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Seven-Bullet Monday - November 21, 2022

Hi. It’s only 34 days to Christmas 😊

Here is your third Seven-Bullet Monday for November

1. A quote I am pondering:

“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower

Even with the best-prepared plans, we will likely have to deviate because circumstances change along the way. That’s why taking the time to develop, discuss and implement a plan will serve us exceptionally well no matter what divergence becomes necessary.

2. A question I am asking myself:

How do I make the most of every thirty minutes I have during the day?

I am working on returning to my 30-minute work project sprints, ensuring no distractions. It’s too easy to let time drift when I am not ultra-focused on the target.

3. A book I am reading:

Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention — and How to Think Deeply Again - Johann Hari

I am sure you will agree that our ability to pay attention for any period is shrinking. The average office worker reportedly can only focus for three minutes. This book taught me how a combination of stress, distraction, pollution, food and Silicon Valley apps have contrived to make us less focused than ever. Hari explains the twelve causes of our focus crisis and also provides some valuable tools to deal with these and get our concentration back.

4. My favourite podcast this week:

Watt It Takes: Sealed CEO and Co-Founder Lauren Salz

Until listening to this podcast, I hadn’t realized that 20% of energy-related GHG emissions in the US come from homes using gas furnaces, stoves, water heaters and AC units. Salz’s company helps homeowners better weatherize, insulate and heat their homes to reduce their power consumption. They do this by matching homeowners with good contractors and helping them secure all available incentives.

5. Hugh-Tips

Make a plan for in-budget Christmas spending and stick to it

January is the most depressing month of the year, and this isn’t just due to Seasonal Affective Disorder. January is when the credit card bills reveal all the Christmas excesses, and the only ones happy are the retailers and the credit card companies. That is why it is essential to set your Christmas budget early and stick to it. It also pays to agree with family members and friends up front on a reasonable number of gifts and money to spend on them. Thoughtful, inexpensive gifts are often much more appreciated than expensive outlays, and you don’t have to spend much money to have a good time.

6. My highlight of the week

Reaching the final of the F45 Annual Obstacle Course Competition and competing against my daughter

If you want to completely gas yourself in two and a half minutes, the F45 obstacle course is guaranteed to do that. It was so much fun on Sunday, with supporters cheering on competitors giving it all for their little moment of glory. One practice round and four competition rounds, and I was pretty beat! My main takeaways from the day were:

· Seeing the F45 competitors killing it out there. Many of these members would not have dreamed a year ago that they could compete so strongly in something as strenuous as an obstacle course. Leanne and her fabulous team of coaches have helped so many members transform their lives, and they made it a lot of fun along the way

· Feeling a strong sense of community amongst all the attendees today. Gyms, even busy ones, can be lonely places sometimes, with people pumping iron with only the mirror for company. F45 is very different, where you get fantastic workouts designed for your whole body, the energy of working out as a team and helpful, boisterous coaches keeping you on track.

· Fitness and health, done the right way, is a lot of fun.

7. My challenge to you for this week

Practice belly-breathing

You might not be breathing deeply enough to get sufficient fresh air circulating throughout your lungs. It would help to breathe from your belly, not your chest, to get enough air. With chest breathing, your chest muscles inflate the lungs, limiting the volume of air you take in. Belly breathing, on the other hand, uses your entire lung capacity, pulling down on your abdominal cavity to fully inflate your lungs. Now how to do it - imagine you are trying to breathe through your bottom – as weird as it sounds 😊, it does make you breathe more deeply.

Have a wonderful week

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