Eating Well

 


Finding time and the motivation for eating healthy and delicious foods when our busy schedules seem to be even more packed these days is a challenge.

Regardless of your chosen food plan, here are three steps to help keep you on track for a healthy mind, body and spirit through nutritious, delicious eating.

Step one: Desire

Decide why eating well is important to you. This simple visualization will be your go-to memory when the challenges of the day are looming.

Close your eyes in a quiet space and think about what eating nutritious food on a regular schedule means to you. Here are just a few of the many benefits a healthy eating plan could provide:

  • Better focus and job performance
  • Better health check-up numbers (stable blood sugar, lower cholesterol, gain or lose weight as needed)
  • More patience and feeling of balance

If you don’t find your most important motivation on this list, add your own. It’s critical that the reasons for placing a priority on eating well are yours and only yours. Otherwise your commitment will waiver with each obstacle encountered.

Step two: Plan

Develop a plan with measurable goals for success. Make the plan simple and livable for you and your family. It’s nearly impossible to have long term success if the plan doesn’t have some built in flexibility. There are tons of options, find what works for you and adjust as your needs change.

Whether you choose low carb, high fiber or anything in between, it’s always a good idea to check in with your family physician to make sure the plan you have chosen will fit with your current health needs.

Step three: Celebrate

Now this is the fun part. Celebrate progress, not perfection. I’ll say it again, celebrate progress!

Perfection is impossible, and the expectation will set you up for disappointment instead of joy.

Consider making the celebration something other than eating non-nutritious food. If you want to add to your healthy lifestyle, consider rewards that include physical activity you enjoy like sailing, hiking or golfing.

Cheers to your health!
Debbie Donaldson
Champion for Good

Saving More Money

 


Saving more money is often near the top of New Year’s resolution lists. Success however, requires a bit more motivation.

The first thing in changing any behavior requires a truly compelling reason for the change. Ask yourself, what’s your why? The answer to why you want to save more money will help identify what is driving this desire to change.

Once you understand what is behind the desire to save more money, it will be a bit easier to make and keep the commitment as obstacles present themselves.

With a compelling desire and commitment to save more money, the practical next step is creating a plan.

Here are a few ideas to help get you started:

Review monthly expenses

Are there services or product expenses scheduled regularly that seemed important before, but are no longer necessary? Cancelling or discontinuing items no longer needed could free up funds for your savings plan.

Review credit card interest payments

Using credit cards for all purchases has many benefits, especially if the card has airline miles, cash back or other rewards. However, if charges go beyond what you can pay-off each month, the interest charges often outweigh any rewards received. If you are unable to pay off your cards, schedule a debt repayment plan along with your savings plan. Then each month going forward, only charge the amount you can pay off before the credit card company charges interest on the amount. That deadline information is on statements or you can call to find out the exact date.

Negotiate a better rate

Whether it’s credit card interest, home loan or the cable bill, it’s often worth the call to find out if there are better rates available to you. Savings on monthly payments can drop straight into your savings plan.

401K Retirement Plan

If you work for a company that offers a 401K plan, this is the first place to start if you do not have a plan in place already. Typically, the savings deduction for a 401K is taken directly out of your paycheck before taxes. One of the great benefits of this type of savings is that you may not even notice much of a difference in the net amount of your check or direct deposit.

One of the drawbacks to a 401K is the penalty paid for withdrawing money before retirement. They are retirement plans after all. Most plans offer loans against the amount saved which avoids the penalty.

Discuss the options with your human resources manager.

The money in this account will grow faster than you think.

Bank Savings Account

Savings accounts are almost as flexible these days as checking accounts. The advantage of setting up a bank or credit union savings account is the money is set aside from regular expenses to avoid the temptation of spending it on impulse purchases.

It’s wise to have a few months of living expenses saved in the event of an emergency.
On top of the emergency fund, consider saving for big personal or family purchases in this type of account. Most companies offer payroll deduction to make saving easy.

Now that you understand your desire, made the commitment and have identified the ways you’ll save more money, set up at least a quarterly review to see how you’re doing. If you got off track, don’t throw in the towel. Review or renew your desire and commitment then get started again.

Celebrate your accomplishment or your new commitment.

Cheers to your success!

Debbie Donaldson
Champion for Good

The Grateful Tree: episode two

Happy New Year!

January 1st is one of my favorite days of the year. And this year I’m even more excited than usual. Each year I’ve observed people making plans for a better year ahead. Some even looking back at the previous year or years. Some people feel a sense of regret or remorse for things in the past. However, like me, many are filled with hope and resolutions for better health, greater wealth and loving, lasting relationships in the new year.

Before we get to why I’m excited this year though, you may be wondering who I am and why you should pay any attention. After all, I’m just a tree that shades a small playground in a corner of a park in the desert, right?

Well that is what I call an incomplete truth.

That description of me would be like saying you are a human being that works at a company in a community. And we both know there is so much more to you than your species, job and location.

Here is a little more about me and my unique view of the world.

I was planted here as a sapling just 20 years ago. I came from seeds of greatness and have what some consider an old soul. When I look back, there are centuries of my ancestor’s experiences and wisdom in my roots. When I look out and ahead I am situated at a vantage point to see a small community of people and observe their struggles and accomplishments up close. Young children play just under my branches with their parents close by. Older children and adults play on the basketball & tennis courts in the park. There are even swimming pools, baseball and soccer fields within steps from my shade. Now here’s the fun part for me. Not one of my ancestors had this advantage. I am tall enough to see a city that attracts more than 3 million people each year from all over the world. At the same time, my roots have grown into the lot of a church next door. So, my roots are grounded in faith while my tallest branches observe the world in a place nick-named Sin City. This unique position provides the experiences, wisdom and vision I’ll be sharing with you.

There are families who have grown up in my park and nearby church. The lessons I’ve watched them learn over the years will now be yours as I share their life experiences. Brace yourself, these are not fairy tales. Their lives are filled with beauty and wonder just like my branches as they blossom and fill with tender spring leaves that become a rich, deep green in the summer. However, like the ground beneath my branches in the fall as my leaves litter the park, the lives of those I shade from the sun are sometimes messy. And very much like the barren branches in the picture you see of me today, their lives at times seem bleak with nothing to shield them from the cold, cruel world around them.

Then there are those energetic world-traveling visitors I can see in the distance. They come to celebrate, escape and forget the messiness of their lives back home. I’ll be sharing some of their antics with you as well. It’s a way for me to capture a bit of their excitement for myself. Of course, things aren’t always perfect with the visitors. They come to play, yet end up being played on occasion. Those lessons are hard, but worth knowing.

So why am I so excited and extremely grateful this year more than any other?

You.

Yes, you are the reason I’m excited this year. I can’t change what is happening or what happened to the people around me. However, I can give you an advantage with a few insights for a better life as I share their lessons with you.

This self-assigned, expanded purpose is enough to keep me grounded and reaching for the stars all year.

As a human, you have the power to assign yourself a greater purpose in life than the one you believed you inherited. Consider a purpose that honors your roots, broadens your capabilities and empowers those around you.

Cheers to the New Year!
The Grateful Tree

The Grateful Tree: episode one

December 29, 2017

As 2017 comes to an end there is so much to be grateful for, in spite of all the traumatic, devastating events that have shaken the entire world this year.

It’s hard to believe how much of the world I experience right here on my little patch of earth. You’ll learn why as my story unfolds.

Today I stand here naked and grateful, soaking up the sun’s glorious rays as I tell you a little about how I came to be.

About 20 years ago I was planted on this spot to oversee a playground in the desert. The summer sun is scorching here. The metal playground equipment below could be torture to little hands if not protected from the direct sunlight. The owners of the land and playground planted me with confidence I would do a good job. Year after year I have reached for the sky, stretched to grow and stayed strong even when my beautiful spring leaves shriveled and fell from my branches one by one each winter.

It took a few seasons for me to get used to the constant changes as I grew each year. Now I’ve reached the height where I feel confident I’m making a difference. I’ve observed over the years that those who have a purpose seem to have greater confidence in themselves and their abilities to make a difference. It also seems to help them weather the changes and unexpected events that occur in their lives.

Today I am grateful for the sun’s warmth and the laughter I hear in the playground on this mild winter day in the desert. I will need the heat to get me through the harsh winter night ahead.

I’m looking forward to sharing more of my story and observations with you in the coming year.

Sincerely,
The Grateful Tree

Burning Desire

For the past couple of years I’ve had a burning desire to hit the road with my husband and travel across the country in an RV. The sunrise photos coming to me from around the country have rekindled this desire

We didn’t do anything to nurture this dream before, always telling ourselves it wasn’t time yet.

Now we’re looking into the possibilities.

There is the possibility my husband and I would love this new lifestyle. There is also a possibility we would Hate it. So we find ourselves laboring over every decision to be sure.

Our timing to decide is summer 2018. I’ve started a travel section on this site so we can share what we’re learning about RV and camping life.  There are a lot of travel bloggers, so we’ll try to learn from those that have gone before us.

We like a convenient lifestyle and enjoy being outdoors, but don’t consider ourselves outdoorsy people. In fact, I burn easily and bugs…bug me.

We went to an RV lot for the first time last week after looking at many models online. We looked at trailers, 5th wheeler’s, class c’s and class a’s. We’re almost certain we’ll go with the class a, gas, under 30 foot for our new life adventure – almost. Would love comments from anyone who has gone through this process and were happy… or not happy with their decisions.

I’ve downloaded an RVer’s Best Public Campgrounds book to begin planning a route for our first trip. If there are better resources for deciding on campgrounds that aren’t like  busy trailer parks, would love to find them. We like exploring nature, learning about the history of a place and interacting with people… but don’t need constant entertainment.

When I look at the sunrise in this photo, it looks almost as if the sun is moving forward. I think it’s a sign.

Chasing the dream,

Debbie Donaldson, Champion for Good

P.S. If you have a sunrise photo to share, just email it to contact@superpowers365.com. We’ll mention you in the photo.

 

Relax, It’s Golf

We didn’t have golfers in our home, but we had a plaque on the wall about golf.

The words on the plaque read:

GOLF

An ineffectual attempt 

To drive an uncontrollable sphere

Into an inaccessible hole

With instruments ill adapted to the  purpose.

– author unknown

That plaque may explain why I never feel relaxed when playing golf. However, I believe the ladies who shared this photo find it incredibly relaxing and fulfilling.

I also never witnessed an incredible sunrise like this one from Reno, Nevada. Thank you Ronda Henderson for sharing Anita Mackay’s photo with us with her permission.

Relaxed,

Debbie Donaldson, Champion for Good

P.S. Where in the world will we see tomorrow’s sunrise? It could be from your special view. If you have a sunrise photo you’d like to share, send it to contact@superpowers365.com. We’ll mention you and let you know when it posts.

Wake Up Sleepy Heads

This rising sun reminded me of my mother calling up the stairs to me and my brothers and sisters…”wake up sleepy heads.”

It always seemed like Friday’s were the hardest days to get out of bed. My brain was always ready for the weekend and that few extra minutes of Saturday morning sleep.

Well, wake up sleepy heads.

Let’s soar,

Debbie Donaldson, Champion for Good

Impact

Carla Avruskin was “shaken to the core after experiencing the eclipse…the color was striking and the sun seemed more mysterious as it rose the next morning.” Lucky for us she was able to capture the sunrise through her plane’s window as she was flying over Idaho.

Several people have sent me photos and tell me how they were personally impacted by the solar eclipse that happened August 21, 2017.

They are people from different parts of the country and I have been intrigued with their reaction. It was unusually cloudy and rainy where I was that day… and I was very sad I didn’t get to see the eclipse. I even bought the special glasses.

You may have experienced the impact Carla described as she was traveling for a much needed vacation. I know I have.

It’s when the bliss I feel coming home from a long trip suddenly happens when I’m going back for a visit to someplace I’ve lived before.

 

I’m not sure what Superpower to develop that would allow me to live in a place I love  while moving on to the next place I’ll love, but I’m working on it and will keep you posted.

Brace for Impact,

Debbie Donaldson, Champion for Good

P.S. Have a sunrise in your pocket you’d like to share? Send your photos to contact@superpowers.com or PM us on Facebook. We’ll mention you in the photo and let you know when it posts.

Prep For Take Off

The morning she was leaving a conference fueled with new ideas to grow her business, Jennifer Mouso caught the sunrise beyond the machinery cleaning the wing of her plane.

It reminds me that every new direction requires some prep time. Preparation is the step I most often skip over a little to quickly. Lucky for Jennifer the maintenance crew didn’t skip their prep and she found a beautiful sunrise in the distance before take off.

Let’s soar,

Debbie Donaldson, Champion for Good

P.S. Even if you don’t take a photo, stop and watch a sunrise every chance you can. Savoring one isn’t just for vacation.