Setting Goals

As the New Year looms up (where DID all the time go?) many of us will be thinking of resolutions.

This year, I will be setting out goals. Not just goals, but SMART goals.

If you don’t work in corporate America (and for some, even if you do)  – you may not have heard of smart goals.

Here you go:


Specific: Set concrete, clearly defined goals with specific points of success.
Measurable: Whatever the goal is, find ways to measure progress.
Achievable: Aim high, but within reason. Your goal should be a stretch, but something you could actually achieve.
Relevant: Find a goal that matters enough to you that you’ll be motivated to stick with it.
Time-bound: Set a reasonable timeline for your goal, and focus on the small wins along the way.

This is a way of setting your intent firmly into the structure of actuality.  I try to use this when I am working on projects with others; as a volunteer; and in my own life. It makes accomplishing things much easier.

Here’s hoping you reach your goals for 2019 – may the new year bring you happiness, prosperity and the time to enjoy life. And remember: the more you do, the more you get done!


The Handwritten Note

What is it about the handwritten note, that can make such a difference in the course of a life?

Is it the colorful decoration? Or the preprinted sentiment?

Of course that took some thought, and can bring a smile…

But that is not all,

it is the time and (though small) effort that it took to pick up a pen and write a sentence or two directly from one mind, heart, soul through the ink flowing

to the recipient’s mind, heart and soul.

It shows an effort made with care and thought.

It demonstrates the value that one person has for another.

And, it is a physical reaching out that touches one hand to another,

in a way that can touch that person again and again with every re-reading.

It is a way to be present when miles separate you both.

Being there

As I get older and see my circle of friends aging, too – I see a greater need for people to be there for each other.

I mean this in the most practical way!  I have many friends who are single, with no family nearby or no family at all, and even the youngest of them may sometimes get ill or need help with something. Our society pooh-poohs anyone who is not self-sufficient, since we are all supposed to be strong and rugged individualists.

The bottom line is that many people who NEED help (even with something small, like getting boxes out of the attic) rarely ASK for help, and sometimes blow their budget paying for help when a friend could have done it for them.

So I am asking you all to consider BEING THERE for your extended family of friends. And if you have no one that you call a friend, reach out (you could volunteer, or go to the library and strike up a conversation) and begin to build your circle of friends.

When I was single, I had a couple of friends that I always let know when I was going somewhere out of the ordinary and when I would be home; they would do the same – that way if we checked and the person wasn’t home yet, we knew to start the process of following up. Sometimes we bought stuff in bulk at Costco and split it among ourselves to save money. Sometimes we made casseroles or soup to bring to each other when sick, or helped care for pets.

Now with cell phones, it is easier to check if someone is home okay after a trip; or if they might need a grocery run since they are ill. We have to consciously REACH OUT, because our society has trained us to mind our own business – which isn’t a bad thing by itself, but there are many lonely and needy people out there whose lives would be improved by simply being there for them once in awhile.

Whether you chose to stick with a circle of friends; or reach out to elderly and the single parent in your neighborhood or building; or extend out to a club or group – you will make a tremendous difference by being there.

Think about the small things that you need help with from time to time. Maybe even organize a cooperative.

If all you do is help get boxes from the attic or rake leaves for someone who can’t…you have still done A LOT.

Living smaller can also be living LARGE. Be there.

Meatless Thanksgiving

Whether you are planning to go Meatless for Thanksgiving, or would like to offer some vegetarian or vegan dishes to your friends, now is the time for planning.  So the next few Mondays will be dedicated to recipes suitable for Thanksgiving (and often a great option for pot luck affairs and, of course, enjoying all year round).

Let’s start with Martha Stewart:


Butternut risotto. Yummmmmmm.