Free radicals – What do they do?

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free radical

Note:  This is the 2nd part of a 7 article series on reducing your cancer risk.

Goals for this article:  To give you information on Free Radicals – What do they do?  What can free radical damage cause?  Name free radical  generators.

Free radicals have an unstable bond or unpaired electrons in their outer shell.  They are unstable because their outermost shell is not full of electrons.  Thus, they want to gain (or lose or share) electrons to become full of electrons in its outermost shell, also known as stable.

These free radicals tend to attach the nearest molecule to steal an electron (-).  Then that recently stable molecule, who now just lost an electron, is now also an unstable free radical.  Then that free radical will look for a nearby molecule to steal an electron to become more stable.  Now a chain reaction has occurred.  It’s important to stop the free radicals because they will cause more free radicals, or unstable molecules.  Free radicals cause oxidative stress/damage to cells & DNA which causes mutations.  These mutations may create disease i.e. cancers, CVD, alzheimer’s,  parkinson’s, diabetes, rheumatoid…. Free radical generators include, but definitely not limited to, pollution, radiation, smoke i.e. tobacco, pesticides, insecticides, sun, alcohol, asbestos…Free radicals accumulate with age.    Thus, it’s important to become proactive NOW!

If you cut an apple in half, oxidation will cause it to brown.  But if you poured lemon juice (vitamin C-an antioxidant) on half of the apple, it would greatly slow down the oxidation process which causes the browning.  When iron comes in contact with oxidants (ie oxygen & water), oxidation & rust occurs.  If free radicals overwhelm the body, it causes oxidative stress.  Many studies have shown that free radicals age us quicker, are linked to weight gain & cancers.  For example, I’ve seen pictures of identical older twins.  Even though they have identical genes, the one that was overweight & smoked appeared several years older.  Genetics play an important role & we can’t change our genes.  Yet, environmental factors also play an important role & we do have the power/choice to make a positive change ie quit smoking, eating more veggies…

This is especially important if you have cancer in your family.

 

Image credit: https://kathryn8422.wordpress.com

Sun Safety – Protect Yourself – Burn Now, Pay later !

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protect your skinHello All!  Even in the cooler temperatures, it’s important to be Sun Smart

Whoaaaaa Michael!  What do you mean, you ask?

Simple.  SPF Up!

The Sun Feels Wonderful.  We need, however, to protect our extremely vulnerable skin From the damaging rays, and there are so many ways to do that.

Sunblock comes in lotions, creams, powders and sprays …

S.P.F Sun Protection Factor, which, as I have say to my clients for years, is based on the measurement of time it takes your skin to get burned without protection… So SPF 15 (a total Block BTW) means you  will be less likely to burn with 15x more protection and at a much slower rate (you need to reapply any sunblock at least two hours after first application) …

And remember, it’s not just outside.  The Sunburn is obvious, but the Lights in your home and office als do damage to your skin, so SPF up even if your indoors (who wants to look older than you have To!).

There are several kinds of sun blocks, natural or organic, elemental sources or chemical sun blocks.  All are effective.

The Physical Sun Blocks Work immediately … (they are my Favorites ).  The Chemical Sunblocks take 20 minutes to half hour to become effective.

And, you have to be comfortable with your choices.

Remember, sun block comes in all forms — from lip balm to tinted moisturizer, to sprays and body and face lotions, all which are wise choices.

HEY remember I Can HELP!  So TALK to Me – I am Your Personal Expert, Your Cosmetic GURU!

I look forward to your questions And feedback.

Do you need brand advice? Ask Michael?

Do you need product color or tool advice?  Ask Michael!

I’m here to help.  Just submit a comment, below!

And, don’t forget, we have our own product line, BExtraordinary®, not just makeup but a cosmessage™ to remind you, every day, that you CAN BExtraordinary®! Check it out at www.BExtraordinaryMakeup.com

Love To You ALL!
MichaelK

Reducing Your Risk of Cancer

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reduce cancer riskHow can you reduce your 1 in 3 cancer risk? Part 1: What are the recent cancer statistics? How does free radical damage occur?

By Melissa Stockman RN,BC-NP,PNP, Medical Director of the Time to Play Foundation

As per the American Cancer Society, women have a 1 in 3 risk of developing cancer & men have a 1 in 2 risk! Females have a 1 in 8 risk of developing breast cancer & men a 1 in 7 risk of developing prostate cancer. (These are based on 2009-2011 data, current risk is higher, especially on LI.)

So, if you are a female and with 2 girlfriends, statistically speaking, 1 of you 3 will probably develop cancer. Theoretically, out of your son & his father, or your 2 sons, 1 of the 2 are likely to develop a cancer.

Let me help you understand by simplifying how free radical damage occurs. An atom is the smallest part of a chemical & is made up of a nucleus & outer ring(s). The nucleus (inner core) consists of positively charged particles called protons. Surrounding the nucleus are outer ring(s) that consist of negatively charged particles known as electrons. Once a ring is full of electrons (negative particles), another ring starts forming outside of the first ring. Once that ring is full, another ring starts outside of that full ring of electrons (-).

The inner rings are full of electrons (-). The outer most ring may be full or not full of electrons (-). If the outer most ring is full of electrons (-), it is more stable. If its outer shell of electrons, or negatively charges, is not full, it looks to fill its outer most shell to become more stable. When the atom’s negatively charged outer shell is not full, it will look to gain or lose or share electrons to fill this outermost shell & become more stable. A free radical is an atom (molecule or ion) whose outer shell is not full of paired electrons, or negative charges. This is unstable because it’s looking to gain or lose or share electrons in its outer shell to become stable.

Unpaired electrons in an outer shell are unstable because they want to be paired & the outer shell will tend to either give away or gain or share an electron to become stable. The nearby atom who lost or gained an electron to stabilize the other atom now has an unfilled outer shell & is now unstable itself. This starts a chain reaction of even more free radical formations.

In order to stay healthier, we must stop this chain reaction that creates more free radical damage, especially because it accumulates with age.

Learn how by reading future parts of this article! And feel free to comment below with any questions or comments.

Pull Up a Chair!

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Chair YogaPull up a chair and let’s chat a little about how we can improve our posture even while we are sitting.

Most people spend quite a lot of time seated – whether while at work, school, watching television, reading, on the computer, etc.

What effect does all this sitting have on our bodies?

Just like an iron that turns off automatically when left motionless, our bodily systems shut down when we sit for extended lengths of time. Our posture often suffers, too, as we slouch to conform to the shape of the chair we are seated on or hunch over paper work. The negative impact of these effects have even caused some to dub sitting “the new smoking”!

What can we do to counter these negative effects?

Fortunately, a lot! By engaging in some simple movements that can easily fit into your routine, you can wake up your body and improve your posture.

With the posture points listed below, you can be sure you are sitting in good form even without a mirror in front of you.

  1. Sit down leaving some space between your back and the back of the chair.
  2. Place your two fists side by side between your knees to bring your legs about hip distance apart.
  3. Align your knees over your ankles.
  4. Balance your hips evenly, making sure you are not leaning toward one side.
  5. Roll your shoulders up and back, allowing them to relax down in line with your hips, not leaning forward or back.
  6. Place your hands behind your head and neck and gently draw your head and neck into your hands, keeping your chin level and aligning your ears over your shoulders. Relax your hands down by your sides.Check your posture periodically throughout the day and review the “knees over ankles, shoulders over hips, ears over shoulders” alignment. Take an extra moment to take some deep breaths, roll your shoulders a few extra times, and rotate your wrists and ankles. Before you know it, you will be sitting up and taking notice of how much your posture has improved!

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Jackie Demeri Costello is a certified Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga Teacher and the author of the Mom’s Choice Gold Award-winning book, Animooves: Yoga & Creativity Inspired by Animals. She may be reached at animooves@gmail.com and http://www.animooves.com/

Who is the Patient’s Advocate?

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pulse of ny

At a recent meeting of patient safety professionals a small group of nurses huddled around where I was sitting, and one began to share a story about how hard it is to advocate for patients.  She explained that a woman who was in labor was in the hospital and one of the nurse’s colleagues was taking care of her.  As her advocate, the nurse knew what the patient wanted – a normal delivery.  But events moved slowly and as the woman was not yet sufficiently dilated, the resident physician ordered medication to speed up her delivery.  The patient’s nurse knew this is not what the patient wanted; but the nurse “needed” to find the nurse manager who then needed to find the attending who would then go to the resident for authority to countermand the medication order.  By this time the mother was in labor, and as a result of the effort to hurry things along, was showing signs of complications — hemorrhage.

The nurses listening to the story were sympathetic to the mother as well as to the nurse who was there to advocate for the patient.  They expressed frustration about the chain of command they felt they had to follow in order to help this patient. This chain of command, they all agreed, was the problem.

But I disagreed with the nurses.  It was not about the resident giving the wrong order.  I asked the nurse why the patient wasn’t immediately consulted about speeding up delivery.  That’s where the delay was, I told them.  If she were truly advocating for the patient, the nurse would have told the resident, in front of the patient, that this is not what the patient had wanted. The nurse said that it would not have been appropriate to speak in front of the patient.  “Why,” I asked?

This is the culture change that is needed.  The family, I explained to her, would never have followed that procedure.  A loved one with this mother-to-be would have said “Stop: this is how we are going to do it, we will respect her wishes for a natural delivery.”  If this patient’s family member had trained through the PULSE of NY Family Centered Patient Advocacy program, he or she would not have been intimidated or caught off guard. They would know what patient-centered care is — and realize that this was not very patient-centered.

If you feel that your relative who is a patient is not being consulted, you have a right to stop the process and make sure the patient is in charge. This mother-to-be could have said that she didn’t care, they could do what they want; or she could have said, “I don’t want my labor induced – what are the other options?”  At any time the patient can ask a loved one or nurse to be involved, help make decisions… or not.  In this case, the nurses truly believed what they did was patient-centered even though the patient had no control of the situation.

That is where the culture of patient care needs to change.

Sign up for the PULSE of NY Family Centered Patient Advocacy Training – 8 hours of patient safety education and learning advocacy skills and communication.

Tuesday evening May 19 and Thursday May 21 from 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM

3601 Hempstead Tpke. Levittown.  Registration required by April 25, no walk-ins.

Cost: $125.00 per person or come with a team of three people and pay $75.00 each.  That’s a savings of $50.00 per person.  (Each participant must register separately.)  Visit www.pulseofny.org to register

Self Imposed Limitations

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follow your dreams

Follow your dreams

I’ve been saying for years now, “Learn what you need to know so you can enjoy life”, and although I’ve been a huge advocate for learning, I’ve also been struggling with this HUGE concept.

Throughout my journey developing the idea behind the Time to Play concept, truly believing that everyone deserves to enjoy life, I have encountered obstacles. I have met many people who I relied on and became incredibly disappointed in.  I “waited” for things to happen, for promises that didn’t materialize.  I became amazingly frustrated, and had given up numerous times.  Sound familiar?

“Can’t” even sometimes snuck itself in there…

I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences.

Thankfully, I have been provided with amazing friends and teachers like Rebecca L. Norrington.  She has slipped in words of wisdom and empowerment to me at some of my most critical moments.  She may not even realize the power behind what she gives.  One important thing I’ve learned from her is that no one can make you “feel” a certain way… only YOU can make you feel.  Implementing this mindset takes practice. Trust me.

So, here’s the scoop on today’s revelation that I would like to share.  Hopefully I won’t lose you as I try to explain it.  Please stay with me…

I would like to share something I have realized in order to keep myself on track, and I hope it can also help you to avoid discouragement.  I have realized that ideas and a change in our thinking, no matter how ideas and concepts are presented, or how many times you hear something, are not necessarily immediate. This goes for anything… including things like “tips” for healthy eating or “pointers” or ideas for happiness or for success.  Anyone can “tell” us stuff, but it’s up to us to “get it”.

Remember how hard it may have been for us to learn how to solve a math problem?  How we tried, maybe we even had gone for extra help?  And then you “got it”, and it was easier to complete the assignments?  Like that.   I believe this is how it is for many of us to adopt a new way.  It sometimes may take time, even years, for ideas and concepts to evolve in order for us to see things more clearly and to understand.  Research shows it takes 21 days to adopt a new habit.  I think that it takes a lot longer – it takes until we are ready to adopt a different way of thinking.

Today I have realized something that I’ve known all along, but a concept that I really “got” this morning – the idea behind self imposed limitations.  I have recognized that it takes years to unlearn what we have decided to believe about ourselves.  The lack of self confidence, that we don’t belong, the belief we cannot “be” or “do”, which result in our creation of frustration and unhappiness in our lives.  I wrote about these concepts in our book, “If I Knew Then What I Know Now”, (www.IfIKnewthenBook.com) writing in chapter 2 about my belief that we are “tortured souls” that live in self-imposed prisons (chapter 2).  There’s a sample read here, where you can read the beginning of this idea.

Today those concepts have become even clearer to me.  I challenge you to look around and see how many people accept life in that manner.

Today, with a belief that is even stronger than ever, I know each of us has amazing potential.  I also know that potential is just inside every one of us, waiting for the time when we are ready to use it.

How many of us believe we can’t do something?  That we can’t achieve success in an endeavor?  That we don’t deserve ”IT”? That we are destined to be sick, poor, or suffer hardships?  That we’re “unlucky”?

I have been thinking of these questions, as well, since the podcast John Jurkiewicz, another of our Time to Play team, and I did last Wednesday.  Part of the discussion was how many of us fight our success gene.  I believe that’s totally true. I believe part of our fighting is involuntary because we act as we were taught. (If you would like, you can listen to the podcast here.)

Today, even though I’ve heard it a million times, I had an “AHA” moment.  I know that we each have, within us, the power to achieve.  But we achieve what we believe.

And, I know that it takes a long time for us to unlearn what we believe and to see things differently.

Ask yourself what you prefer to believe — that the sky is the limit or that you are here to suffer through life?

Every day is a new and beautiful opportunity.

What is your dream?

Perhaps today is YOUR day to seize it… to start on your path of making your dreams happen.

Perhaps it’s your time to stop looking back and stop thinking “can’t”.

“Talk is cheap”, someone once said.  “Someday I’m going to… “ is another famous phrase.

Do it. Don’t give up. Keep your eye on your dream.

It’s time to enjoy YOUR life.  It’s time to play.

Love, Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive working in healthcare for the past 28 years. She has seen the “sick and sad” and knows there has to be a better way.  She is also a certified professional life coach and the founder of Time to Play, a website dedicated to life enjoyment.  The Time to Play Foundation is a 501c3 not for profit corporation with the mission and purpose to enrich the lives of others through programs, public awareness outreach activities, events and learning opportunities that further the concept of ENJOYING LIFE!  Short version … inspiring EVERYONE to enjoy life.  Contact us at 631-331-2675 or email info@timetoplay.com | www.TimetoPlay.com

Nobody Wins — BUT, We all CAN

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take responsibility

take responsibility

When things happen in my own personal experience, it sets a fertile environment for me to start thinking.  I have a habit of analyzing everything, probably a result of working in the field of quality improvement for many years. I believe that everything has the potential to be better, and even if we think something is perfect, there are still opportunities for improvement.

Here’s a situation that I experienced last week.  I’ve been thinking about how to put my thoughts into words since then.

A few days ago I had the experience of going to court for the sentencing of a criminal case.  I had never been to the courts before, and I was truly saddened by the experience.  The whole courthouse scene was one of despair, from the line of people waiting to get through security, to the stressed out faces attending the many proceedings.

As you may know, I am part of the motorcycle community, recently appointed as a board member of a motorcycle safety, education and advocacy group.  I truly believe in the power of the people, and not only went to support an injured motorcyclist and his family, but to be a visible reminder of the need to protect motorcyclists from irresponsible motorists.

In this particular case there was a woman who critically injured a man riding his motorcycle to work.  She had been in and out of jail most of her adult life and an addict since she was 12 years old. In our book, “If I Knew Then What I Know Now” (www.IfIKnewThenBook.com), I discussed the adoption of self-destructive behavior to hide from pain in our lives.  There are many types of self-destructive behavior aside from alcohol or substance abuse, including eating disorders, over shopping, self-harm, or even “proving” you are good enough, the one I am most familiar with. Chapter 2 in our book is entitled “We Are All Tortured Souls”, where this was discussed a little more.

From the limited information provided at the sentencing, it was alluded to that she had started using drugs to hide her emotional pain from her father’s physical abuse.  Now, at 27 years old, having been out of jail 3 days prior to the accident, she chose to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs.  In a matter of minutes she changed lives forever, causing irreversible pain and suffering to a lovely man who had been down the block from his destination at the time of the accident, as well as significant financial hardship to his family.  Further, she left the courthouse on her way back to jail, this time for a matter of years.

In this situation, and so many others in our lives, the choices we make create an end result where nobody wins.

Think about that.

How many situations do you hear about that cause people unnecessary pain or hardships?

Unfortunately, watching the news, we hear daily of people who makes the choice to lie, cheat or injure another in some manner by making a wrong choice.  Something I have learned is that we truly know right from wrong, perhaps even if this knowledge is deep down inside.  Perhaps we chose our behavior stemmed from anger or fear.  No matter what, when we make the wrong choice, we sometimes cannot take back the outcome resulting from the action we chose to complete.

I wrote in our book, “History will repeat itself if we let it” a number of times.  This sentiment can pertain to so many instances, unfortunately.  We continue to hear many world problems without having solutions to stop things — the same things — from occurring over and over.  Sometimes the outcomes result from choices that had stemmed from our irresponsibility in performing an act we know we should not be doing, and sometimes the outcomes result from greed.  There are so many things I can write here as examples…

But, instead of actions to rid our society from these social ills, we have new laws and legislation to protect people from a potential injury or hardship — even though there is a root cause for everything.

Apparently just creating new laws against “wrong doings” is not working.  We can look at legislation for illegal hand guns, texting / drunk driving, illegal drugs, and more… the stuff keeps happening.  We also continue to hear stories of people taking financial advantage of others, even politicians that do so.  Again, we all know right from wrong.

Perhaps it is time to take responsibility and make good choices.  Simple things like not drinking and driving or texting and driving.  Things that we hear about and just continue to do anyway, it seems.  Perhaps we need to consider the feelings of others and make better choices before there are irreversible ramifications of our actions.

Something else I had written about in the book was waiting for “them” to fix things that are problems.  Guess what — there is no “them”. There is “us”.

Change will result when WE start working together to make things change.  People Helping People.  Collaboration = Success.  It’s Time to Enjoy Life.

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life. Email her at doreen@timetoplay.com

Welcome to Our Enjoy Life Community

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enjoy life for websiteThis is a really amazing day.  A day that something exciting is taking place… a PROACTIVE, solution-based event.

Today we are installing a visual reminder to enjoy life… our Welcome to Our Enjoy Life Community sign in Port Jefferson Station — the FIRST Enjoy Life Community ever.

The concept behind the Enjoy Life Community Project is simple.  It’s a bridge between organizations within a community and a truly positive momentum for us to work together to enjoy life.

Here is a link to the Port Jefferson Station / Terryville community page.  This is a place where the resources and contacts will be available to all:  Enjoy Life Community Port Jefferson Station / Terryville

Below is the press release we sent out for the Welcome to Our Enjoy Life Commuinity sign installation — the sign installation is in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service — as this is a first step in awareness and a positive reminder that it is most important for us to remember to enjoy life.

Please email doreen@timetoplay.com or call 631-331-2675 with any questions or for the full protocol on the steps to implement an Enjoy Life Community in your city or town.

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For Immediate Release

Contact:  Doreen Guma 631-331-2675 | doreen@djamesmarketing.com

Date:  Thursday, January 22, 2015

Time:  2:30 PM – 2:40 PM

Location:  Corner of Route 347 and Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station, NY

What:  In recognition of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine and Councilwoman Valerie Cartright will join the Enjoy Life Community™ Committee and members of Port Jefferson Station as the FIRST EVER Welcome to Our Enjoy Life Community™ sign is installed.  The sign is a marker for positive things to come, bridging the communication throughout the community, and the work that will be done together by those who live in the Port Jefferson Station / Terryville community.

The Enjoy Life Community™ project is sponsored by the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation with the mission and purpose to enrich the lives of others through programs, public awareness outreach activities, events and learning opportunities that further the concept of enjoying life.

“The main goal of the Enjoy Life Community™ program is to bring ALL community organizations, groups and businesses together to focus on the needs of the community as a whole and not the problems; to encourage everyone to get involved; to spread the new of the good works community groups and people are currently doing; to eliminate the hopelessness that people feel; to eliminate the thinking that they are powerless and encourage them to believe that, as a community, we can achieve anything,” said Doreen Guma, Founder of the Time to Play Foundation.

“So many people are doing such great things in each and every community, but I have found that many people do not know what the are working on or the resources within the community available to them.  Many times people feel hopeless and sit around and wait for “them” to fix things.  I believe we are all people living together and it’s up to us to make things happen to benefit us all.  Each Enjoy Life Community™ will become a “micro hub” where communities can create a wish list and everyone can “pitch in” so we can ALL enjoy life and make things happen.  Nothing is impossible when we work together,” said Guma.

The “Welcome to our Enjoy Life Community™ signs that will be installed throughout the community is an important part of the program.  The goal is for signs to be installed throughout the community to remind people of the importance to enjoy life, even if they are having a bad day; to trigger a positive momentum in the lives of all who live in the community; and to provide a positive visual focus to build community pride in the residents of the community.  Additionally, goals for the program are to encourage community participation and decrease social isolation, especially in at risk members of the community’s population including youth, veterans and seniors.

“With all the negative news every day, there is no better time than the present to focus on the positive and what our community needs to enjoy our life, and to work together to make it happen,” said Doreen.

Enjoy Life Community™ © 2014 by Doreen Guma for the Time to Play Foundation, Inc.

 

Are You Ready to Change?

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change

change

Something I’ve identified in my lifetime doing quality improvement and providing education to different groups of people regarding life situations (for example, I recently have been lecturing on diabetes prevention) is the concept of forever counseling.  I’ll even go so far as to call it a cycle of failure.

Although I truly hate the word failure, and I’ll discuss that concept a little bit later in this article, I felt it would be the best word to use to convey the concept I’m trying to describe here.  I believe many industries in our economy bank on our failure – the failure to successfully diet, failure to exercise, failure to have money.  Just look at companies that offer weight loss programs, or the pharmaceutical companies, or gyms.  They hope you fail so you keep coming back and spending your money.  As a matter of fact, the self help industry has grown to be an $11 billion industry.  I’m thinking success is not really the ultimate goal.

With 28 years in healthcare seeing the “sick and sad”, I decided there had to be a better way.  I developed the Time to Play Philosophy with the hope to trigger people to “take their life back”, to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance.  My goal since I’ve started this project, and now through the Time to Play Foundation, a not for profit with the mission to inspire everyone to enjoy life, was to “plant a seed”.  What does that mean?  I figured we could have wonderful people (the whole project is built on a “people helping people” idea) with experience in each of these areas (happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance) who could educate others with SIMPLE tips or thoughts that anyone can easily implement into their lives so they could have a better life.

I’ve learned that you can write, talk, tell people and spread all the good ideas or suggestions you want, but unless someone is ready to change, it will not matter.  I’ve seen people go to programs, counselors, courses… they are “in” for the time when they are there, and then fall back into the same routine when they leave.

People close to me even speak about hating their job, not having enough money, or being displeased with a life situation; but still they remain in the same day to day (not mentioning any names here – but, hint, hint — Gregory).

Why?  It’s easier.  Jim, my husband, and I have spoken about this numerous times and he always reminds me about the concept of the path of least resistance.  Think about that for a moment.  Everything in our world does take the path of least resistance. Even water flowing down a hill will go around an obstruction first.

That got me thinking about the saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing year after year and expecting different results”.  Think about that for a moment, as well.  I had written about that same concept in my book, “If I Knew Then What I Know Now” (www.ifIKnewThenBook.com) stating that history will repeat itself if we let it.

So, with that being said, I believe that, no matter what program, coach, seminar, book, class, or anything else you sign up for, nothing will change UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO MAKE THE CHANGE.  Even in the diabetes prevention class I recently taught, I would watch the participants come.  Week after week they had excuses why their weight did not change.  They would say they had a hard week, had an event, had no time to exercise, or didn’t have time to follow the program. Week after week they would have no results and become discouraged.  Week after week they did the same thing, expecting different results, but there were no different results.

There are no different results until you decide that it’s time for that to happen – that it’s time for a change.

This article was not intended to insult anyone or to make anyone feel bad or angry, but to spark a thought to consider what we each need to do to make our lives better.  Each of us, even if we live in the same community or even in the same house or family, needs something different in our own lives to enjoy life.  We are all living our own, different, experience, and we all have different needs.

BUT, I believe it is necessary, every once in a while, for us to take a moment to STOP and evaluate what’s going on in our day-to-day lives.  I believe we are put on this earth to love life and not be a “tortured soul” (explained in chapter 2 of my book).

Let’s expand on this concept of life evaluation.  I believe that we get so wrapped up in the day to day that, every once in a while, it becomes necessary for us to take a moment and look around.  Kind of like a performance review on our own lives by the most important person in the world to us (ourselves).

  • Ask yourself – are you truly happy, healthy, have money (at least enough to pay our bills so you’re not stressed out) and/or a work life balance?
  • Take a moment to evaluate your life situation and then take a moment to write down what things could make your day a little better.
  • Next make a list of possible things you can do (change / implement) to make those things happen.

You have to decide if you could commit to implementing the items on the list.  Sometimes the options are not realistic… I get it.  BUT, I believe that, if you do just one small thing to get from here to there, it could make all the difference.  Also, keep in mind that EVERY MOMENT of EVERY DAY is an opportunity for a “do over” in most cases.  So, take those “do over” opportunities.  Although I used the word failure when I began this article, I believe that, in reality, there is no actual failure, but just learning opportunities.  A learning opportunity that allows for that “do over”.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing year after year”….

No matter what advertisement sounds good, or no matter who tells you that “you should do ___________“ (fill in the blank), in the end, it is up to each of us to decide if we are ready.

I have learned that there are no shortcuts or magic potions.  The answer is easy and lies within ourselves.

It is our own commitment TO ourselves.

So…. are you ready to make that change?  It’s time to enjoy life.

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a not for profit corporation with the mission and purpose to enrich the lives of others through programs, public awareness outreach activities, events and learning opportunities that further the concept of enjoying life. – See more at: www.TimetoPlay.com

2015 – Whatcha Gonna Do With It?

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Empowerment

Empowerment

As I sit here on New Year’s Day eating a piece of leftover coffee cake (thank you to Carmela), I reflect on the pressure we find ourselves in to set “resolutions”.

On New Year’s we feel obligated to “start over”, to reflect on what we’ve been through over the past year, etc.

This article is going to be very short and sweet.  Yes, it’s New Year’s Day.  Yes, it’s a “fresh” start that we are celebrating with thoughts of untold opportunities and limitless possibilities.  But, guess what? Don’t forget that EVERY day is a fresh start.  As a matter of fact, 86,400 seconds of every day, 365 days a year is an opportunity for a “do over”.

Probably the most important thing I’ve learned over these past years working on the Time to Play project is that NOTHING holds us back EXCEPT ourselves. NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE ELSE TELLS YOU.  Do you want it?  Figure out the best way, at that very moment, to make steps to get it.  Do you want it?  Figure out what is your next best move…. AND DON’T GIVE UP.

Not to say there is no purpose in New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.  I believe this celebration gives us hope and is a reminder and a time to spark us to think about our dreams and hopes.

BUT, I believe, (myself included), that many of us are creatures of habit.  Many times we start out with great intentions and fall into the same old routine.  I believe that, sometimes we “forget” to pursue something because priorities push us in a different direction.  Sometimes we get caught up in the “day to day”, and our vision becomes so distant.  Companies like Weight Watchers or the local gyms bet on it.

I found statistics (see below) that list those same old resolutions, the things we promise ourselves year after year.  But, like I noted earlier, it’s definitely our thought pattern that is the difference between “making” a resolution to seeing it to fruition.

What to do?

This year – and this day — CAN be different.

How?

It is time for YOU to make your resolutions or visions happen.

I tried to simplify setting a “wish list” that can enable us to reach those dreams.  First, I’ve learned that whatever we dream can happen, and whatever we think can happen. What I’ve learned is that it is important to focus on that desire.

Although people may disagree, I believe we have to combine intentions and goals.  I believe it’s important to trust and let things happen FOR you, BUT, I also am realistic.  I will never be able to separate having faith and not being an active participant to set out a list of things that need to be accomplished, finding ways to make them happen, and crossing them off my list.  I stand by the saying “God helps those who help themselves”.

My proposal – make it easy.  For this, the first day of 2015, or ANY day you are ready to make a change, put a “Wish List” together. The most important way to start is to identify what really is important and what are those dreams that you see for yourself.  Note:  One of the most important things I’ve learned in the recent past is that, if it doesn’t feel right, that’s probably not the way you should be heading or the thing you should be doing.  It might be helpful to keep this in mind while you are making your list.

Also, when you’re making your “wish list”, don’t forget, nothing is impossible.

No worries.  No pressure.  Remember, you have 86,400 seconds of every day, 365 days a year to “start over”.

So, write down that list.  Post it in the bathroom or on the refrigerator or someplace you are guaranteed to see it to keep it top of mind.  I understand “life” gets in the way.  Something happens and you can’t do what you had scheduled or it is hard to stay on track because there are so many distractions.

But, keep at it.

Look at that list every day.

Opportunities will “pop up” to make what seems impossible become possible.  Keep aware.  Look for opportunities to make these things on your list happen. And, make sure to update the list. Cross off what has been accomplished and add new “wishes” as you move forward.  Seeing the progress is most gratifying and encouraging.

We are creatures of habit, but it is up to us to choose the habit in which we partake.

I wish you hope and many blessings for this year of 2015.

Love,

Doreen

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Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, Inc., a not for profit organization with the intention to encourage others to enjoy life.  Please see www.TimetoPlay.com for more information and resources.

New Years Resolution Statistics — Included here just for fun:  Let’s break the cycle!  Source:  http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics

Statistic Verification
Source: University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology
Research Date: 1.1.2014

 

Rank Top 10 New Years resolutions for 2014
1 Lose Weight
2 Getting Organized
3 Spend Less, Save More
4 Enjoy Life to the Fullest
5 Staying Fit and Healthy
6 Learn Something Exciting
7 Quit Smoking
8 Help Others in Their Dreams
9 Fall in Love
10 Spend More Time with Family

 

News Years Resolution Statistics Data
Percent of Americans who usually make New Year’s Resolutions 45%
Percent of Americans who infrequently make New Year’s Resolutions 17%
Percent of Americans who absolutlely never make New Year’s Resolutions 38%
Percent of people who are successful in achieving their resolution 8%
Percent who have infrequent success 49%
Percent who never succeed and fail on their resolution each year 24%
People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions
Type of Resolutions (Percent above 100% because of multiple resolutions) Data
Self Improvement or education related resolutions 47%
Weight related resolutions 38%
Money related resolutions 34%
Relationship related resolutions 31%
Age Success Rates Data
Percent of people in their twenties who achieve their resolution each year 39%
Percent of people over 50 who achieve their resolution each year 14%
Length of Resolutions Data
Resolution maintained through first week 75%
Past two weeks 71%
Past one month 64%
Past six months 46%