Monday, January 1, 2024


You're probably off to a great start in 2024! Goals set. Mind made up. Direction in focus. Plans in place. Highly motivated. Ready! 

Is that you? Great! Just in case you start to feel a little slack, or if you start to feel somewhat stuck, remember these key elements for getting where you want to go!

1. Don't let the distractions stop or discourage you. There will be something every single day that feels like an obstacle. It may be people. It may be your plan taking a shift. It may be unexpected circumstances and stuff. It may be you tempted to rethink it. Don't let the enemies to success fool you. They will be there no matter what it is you attempt to achieve. Realize that. Roll over them like a big ol' bulldozer that's on a mission to make the roadway smooth to your goals.

2. Avoid negative observations, talk and assessments of your situation, regardless of how "left" things may look at times. Your perspective is everything. You will follow your own voice if you complain about things not going "right". It's called self-sabotage, and you will cause your whole effort to fall apart when you speak negatively of it, even if it feels like what you think or say is completely accurate and innocent. Don't risk things taking a wrong turn. Throw those negative messages to the wayside. Watch your mindset and watch your mouth. 

3. It's all worth it! Even if it's a small achievement, you will be so proud of yourself! Be sure to count every move you make and every step you take as win! Celebrate it, no matter how little it seems or how insignificant it is to you or anyone watching to see your results. This is all about you! Every time you can put a check mark beside something you did, do it. It means you are moving and shaking things up. Be determined to ease on down your road, and keep it going!

Make this year YOUR year! Own it! ~ S.R.F.

Friday, December 8, 2023

Let It Go and Let's Go Forward!


As Christmas wraps up, we move into the New Year with just as much excitement, but sometimes with regret, too. We've pondered our faults, fumbles and failures, getting ready to make new commitments with intention and purpose. Statistics say we forget about most of what we said we would do within two to three weeks post January 1. I wonder why? Sounds good to say it? Perhaps, but it is a grand thing if we follow through. Here are some thoughts that can help:

1. Don't make a pledge you know you can't keep. That's self-sabotage that leads to feelings of failure. Avoid it.

2. Highlight every good move and measure you have already taken about anything. It's fuel enough to motivate you to accomplishing more.

3. DO NOT DWELL ON past failures. We've all failed at many things, and if we stayed stuck there, what would this world look like? The best of failures have brought forth some of the most incredible inventions in history.

4. DO NOT TELL YOURSELF one more time that you can't do it better this coming year. YOU CAN! Be determined and unstoppable this time.

5. Go easy on yourself if it feels like the goals are not goal-ing in the right direction some days. Believe it or not, that's pretty normal. Plans and goals very often require adjustments along the way.

6. Discouraged already?! Say it ain't so! Keep yourself on "full" with motivating music, recordings, videos, messages and empowering self-talk. Motivate yourself!

7. Don't quit. If you quit anything, quit fretting. Quit complaining. Quit having pity parties. Quit giving energy to negative thoughts. Quit hanging out with negative people. Quit putting yourself down. Quit giving your power away. Quit anything that isn't moving you toward your happy places. Quit anything that is stealing your peace. Perfect this kind of quitting.

8. Show up for yourself. We don't always find the encouragement and high-fives we would like to have from others. Tell yourself you're awesome. Tell yourself you're amazing. Tell yourself you're powerful. Tell yourself these things even on the days that everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Stay in the game no matter what!

9. It can get lonely when you are trying to have your best intentions manifest into your best life, but stay focused on your plan and your destiny. It's your idea. It's your lane. It's your purpose. It's your dream. You don't need a team to believe in yourself, just YOU.

10. Let stuff go that feels like a burden to you, your life, your heart and soul. If you want to move forward, it won't benefit you to have stuff that doesn't really matter dragging you down. Let it go. Let's go forward into 2024 with the eye of a tiger, fierce and focused on reaching our goals. No regrets! Reach for those dreams and make them a reality!

~ S.R.F.

Friday, November 3, 2023

How To Be Grateful When You're Really Not


It's Thanksgiving month, and if you're one of those people who think "if I see one more post that says 'Give Thanks' I'm gonna choke," you are among others who could care less about it, too. Really, truthfully, you are truly not alone. Many, many people feel the same way at this time of year, and many feel it all the time. 

So, what is there to be so thankful about, you ask? Well, I'm glad you did ask, so don't stop reading.

Life's blows can crush the thankfulness right out of you, I know this. However, I also know that having that perspective can limit life to seeing only disappointment and despair in everything and everybody. In no way do I mean to minimize any challenges that may have brought anyone to places of severe hardship and devastating heartbreak, but by choosing to reject opening your eyes and heart to others, opportunities and surroundings can make you miss the birds and the bees, and the flowers and the trees, and the beauty and wonder of all the simple things that can make you appreciate taking life in daily.

Opening up can be a challenge on several levels. Trying to see hope and happiness is an internal job. Our internal messaging can really mess us up when it comes to seeing life from a better perspective. Make note that I did say "perspective," because what you actually see may not look different, you just start to see and process things differently. The sun coming thru the window looks brighter. The breath you just took in, you felt it on purpose. That stuff that hurts, you are deciding it can't hold your happiness hostage forever. Yes, these are steps toward thankfulness. Each and everyday, you can take another small, but meaningful step toward appreciating life's big and small things. It takes personal effort.

I am not suggesting that you create false illusions about life, because that's certainly not a healthy thing to do on any given day. However, re-adjusting the lenses, adjusting your perspective in a way that clears the way to see more goodness than gloom, helps to inspire gratitude.

Most of us don't get through life with the greatest of ease, and well, it's because it is life, filled with all of it's twists and turns, ups and downs and unexpected roads. Choose to not be defeated by it. Lack of hope is a thief, and so is lack of vision to all of the simple things that can still bring joy to a heart.

Start here. Start now. Can you consider this: perhaps, feeling just a little grateful knowing that someone really cared about how you may be feeling right now, enough to send you some loving encouragement and inspiration? I hope you felt it.

~ S.R.F.


Friday, October 6, 2023

Three "N" Words You Should Use As Needed

We maneuver through life often carrying a lot of weight that's not our own. It's because we've said yes and okay to responsibilities and requests far beyond our ability to handle them well. That part, right?

One of the best skills sets we can develop is when we should say NO, when we should say NOT NOW, and when we should say NEVER.

Say "NO" Telling people NO feels difficult if we feel like we are going to let someone down who is depending on us, or if we think they will think ill of us for not saying yes. It's time to think this instead: where do I land if I say yes? Will I be inconvenienced, overwhelmed, over-committed, over my head or out of control with my own stuff if I say yes? If saying yes is more pressure than true pleasure and ease at helping someone, then the answer is a gracious, unapologetic NO. They will go on to someone else, and you will eventually get over your guilt.

Say "NOT NOW." When you can't make time and space adjustments to accommodate the requests of others, just say that it's not something you can get to right now, not at this time, perhaps another time, but NOT RIGHT NOW. Save yourself in these situations. You don't have to be everyone's go-to guy or gal. You don't need to be the one who is always saving the day, at your own expense. You don't have to extricate your availability all the time, but you do need to be very choosey. Do what really matters. Do it for those you really care about, and for those who you know really care about you. Make time and space when you can see that it may benefit you as well as them, maybe as a trade-off or as a for sure WIN-WIN. Otherwise, you may lose time and space that you really needed and couldn't afford to lose, and may find it difficult to regain again. Think about that.

Whatever you do, it's best not to say okay to something that you know you haven't figured out how you can possibly handle it, or how you'll fit it in. No time to do it? No place to get it in? No space in your day for it? A wise answer is probably "I can't do it, NOT RIGHT NOW." Take a deep breath, and if it's necessary, say "I'm really sorry, I just can't fit it in." You have to take care of yourself first in order to help others now, or later.

Say "NEVER" I've learned that some people are not at all afraid to make some ridiculous requests, some just outright crazy things, not caring how it might affect your time, family, work or life. Without providing scenarios, I think we all have been there when someone has asked things of us that made us look at them sideways. There is only one effective response while you are wondering if they have lost their mind, and that is to say "That's NEVER going to happen." Close the door on it. Close the conversation and say it to them again one more time, if needed. 

Those "NEVER" responses are situations that you can walk away from with no apology, no guilt either. Anyone who puts you in a place to their advantage but to your loss and disadvantage, may be someone who you NEVER want to see again. I don't know, you'll have decide. People will use you if you let them. You can let them, or you can decide to NEVER let them. I vote for you being okay with saying NEVER GONNA HAPPEN. Door closed. Conversation closed. Case closed. Don't be done in because someone may think you're easy prey for getting what they want. NEVER let that happen.

~S.R.F.


Saturday, September 2, 2023

YOU'RE NOT OLD, YOU'RE AWESOME!

Like many of you, I can remember when I thought forty was getting "old". In the minds of the generation that I was in at that time, forty pretty much was considered the highway to serious aging problems, like aching joints and bones, a general malaise and lack of delight in the future, to name a couple.

But, alas! Things have changed, Friends, and very much so! Like what, you ask?


Particularly and specifically, mindsets have changed, attitudes are changing, health and body goals are changing. And, the reason is that we are realizing that at forty you're hardly old yet. In fact, in many ways life is just beginning, if you have learned anything at all about life itself by that time. The key here is this: BEGIN to think like you have some great years ahead of you to still do many great, exciting things, that do include a whole new beginning if that's what you want and need. Ah, yes! Now, that's pretty awesome! Start over! Go get it! Do it!

You probably have enough information by that stage in life to see the many choices still available to feel strong and vital. The business you tried to launch earlier in life didn't work out? Your marriage needs repair, renewal or a redo? You didn't go after your dream job? Well, set your sights on life ahead, new paths, new highways, new lanes, new people, new relationships, new opportunities. Stop telling yourself you're done and out. You can keep thinking you are old, or you can start believing you're awesome enough to do it, because you really can.

Get your mind right and set your sails in the direction of the favorable winds of life, and not the hard, drudgery of going up and "over the hill". That's no fun. Be about the business of growing older gracefully. Make it a plan and purpose to make the best of the days, months and years down the road. You can still do some amazing things with the rest of your life at any age and stage, because you are not old, you are AWESOME! REMEMBER: Your attitude about aging is your SUPER POWER! ~ S.R.F.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

The Self-Sabotage Lie: "I Can't"

                                                                                                                                                                  

Chances are that right at this moment you may be processing a happy thought, and creative idea, a perfect plan, an enthusiastic effort, a wonderful fantasy vacation, a special something or another. Then, this truly bothersome thing happens in your mind: you come up with all the reasons why you can't move forward with any of it. You find yourself all tied up with negative thinking and self-sabotage.

Do I even begin to investigate why you can think through the joy of it all, but then tell yourself "I can't" possibly do that? Let's see if you can change your own mind about it.

Here's a little more food for your thoughts. Ask yourself:

1. Can I make this a reality? Most of us are not entertaining ridiculous, unachievable dreams, plans or goals. We are thinking about stuff that we know others have been able to accomplish. We are thinking about plans that are proven to work in the lives and business of people we know. We are not thinking so out of the ordinary that it's weird to consider a dream as impossible. The biggest issue is that many of our imaginings take time, money and effort to get. Don't write yourself off because of that. Save or secure the money. Make the time. Do the work. Yes, YOU CAN.

2. Fantasizing is fun, but it can be a big time waster. Start googling some possibilities. Call friends and associates that you know will encourage you and show support. Get those thoughts on paper. Make some phone calls. Set up some appointments and meetings. Watch some videos that give tools and insights. Start looking at things optimistically, and doable. Take yourself from fantasizing to actual steps forward toward your big dream or idea. Get it going. Don't waste any more time just thinking about it. BE about it!

3. Don't let the fear and intimidation fool you. You may get so scared that you give up and give in before you ever really get started. It's normal to feel some kinda way about what may appear to be a risk, but you know what they say: "if not now, when?" Putting something off until later on often ends up never coming to fruition. If later on works best, that's one thing. But if your delay is because of fear or intimidation, be braver. Yes, braver. This is on you. You will either tell yourself "I can" or "I can't" out of fear. Don't let the self-sabotage demons get to you,  fueling your head with lies.

As I said earlier, a great majority of our heart's desires are very achievable. Enjoy the process. Untie your hands. Untie your limited thinking. Untie anything that holds you back from your hopes and dreams.  You can do it. YES, YOU CAN. ~ S.R.F.



Friday, July 7, 2023

Are Little Mishaps Hijacking Your Day?

Disappointment and frustration can lead to depression, among several other emotions and conditions. The causes are many and varied. On a daily basis we can face factors that affect how we feel, situations and circumstances that impact our happiness, our contentment, our feelings of joy, our perspectives on success and failure. It can feel like a roller coaster of events, often hard to maneuver, and even sometimes these events make us feel like life is out of control. The truth is, it isn't beyond you helping yourself.

When disappointment hovers, a first step is dealing with reality. You've heard the saying "we make mountains out of molehills?" Yes, we do that, a lot. A really small thing can trigger loads of emotion, so much so that we lose the perspective of what really happened. Your coffee spills. You can't find your keys. The toilet got stuck. And, the story goes on, and on, and on with insignificant disorders of the day that hijack all the good and positive things you were affirming, and the sense of happiness you sought.

Well, in comparison, many major problems may loom that can't be remedied with a paper towel, discovering where you misplaced your keys that weren't really lost, and plunging the toilet. So, there's that. Those things that are for real - for real bigger issues that disappoint, and the things that you can't possibly immediately do something about, there's a whole other level of combat for that. Bigger battles, bigger problem-solving strategies are needed for sure. However, let's try managing the manageable stuff with this chat.

What is my point? Don't use a magnifying glass to analyze the small "upsets". Keep them small and manageable. Deal with them, and quickly if possible. If you find yourself saying "I knew this would be a crappy day" after several minor unexpected situations, just wait until tomorrow when new stuff happens all over again. Life is full of minor "disappointments" if you want to call them that, but I dare you to give them another name, and decide to handle them differently. Perspective, it matters how you see it.

These small things are not "gut punchers" and we have to learn to see it that way. They can be annoying, little invaders to our day, disappointing to a degree, but not so much that they send us back to bed to hide under the covers. Call them what they are: small hurdles. Then, daily work on your ability to master leaping over them, and trade frustration, disappointment and getting depressed for enjoying a much better day.~ S.R.F.

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Confused About What To Do?


What do you do when you really don't know what to do? Haven't we all been there, like way too many times to count? I wonder if you have learned what I learned on those journeys out of that place of uncertainty?

One of the things I've learned is that there is always something you can do to move from that place of not knowing what to do. I've wasted time with too much pondering various results, sometimes with no real plan of action. We often stymie ourselves with fear, too, so we do nothing. Believe it or not, it's a good choice to at least to do something, even if it turns out to be the wrong thing. At least, you will have moved yourself toward new possibilities. We have to try things and pursue answers until we get it right, or get results of some positive kind. Each step is a step that matters, even if it's small.

Also, forget about perfection. Not everything needs a perfect solution. A "perfect" outcome is something that often is worked toward and out over time. The key to that is "forward" thinking each and every step of the way. And, again, there may be some "imperfections" and wrong moves as you go down these pathways, but keep it moving. That's right, KEEP IT MOVING.

Moving from confusion to confidence is an interesting journey, one that is fully worth the cost of being lost and in the dark as you go. It happens to all of us.You learn so much about navigating life in those "stuck" places. Here is what you need to know: YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE AFRAID OF THE DARK. Make some decisions. Make some moves. Make it make sense. Make the journey. ~ S.R.F.

Saturday, May 6, 2023

A "CLIMATE" CHANGE HAS OCCURRED


There is definitely a "climate" change occurring, and I don't mean with the weather patterns and conditions. Life has seemingly changed. People have seemingly changed. Things have seemingly changed. And, if you are truly paying atttention, you may be scratching your head in dismay, confusion and disappointment. True?

If doing life wasn't already challenging enough, that pandemic stuff really threw us for a loop. People are still struggling with the impact. Some are still having mental and emotional challenges trying to get back to a reality that we defined as "normal," whatever that was for them and for us. It's left many living lives filled with fear and anxiety, and others trying to grapple their way forward after such a traumatic few years. If there ever was a climate of "comfort" and stability, so many have lost it.

And, then, there's the political climate. It's shaky to say the least, and is anybody actually considering how all of that is making the American people feel? It's extremely disheartening to me to see all of the unrest among the individuals who are supposed to be thinking and planning in our best interest, WE THE PEOPLE. I keep wondering if we will ever see that happen in truth and process. All the money going toward the war could have changed the lives and circumstances of every human being in this country if it had been used as aid to do so. We desparately needed it, too. I won't pretend to understand the deeper "whys" of the war, but it is not hard to see that the devastation that has occurred is irreparable, the lives of so many will never be the same, and those who have died are forever dead. Yes, that is the real unfortunate truth. It's a dreary, dreadful climate overall, indeed.

So, what do we do? We do whatever we can to protect and balance our sanity. That's all we can do. When the winds of life rage in ways that are beyond our control, all we can do is hunker down and hold on to our heads and hearts. We have to find shelter in the belief that somehow all of this tumultuous "atmospheric" activity will reach a place in time that we can reference as "the calm after the storm." I'm hopeful like many of you, and praying that the sun will come out tomorrow. ~ .S.R.F.

Sunday, April 2, 2023

YOU THINK YOU'RE NOT MOTIVATED? THINK AGAIN.

 Is your motivation at rest today? Tired of hearing everyone say "just think positive"? Has the drive you used to have shifted to park, and you feel absolutely no momemtum to put the pedal to the metal anymore? Would a push in the right direction help get you moving, perhaps in an even better way than before? Well, let'see. It's worth a try, you think? Keep reading.

Motivation can seem tricky. We've been taught that it's some kind of lightning bolt energy that propels us into action, the kind of action that can accomplish every goal. That may be true for some, but it is hardly that evident in most of our every day actions. Motivation is taking place all day, everyday, in the things we do, so this is the time to calm yourself down and reel yourself in, understanding the fact that you have not lost or misplaced your motivation. It's still in you and it's still alive and well.

If you made it out of bed, that's motivation. If you did your daily routines and preps for the day, that's motivation. If you headed out the door into the big, grizzly world, that's motivation. You hung in there until the day was done? That's motivation, too. Today alone, you performed many efforts and tasks that required energy, skill, attitude, effort, intelligence, know-how, patience, control and wherewithal to do whatever was accomplished. Pat yourself on the back, because you did it! That took lots of motivation.

Here's a question for you, check any that apply: Did you do it without feeling great? Did you do it without even wanting to? Did you just hate your day, but you got done what needed to be done anyway? Kudos to you, because that kind of motivation is noteworthy! Give yourself credit, because credit is due you. You motivated yourself to do what you had to, in spite of the feelings that challenged you. My thought and theory is that overcoming those inner obstacles is the best kind of motivation there is.

We think of "winners" being motivated in their particular field of sport or competition. We think of high profile individuals who have scaled their dreams and made it to the top. There are many people and things we think of when we measure the successes of those whose motivation must have catapulted them into those glorious places. Here's a news flash: they have often felt the same as you while you achieved success in what you considered drudgery in your daily tasks. It's true.

What is my point? While your goals of the day may be different than others, you ran your race, too. You put your best foot forward, in the right direction. You scaled your seemingly "menial" day stuff, and got to the goal, to the finish line. Wow! Just look at that success! That took motivation, didn't it? Yes, and I encourage you to remember this: that makes you a real winner, too! ~ S.R.F.


Wednesday, March 15, 2023

SWIFT CHANGE

 It is truly amazing how quickly things can change in a moment, in a day, in life, isn't it? You can feel secure and safe, and then something happens that take you by surprise, catches you offguard, or snatches the rug right from under you. Wholly molly!

Is there a strategy for handling the shifts and the shocks of it all? Well, of course there is.

1. Some changes shake you to the core. If that happened, spend the time you need to wrap your head around it. You may be able to do that in the moment, and maybe not. Some stuff requires time to get a mental and emotional grip on yourself, until you can think straight enough to deal with what is going on. It is often a step-by-step endeavor to do so, so try to remain calm while you collect your thoughts.

2. Quick thinking may be required in some circumstances. If the solution you come up with seems right and applicable for the situation, work with it. The important thing to remember when quick thinking is needed, is to not avoid doing something as a remedy. Things can tend to grow worse if we don't think on our feet and address the issues expeditiously.

3. It may be hard to keep a cool head, composure and not over-react with worry or wrong moves. It does make a difference when we can stay calm and focused, even if the change is riveting. Do the best you can to pull on your inner resources to handle the upset with patience, wisdom and resolve.

The truth is that we can get through our rough patches without losing our minds and our hope. Change is going to happen, and often swiftly. Be ready for it. Be ready to handle it. ~ S.R.F.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Things Just Happen

I know of quite a few people who spend tiring hours, mentally and emotionally trying to figure things out. In a quest to understand the "Why" and the "What" of stuff, there comes with that a type of draining of a healthy mind and spirit.

Does everything have some kind of special or hidden meaning? Is every mysterious occurrence something that requires us to take out our mental magnifying glasses and try to get to the root of the cause? Well, yes and no.


We seem to look for those kind of answers to help us find peace and resolve when we are dealing with matters of life. If we are fortunate enough to find or conjure up some meaning, we feel like we've conquered that obstacle with whatever obscure revelation has come to us. It's not always crystal clear, it's just something that we agree with ourselves that should "make sense" of the situation. It's not always truth, though.

Sometimes, our easiest resolve is that life happens. Things just happen. I believe there are often things we can and should learn in the process, and we can have epiphanies that are life-changing, too. The thing we must guard against is some of the suffering we put ourselves through with the time spent "investigating" the things that happen, days, months, years, and even a lifetime trying to figure out "why did this happen?" or "why did this happen to me?" or "what does this mean?".

I'll share a mental trick I use with you. If I can determine the "cause and effect" of an occurrence, I need not do too much more thinking. It is what it is. If it requires comptemplation, prayer and "listening" within, I present the question, and then watch and wait to see if something gets revealed. There is absolutely no reason to keep asking over and over and over, wearying myself with thinking, seeking and asking. All of that comes with a great mental, spiritual, emotional and time-consuming cost.

What we actually are looking for is peace in those moments of excitement, or desperation and despair. Whatever the case may be in your own life, I enourage you to not spend your whole life trying to "break the case". Just remember that sometimes, many times, things just happen without a sound or meaningful reason. If you can get some wisdom from it, get it. If you can get some type of understanding, embrace that. If you get nothing, move on. That's okay to do, too. ~ S.R.F.