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These things added up over long periods of time can have a tremendous impact on who you are. You need to start implementing these habits early into your twenties. The sooner you start the better.

Kids can get hooked onto eating bad foods. This can lead to the creation of bad eating habits for many years to come. Here is how you can break bad habits, or even better prevent them, and build great new ones for your child.

Stay energized all day by creating the perfect habits. Feel good, look good and get through your day feeling on top of the world!

There comes a time in your life, when you figure out who you are, what you want and how to make it happen. The habits you establish during this time tend to stick and become the foundation of your adult life, so I suggest that you build good ones.

How do you stay fast after 50? To be fast you have to train fast. Following a high intensity training plan, eating the correct foods and getting enough quality sleep seem to be the best options. A celebrated triathlete argues that high-intensity interval training can reduce the effects of aging on performance

I can understand that not everyone is a morning person, and that we all function optimally with different amounts of sleep. I haven't always been an early riser, waking up early is a habit of which you must work on to maintain. The benefits are amazing.

Becoming the Woman You Always Dreamed You Could Be

©Sandy Peckinpah

I’m declaring this year as the year of the Emerging Woman. It excites me as I begin to discover and define myself as “emerging.” I can hardly wait to wake up each morning to continue the process. I know it’s happening because it almost hurts to stay the same. By struggling to keep things the same, it restricts the possibilities of my tomorrow because I can only see the point of reference I have today.

That must be exactly how the butterfly feels just before she breaks free of her cocoon… or the baby chick, before she cracks the shell to freedom. They have no idea what the new world is like-they just know it’s waiting and they must emerge, no matter what.

That feeling happens to me every time I’m about to break out of an old pattern, an old life, and an old way of being. My thoughts become almost chaotic, and once the breakthrough happens, there’s a feeling of knowing this is what it was meant to, be all along.

That’s how I felt just before I wrote my book, “How to Survive the Worst that can Happen.” I resisted it for a long time. I feared delving into my sorrow in the loss of my son, but a voice inside of me kept calling, “do it, and it will change your life forever. It’s your legacy to help others.” That voice was right.

The word “emerging” is an adjective that comes from the core verb “emerge.” See if you can relate to any of these definitions in the dictionary:

1. To rise and come forth into view

2. To come into existence

3. Become apparent, important, or prominent.

4. This one excites me most of all because it is relevant to my life: Recover (to emerge ) from or survive a difficult or demanding situation.

The emerging woman is the lure of becoming something more, yet something that was always meant to be.

When I was a young girl, I first witnessed a transformation like this in my mom. She was a natural beauty with the gorgeous good looks of a movie star. She managed a spotless house while raising 5 children.

Mom and Dad provided an adventurous life for us. We moved 12 times before I turned 12 because my Dad was in the Navy. Every trek to a new home meant we’d be traveling in our station wagon on a remarkable zig-zag tour of the United States. We visited every park, historical site, and monument until we reached the destination of our new home.

Mom packed the Station Wagon full of blankets and pillows, games, peanut butter on Wonder Bread, and fresh apples. The smell of apples still reminds me of road trips long ago.

Mom and Dad loved to sing, so to endure the long hours in the car, they often belted show tunes from Music Man or High Society and we’d join in, knowing every word because they had played them so often on the HiFi.

As we grew older and needed Mom less, she grew restless.  I’d hear her listening to Earl Nightingale on the radio while Dad was at work. Earl was one of the early pioneers in the self-help industry. One of the phrases that memorialized him as a great thinker and inspirational mentor was: "We become what we think about."

It was then I saw Mom begin to emerge as the woman she was called to become. One day, she opened a restaurant, knowing absolutely nothing about the restaurant business. She didn’t care because failure wasn’t an option. She learned everything she could and miraculously her restaurant became hugely successful.

For Mom, it wasn’t so much about creating a place to eat as it was about creating a culture and environment where people wanted to gather.  There would be lines out the door for customers to grab lunch, a piece of pie, and a chat. Mom knew most of the people by name, and they certainly knew hers. My brothers and sisters and I all worked there and it became part of our home life.

I’m so proud of my mom for teaching me that life has cycles and if you feel a calling and believe you can do something, just do it! I watched her build that restaurant to its success never having had any experience other than feeding our family.

Are you at the stage of emergence? Have you thought about what you’d like to achieve more than anything in the world?

Here are a few tips for paving the way to your emergance:

1. Ask yourself: Am I feeling a calling, a transition, a pull to look at something new coming into my life? Do you feel your heart’s desire? If so, are you able to name it yet, or is it still just a restlessness within.

2. Set your intention that this year is going to be different than last year by choosing a time and place to dream of the possibilities. Write down those dreams.

3. What steps do you believe you have to take to achieve this dream? (such as education, financial strategies, support from your spouse, training, etc.)

4. Identify what’s at stake. Could it be a possible change in a job, a relationship, or education?

5. Can you continue with your life as it is and incorporate this calling, or are there things you need to implement or say goodbye to, in order to begin the transformation? .

6. Write down 5 to 7 goals you intend to achieve in the next 12 months. You don’t need to wait until January 1st!  Get started now! Goals are specific reachable steps for shaping your life. Write down why you want to achieve them and then give them a due date. For example, instead of saying I want to lose weight, write down, “I want to release 10 pounds. I want to achieve this goal because I know I feel more confident and energetic when I’m at my optimum weight.” Due date: April 1.

7. Here’s the fun part… Take a few minutes and visualize your life as it will be after you’ve become a woman who’s emerged.  Close your eyes and visualize how your morning starts, what your day will be like, and how your evening ends. Imagine everything from the clothes you’ll wear, the job you’re doing, what your place of business will look like, who your customers are, and even where you’re planning a vacation. Write all of this down as though you’re telling the elaborate story of your day to someone you love. Read it periodically out loud over the next few weeks.

Because you’ve taken these steps, it’s very possible you’ll make these dreams come true! My mom did, and I’m so proud of her and grateful she demonstrated that even though life continues to hand you challenges, the willingness to transform opens up new possibilities.

Living life fully means creating opportunities as your heart calls you to emerge. By making changes and adjustments you’re making room for the transformation. It also can mean saying goodbye and finding completion in situations that don’t work for you anymore. Don’t be afraid, that fear you’re feeling is your heart’s call to your personal greatness.

The secret is in the thinking, and maybe Earl Nightengale was right: "We become what we think about." It certainly worked for my mom, and I’m so proud she had the courage to believe she could, with all her heart. 

No child dies without leaving a legacy and a purpose for those that are left behind

©Sandy Peckinpah

One thing is certain, I still stumble over the question, “How many children do you have?” With it comes the dread of my brain conflicting with my heart and the devastating truth. Then, it becomes a decision as to how much I want to reveal, how long will I know this person, and if I hold back the real answer, will I once again feel as though I’ve betrayed the memory of my beautiful son that tragically died at the age of 16 years, 3 months, and 10 days.

It’s been many years since the loss of my child, and with each year I accrue more wisdom from the experience and from listening to other parents like me. We’re connected on a level that most people could never understand, and the very thought of it brings up the fear that it could actually happen to them. That’s why people say, “It’s the worst that could happen.” Because it is.

Through the years, we, as parents who have experienced the worst ,and in time have regained our quality of life, have also learned some things that many people don’t know. It’s that intimate knowledge from such a tragic loss that can give you a perspective and the awakening for an even greater life, if you let it.

Here’s what we know:

  1. We can’t control the lives or destiny of our children, or anyone, for that matter.
  2. Love harder now. You might not get the chance tomorrow.
  3. All we can count on is now. Never take a single day for granted. Pay attention to every breath you take, it keeps you present.
  4. Always tell your children how much you love them and look in their eyes when you do. Sometimes we just assume they know.
  5. No child dies without leaving a legacy and a purpose for those that are left behind. For me it was writing to help others heal.
  6. Mourning is not a plan for healing. Healing takes hard work and a commitment to wanting joy in your life again.
  7. In order to heal you have to live in harmony with others. You can’t push people away; you have to let them love you through this. In time, you can do the same for them.
  8. People often say the wrong thing but their intention is borne from love. Forgive them.
  9. Cry your tears deeply now because some day you will miss them.
  10. Love is a connection and a force of energy that doesn't diminish as you heal from the loss of your child. Your love will not even fade. In fact, it will continue to grow. How amazing is that!

And that last point is the one I’m encouraging you to think about. If you’ve just lost your beloved child, please know that the love you have will always be with you. In fact, you’ll miss the depths of grief you feel now. It connects you to your child in a way that you hold them close in a love so deep, you feel it in every breath. You and your child are one, forever.

It’s been years now, and I’ve worked through the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally, acceptance, (defined by noted grief expert Elizabeth Kubler-Ross).

I’ve discovered in my own recovery that my loss didn’t end with “acceptance.”

While acceptance is a critical step, it simply wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted to spring off of acceptance and feel happy again, not resigned. For me, there was a very necessary 6th stage of grief. It’s what I call “resilience.”

Resilience is the ability within you to bounce back. Grief is not a life sentence. It’s the sorrow borne out of loss, but it doesn’t take away the possibility of feeling happiness and joy in your life again. You have an opportunity to honor your child by healing.

Healing for me wasn’t like crossing the finish line of a marathon. It was more like arriving on the other side with a soft gentle agreement that I have indeed found acceptance and opened a space in my heart to feel joy again.

Which brings me back to who I was before the loss of my son. I didn’t know then, I had a force inside of me that was so strong it wouldn’t let my spirit die. It’s the same force that we see in nature when a seed bursts out of its husk and starts to grow, or when a baby chick finds the power to rupture its shell to see a greater world. It’s the power of renewal, and we all have it, it just needs to be broken open.

l know that now.

It’s your story, your life, your future… Choose how you want the book to end

©Sandy Peckinpah

I see it now. I’ve entered the legacy years. It’s a time when it’s now or never. It’s a time to look at my story and discern what it’s all about.  Mine is a story of romance and heartbreak. It’s a story of deep loss, and unimaginable tragedy. And yet, it’s a story of victory and triumph. I am the principal character, the warrior, the victor of my story.

And so are you.

I’d never lived life before, so I had to be my own trailblazer.  Along the way, I kept hearing people say, “You’ll be fine… time heals all wounds.” It never made sense to me. As time goes by, I became more aware of my losses and the struggle it took to survive. Huge chunks of time were missing from my book of life. Like, seeing my son graduate from high school, or watching him marry the love of his life, He died, and I no longer had that chapter in the story I had planned.

What “time” gave me, however, was the gift of clarity. It’s a tool of perspective that helps you make sense of a life you thought was random, sometimes victimized, and often chaotic.

Somewhere in the passage of time, I learned that my timeline was a great gift in realizing all that I’d experienced, and what I’d learned. In documenting my timeline, my personal greatness suddenly emerged.

And so can yours.

Do you remember the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed? The 1946 film is considered one of the most beloved films in American cinema. It’s about a family man, George Baily, a banker in the small town of Bedford Falls. He contemplates suicide after the bank misplaces money threatening the loss of the life savings of the town’s people. This was the last straw. He had always wanted to leave the town to see the world, but he always chose to help others with their dreams while sacrificing his own.

At the moment he thought all had been lost, he was about to jump off a bridge into a an icy cold river below.  Along comes his guardian angel, Clarence who takes George back in time to show him what life would have become for the people of Bedford Falls if he’d never been born.

This movie placed number one on the list of most inspirational movies of all time, and I know why. People want to believe that their lives matter. That somehow, something they did had lasting impact.

When you’re in your darkest hour, feeling alone, as though you’re the only one who feels that way, you’re actually standing at the bridge with a choice… do you walk over it or do you dive into the depths of despair?

I was there at the bridge of choice. But in the process of resurrecting my life after the loss of my son, I began to look at the subtle hidden memories of things in my history that were significant emotional events.

During my life, I’d always been a people pleaser. It was hard for me to accept help because I didn’t want to believe I needed it.  In looking back on my timeline, I now know why.

It’s as bold as a flash of lightening. My father was in the Navy and we moved 12 times before the age of 12. Moving at a young age is often traumatic and sets up life long patterns of separation, and feeling like you’re always starting over.

Because I moved so often, I developed feelings of not belonging, loneliness, and being an outsider. Even today, when I experience new situations, my mind immediately jumps back to that frightened little red haired girl on the first day at a new school. Now I know why, and I’ve learned the steps I can take to control it.

Moving was beneficial to me, too. I got used to being uprooted and traveling. It gave me a sense of adventure! I had no qualms about leaving home at 16 to join a touring musical show that went all over the world.

Noticing events and their consequences will change your life. My past is now working for me, not against me. It can do that for you too. There are steps you can take to transform the bad experiences into pivotal events that shape your future. In fact, it may just be the key to your personal success!

Here’s how to transition your life’s story

1. Set the Stage…Clear your desk, turn off social networking and emails. Turn on music or sounds that offer rhythm without lyrics. The only words you want in your head are your own. For example, try meditation or spa music on your Pandora Internet Radio.

2. Write down all of your Amazing Significant Life Events, using 1 or 2 sentences to describe. Try to do these in order from childhood until now. (Use a pencil in case you need to erase. Remember everything that had an affect on your life. As a child, did you move, change schools, leave your friends? Have you experienced significant loss, heartbreak, disappointment, divorce, financial upset? What were your successes? Try to do these in a timeline order from childhood until now.

3. On the next page, Create Chapter Headings for those events. Choose words that make the chapter headings come alive. For example, when I traveled the world at 16 in a show called Up with People, it opened my eyes to other cultures. I titled that chapter “The World Was My Home Town.” I named the chapter on my divorce: “When the Castle Walls Fell.”

4. Under each chapter, write one positive and one negative thing that shaped your life because of this incident.

5. Now write headings for future chapters and fill in the story. A few years ago, I wrote my “future” chapter about being the author of an award-winning book that would give purpose and meaning to my son’s life. My book How to Survive the Worst that Can Happen is a parent’s step-by-step guide to healing after the loss of a child. It was published this year!

6. Look back over the chapters and revelations you’ve written and create a title for your Life Story that reflects the magnitude of your life. Put that title at the top of a piece of paper. Here’s mine: “I Thought I had a Fairy Tale Life.” Other examples are Elizabeth Gilbert’s powerful memoir title is “Eat, Pray, Love” and Cheryl  Strayed’s  memoir “Wild.” Do you see how powerful those titles are?

7. Make a Statement of Legacy. Look at your story and write a statement of what you believe you’ll be known for. It can be something you did for someone that changed their life, or the rescue of a pet, or volunteering at a shelter. It can be writing a story that gave people hope, or baking a pie for the widower next door. Your work can be a great source of your legacy.  

Mine starts like this: “I, Sandy Peckinpah, am a woman who has experienced loss and heartache, but in the process of healing, I learned how to help others. I enthusiastically share my knowledge, compassion, and writing to inspire others to heal from the pain of their past, resolve the chaos that is present, and help them create a more dynamic, joyful future.”

This last step, making a personal declaration, sets you on the path to your personal legacy.

Remember, there isn't one of us who has had a life without challenge or tragedy. It's the collection of those experiences that creates the true story of who we are. They are gifts that shape us, and when shared, can change other people’s lives.

Until I looked at the chapters of my life, I never knew I had the power to take control and re-frame my life story. Knowing your chapters will guide you to writing the next chapter of your life. It’s your story, your life, and your future. Choose how you want the book to end.

We may not have the gift of time healing our wounds, but we can heal our past if we study our timeline, uncover the meaning, and resurrect our personal greatness. Without bringing our story to light, our tragedies can’t give us the gift of triumph.

The way you communicate as a leader is important. The right tone, the right voice, the right body language. These elements are as important as the words you say, sometimes even more so.

Being more persuasive does not mean you have to be manipulative. Being persuasive, by this I mean, knowing how to really connect with other people is an important part of being successful.

Everyone makes mistakes…even the most successful people out there. But, what top achievers do better than others is recognize the patterns that are causing those mistakes and never repeat them again. In short, they learn from pain—their own and the pain of others.

Whatever the demographics, when you see a happy couple, you just know it! How do these couples stay in love, in good times and in bad? Fortunately, the answer isn’t through luck or chance. As a result of hard work, commitment and the building of sustainable habits.

Make time for your family, it is the best thing you can do for you and your families happiness. It all comes down to making the necessary changes in your life to build the good habits of a happy family.

Your brother is the most important man in your life. Your brother knows your faults but he will always be there to defend you. It might come as a surprise to some, but your brother is someone who loves you unconditionally.

A healthy and fulfilling relationship may be the single most important thing in our lives, but when it becomes unhealthy, it can also do the most damage. A healthy relationship is one of trust, kindness, respect, understanding, and generosity, one that offers support and encouragement.

You can't go at this alone, you need to have good friends to help you through the challenges that life will inevitably throw at you. But to have a good friend, you need to be one first.

In life, knowing that someone cares about you can get you through a tough day, month or even a year. This is one of the best things about being married. Is your partner feeling loved today?

There are only so many hours in the day, so making the most of your time is critical. There are two ways to increase your output--either put in more hours or work smarter. I don't know about you, but I prefer the latter. Successful people manage this by creating the right habits that improve their sleep.

What ever your dietary goals are, it doesn't have to be torture. Adopt these dietary habits. They are simple to integrate into your day-to-day routine, you will be healthier in days.

Fitness is a very personal term! Fitness is having a healthy mind, body, and spirit to allow you to maximize your potential and help others maximize their potential.  Your definition of fitness will be influenced by your interests, physical abilities, and goals. Here is a guide to the best fitness habits to help you.

Sleep makes you feel better, but its importance goes way beyond just boosting your mood or banishing under-eye circles. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle and can benefit your heart, weight, mind and more.

The hardest thing about exercise is to start doing it. Once you have made exercise a sustainable habit and you are exercising regularly, you will find that the hardest thing will be to stop.

When you’re tired life isn’t much fun. You feel lousy and you don’t get very much accomplished. The worst part is, you don’t have the energy to do anything about your situation. You’ve run out of fuel and there’s no filling station in sight.

Did you know that your wealth will be determined by the small actions you take each day? In other words the most important action that you could ever take, could be the one you take right now.

Saving for retirement can be a slog, yet some people have a better time of it than others. Planning ahead helps a lot.

The wealthy understand that unless they find enjoyment in what they do, they're probably not going to want to do very much of it and certainly be the best at it. Besides, your most important resource in this world isn't money, it's time. So find ways to spend your days doing things you actually like doing. Cultivate the right habits to become rich.

All self made millionaires had to start somewhere. They all started by identifying their bad habits, or any habit that was holding them back and then by building good habits that are sustainable they went on their way to achieving great things.

Although retirement is meant to be the time when people start taking it easy and really enjoying life, the reality is that many pensioners simply can’t afford to “take it easy”. We’re living longer and retiring on smaller pension pots, and for all too many folks, the life phase that they might have referred to as “the golden years” when viewed from a distance turned out to be fool’s gold when viewed close-up. It’s tempting to say we should just do away with the whole myth of retirement and be done with it.

It is not just what you do that matters, it is what you refuse to do that matters as well. Learn from those who are successful. Take them out for lunch. Read their material. Develop some grit. You'll be better off for it. Strive for success.

'The more you read the more things you know. The more that you learn the more places you will go' ~ Dr Seuss

Are you losing your life to television? Few people realize the number of issues that television causes in our life. While many people will argue that a little bit of TV never hurt anyone, the amount of a “little bit” is constantly in debate.

Entertaining doesn't have to be intimidating, stressful or exhausting. With the right attitude and some savvy planning, it can be fun, exhilarating and, well, entertaining! Here are six great ideas to entertain family and friends.

Are you planning a big event soon? Here are a handful of great ways that you, as the planner, can mix things up to bring some energy and life to a rather serious audience.

By making the work place more fun, you will see the benefits for you and your employees. It is a no brainer, make it more fun and they will want to work. Make someone's day, true leadership is about inspiring others.

A growing body of research literature finds that in addition to improved physical health, sport plays a primarily positive role in youth development, including improved academic achievement, higher self-esteem, fewer behavioral problems, and better psychosocial.

Today is among the greatest gifts we have ever been given. Let us use each day wisely and refuse to waste a single one by breaking our bad habits and building great new sustainable ones that will open yourself up to achieving more out of life.

We all aspire to do, be, and have great things. Yet most of us simply are not creating the results we want. What we need to understand and keep at the forefront of our minds is that greatness exists in all of us. It is simply up to us to pull it out of ourselves.

It is not too late to reverse your worst habits (stopping smoking, drinking, over-eating, and more) and immediately start living a happier, healthier life. Break your bad habits and build great new sustainable habits with The Life Habit

We all have habits that have the potential to hold us back from achieving the life that we are capable of living. Here is a fantastic list of habits that you need to free yourself from to reach your potential.

You will never be 100% ready to change. Don't wait for the 'perfect' time. It will never come. Start today.

It may take much longer than 21 days to make a new habit (or break an old one).  Here is the source of the 21 days to make a habit myth, and some ways to shorten the real time it takes to make a new habit

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