stretch goals that are specific and measurable with time frames tied to the accomplishments without the words more, better, less, etc, as this is about being accountable to success not just subjective hopes
  4. Calendar activities that will get you to results and plan time for reflection and unexpected happenings, and follow your calendar as a guide to empower and not a list to restrict. Build in rewards for your accomplishments in order to feel and see the success.
When you are distracted or down, go back to the lists and calendar and keep moving forward based on previous wins as you plan for continued growth!