Motivational Monday – Walking

WalkingIsGood

Walking is great for you. It gets the body moving, it gets you off the couch, and it makes you feel good about yourself. It doesn’t need to be a long walk, just a 10 minute walk will do.

If an improvement in mood and happiness isn’t enough, think about the other physical benefits to getting the body moving. You burn calories, work your muscles, give your heart a bit of a workout which is always good. What do you have to lose by treating yourself to a walk?

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Take care,

Jas

Kracie Happy Kitchen Hamburger

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When I was shopping with a couple of girlfriends last weekend we stopped in a store that does imported snack foods and this mini hamburger set was there. It’s a Japanese product and basically there’s a whole lot of powders and trays and you mix stuff together, microwave it and Bob’s your uncle, you have a mini hamburger, fries and drink!

Below are the steps that show how it all goes together. First of course you have to take everything out of the box, which comes neatly wrapped in another packet, but be careful when removing this as you need it to make up things like the tray, fries packet and cheese template.

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And below is all the stuff contained in that inner packet…

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Then… let’s go and cut everything up ready to start making the burger meal.

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First bit to actually cook is the fries. This is in the yellow packet, which you empty into the triangle shaped tray with the ribs in the bottom of it. There is a little “cup” for lack of a better word, and you put two of these cups of water in, stir it all together and then press it down to the bottom of the tray. You might need to get in there with your fingers to squish it down.

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This then goes into the microwave for 30 seconds for a 600W microwave or 40 seconds for a 500W microwave. When it’s done you pop the block of uh, fry, out of the tray and then use the ribs as guidelines to chop it into fries and then stick it into the fries packet.

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Next we move on to the burger part, this is the brown packet. It’s emptied into the square dish and then, the instructions I had said add one cup of water, but I had to add two to get it to stick together properly so maybe start with one and see how you go. This then gets squished into the middle tub of the three tub tray.

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Then we put the buns together which is the orange packet. This also gets mixed in the square tray – you might find you need to clean the trays and the spoon in between mixes. With this bun powder you add 2 cups of water, stir it and then you spoon one half into each of the round tubs to the side of the burger. The mixture should only come up to about where the line is half way up the bun tubs.

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Here is what that three tub tray will look like when the burger and bun mixes are in. This will need to go in the microwave for 30 seconds for a 600W microwave or 40 seconds for a 500W microwave.

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When it comes out of the microwave you cut the buns in half, and then you’re supposed to cut the burger into 4 patties so that the burgers end up like a double burger bun, but it’s too tiny to do that, so I just left it at 2 patties.

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Next bit to make up is the cheese which is in the blue packet. This goes in either the corner or the square tray it doesn’t matter. Add one cup of water to the cheese powder and mix it together. Then you grab the part of the packet that had the blue rectangle on it and try to press the cheese out to match the dimensions of the blue rectangle. Obviously my squashing ability isn’t that great so my cheese doesn’t look perfect!

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You then cut this rectangle in half to make two square slices of cheese and these get popped on top of the burger patties.

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So the next part was going to be the ketchup to finish off the burgers but I opened the wrong bloody packet and didn’t realise until I’d added water, so I ended up making the cola first. You take the little cup and fill it till the water is about 1cm from the top and then add the cola which is the pink packet. It will fizz and bubble for a few seconds, then just give it a quick stir and it’ll be all good.

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Ok so then I did the ketchup which is in the red packet. This can be mixed in either the triangle or the square dish, either is fine, and then just add two cups of water to it and stir. It makes heaps of ketchup so there’ll be plenty for the burgers and left over if you wanted some for dipping the fries in.

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The ketchup then gets spread over top of the cheese on the burgers, or I suppose you could put it on the bun, whatever your preference is.

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Then it’s just a matter of finishing the burger assembly and stabbing them with the little toothpicks and voila there’s your meal! I included an Australian 50 cent piece in the picture below so you can get an idea of just how small this snack/meal is. It’s pretty darn tiny that’s for sure.

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Did I eat it? I did. I tried not to think about what I was putting in to my body with eating it, but I was pretty curious about how it would actually taste. It wasn’t that great, flavour or consistency wise but it was still a fun little exercise.

There are a few other snacks like this that Kracie do, like donuts and sushi and stuff. This was quite entertaining so I might get those at some point and see what they’re like.

Have you tried any of these before? What did you think of them?

Take care,

Jas

Friday Favourites

What a productive week I’ve had, so much has been going on!

Pole class. I had my dance class on Saturday and we started learning the routine this week which is always fun.

Shopping. I met up with a couple of girlfriends on Sunday and we went looking for clothes to wear to a high tea that we’re going to in a couple of weeks. Well they looked, I was just there for the company as I already have a dress to wear.

Pamphlet delivery. So I signed up to do pamphlet delivery, the pay is crap really but I thought why pay to go to the gym and walk when I can get someone else to pay me to walk. So we’ll see how it goes.

Lunch. I went to lunch with a girlfriend which was nice, it was good to catch up, we haven’t been out for a while.

Coffee and cake. One of my staff took me out for coffee and cake today,she had noticed that things hadn’t been so great for me lately and was worried about me. It was nice to have someone just notice like that and ask if I was ok.

How has your week been? Did anything special happen?

Take care,

Jas

Motivational Monday – Zoos

 

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Zoos can be a controversial topic, especially depending on what zoo you’re talking about. Personally, I love the Adelaide and Monarto Zoos, I’ve been to two others overseas but they were the kind of zoos that drug animals for photos and I can’t get on board with that sort of practise.

Some people or groups (hello, PETA) believe animals, especially wild animals like lions, shouldn’t be held in captivity. But what happens when a species are dying out, say they’re critically endangered and in the next 10 years will be extinct in the wild. What do you do then? You bring that species into captivity and breed them with the aim of releasing a population of them into the wild.

Or do you think that we should just let these animals go extinct? Maybe there is an argument for that, maybe it’s the natural order of things. But what about when it’s not? Take the black rhino for example, it’s critically endangered in Africa and although in many areas it’s illegal to hunt them, it still happens. So sitting on your hands and thinking enacting laws is enough is equivalent to sticking your head in the sand and hoping the problem goes away. And it will go away because there won’t be any rhino left, but is that the outcome we want?

And so we come back to zoos, and the purpose of many zoos is not just to exhibit animals for the public to see, but to educate them on each animals’ plight. To conserve species using sometimes even a genetic based breeding program that incorporate zoos not just in one country but internationally as well.

I know there are zoos where the focus is on people being able to pet animals like tigers, or ride elephants. Those zoos, I have a problem with. They drug the tigers for a photo, they beat the elephants into submission, and that is just awful. Don’t support those zoos.

Zoos like Adelaide and Monarto Zoo, they are conservation focussed, they want to save species and educate the public and engage them in helping save the animals as well.

So I challenge you, go to your local zoo, not just to see the animals, but if the zookeepers do any talks, go to a couple of those, find out what the focus of the zoo is and how they achieve it. You will be amazed at what they are trying to achieve.

Friday Favourites

The last week has gone really quickly, there’s been heaps happening at work and in my personal life it’s all just sort of zoomed past.

New term of pole. Last Saturday I started a new term at my pole dancing studio. The first class back can be the hardest I find because it’s revision of tricks from the previous term and so is really intense! But it still felt really good to be back despite the sore muscles.

Shopping. After my pole class I met one of my girlfriends at a shopping centre in one of the richer Adelaide areas (Burnside for any Adelaidians reading, so you know what I mean). Oh my gosh there were some absolutely gorgeous clothes there, but though I earn a decent salary it’s just not decent enough to buy anything there.

Mothers day. Last Sunday was Mothers day and so I took my Mum up to Monarto Zoo, I’m not sure that she’s ever been before so it was a great experience for her and turned out to be a not too bad day which is good.

Solicitor. This might be an odd one to call a highlight, but given everything that’s happening with mine and my former partners separation, it was time to bring in a solicitor to get some advice so that I had a better understanding of how to get everything resolved. The solicitor I saw today was good and I feel much better now I have a better idea of what I need to do and what the possible options for settlement are.

Window shopping. I didn’t feel like going straight home after work and so I decided to go into the city because they do late night shopping on Friday nights, so I just wandered around and looked at things, tried a couple of pieces of clothing on…noticed they don’t actually go on sale until tomorrow, so I’m going to go back to the local store and pick them up when they’re on sale tomorrow lol.

How has your week been? Are there any highlights you would like to share?

Take care,

Jas

Friday Favourites

The last been has been a hard one. Not particularly busy but hard because I’ve just been kinda mopey and struggling to get out of my funk. There were still a few highlights that happened but this coming weekend is going to be better.

Soaps are ready! Four weeks ago I made my first attempt at making soap, but cos I used the cold method I needed to wait a few weeks for it to cure before it was ready. Time was up on Saturday so I wrapped them up in nice little packages and I have a couple that I’m going to give out so I can get other people’s opinion on them.

Lunch with my grandparents. On Sunday I caught up with my grandparents for lunch who I haven’t seen for ages. It was nice to catch up with them after so lunch.

Lunch with Sales VP. During the week I caught up for lunch with our regional Sales VP and we were talking about a conference coming up which I want to go to, and he’s keen to get clients to go to. We struck a deal, if I can get 5 clients to register for the conference he will pay for me to go to the conference. I’m pretty excited by this and so trying to do whatever I can to make it happen.

Rental property valuation. To make things a bit easier on myself I am going to sell my rental property and use some of the money from that to pay off part of the mortgage on this house (I’m keeping the house as part of settlement). I had a call from my agent who valued the property for me and I was really pleasantly surprised at how much it will sell for and how much profit I’ll get, so that was a highlight of course!

How was your week, are there any highlights you’d like to share?

Take care,

Jas

Being successful

I get automated emails from LinkedIn every now and then which contain links to articles that on the odd occasion seem kind of interesting. Like this one about being successful. I read it and I thought wow there’s some really great suggestions! But then I also felt a little bit skeptical, because how does this person know what successful people do? Has he conducted research? Apparently he didn’t conduct research, but another guy by the name of Kevin Kruse did. But only 200 people. I’m sure there are a heck of a lot successful people  out there so I’m not convinced that 200 means these are accurate representative results.

I wanted to take a look at what’s suggested. Whether or not you’d call me successful I think depends on what your own perception is. I feel that I am successful. I came into my role as a Service Delivery Manager a little over three  and a half years ago with zero experience, one year later I was promoted to Team Leader, above others who had been working there for longer than me. About a year and a half after that I was promoted to Manager of not just that team, but another team as well. So my working methods can’t be doing too badly!

Keep a minute by minute schedule

Apparently successful people don’t go hour by hour during their day but minute by minute. I can almost feel my anxiety swell at the thought of that and I feel pressured already to get, well, nothing done.

Personally I still like to work with blocks of time, but 15-30 minute chunks. My brain whizzes away on a task intensely, and then I stop and go “ahhh” and let that go and come back to it later if I need to.

I also don’t keep a schedule. Well, not really anyway. I know when all my regular meetings are, I have blocks of time in my calendar every week for my set tasks. But my work is so random and is basically answering questions all day that it’s difficult to schedule it out beyond that.

Focus on one thing

This advice is a little ambiguous, it talks about focussing on one task for say 2 hours every morning without a break, and the task you focus on should be geared towards maybe getting you promoted.

I can kind of understand why you would want to do that but can you imagine the brain strain of sitting there for 2 hours without a break? I can’t even read one of my favourite books for that long without needing to take a break and do something else to refresh my mind!

Don’t use to-do lists

I have heard this being wildly contested, there are so many different ways of doing lists, but the recommendation here is to throw them away and instead schedule them in your calendar because according to the article 41% of things on the to-do list don’t get done.

Probably true, but I still love my to-do list. But it’s not the only way I get things done. My to-do list is broken down with things that I need to get done like add performance goals to the HR system for my team. But then I have the reoccurring ones for which I do schedule in my calendar. Then I have other things that I do when I might have 15 minutes spare at the end of the day like maybe a little PD. The combination of methods has worked really well for me. I find if I micromanage my time too much I balk and don’t get anything done, but if I don’t have a to-do list I forget half the crap I’m supposed to do.

Time travel anyone?

God knows how you’d do this one. It starts off with “your future self can’t be trusted”, gee thanks. So what can you do now to ensure that you don’t procrastinate and not get shit done? Maybe refer back to the rest of the list and book yourself a meeting, or you know what Just Freaking Do It!

Another suggestion I’ve heard to beat procrastination is to tackle the hardest task in the morning because by the afternoon your brain is tired and can’t really focus as well as you potentially could. So you run the risk of maybe missing a different solution or making the wrong decision. Make sure the hard stuff gets done in the morning! This actually works really well for me I find.

Dinner time

Always make sure you’re home for dinner. Totally agree with this one. Sometimes there’s the temptation to stay late at work and just get those extra things done but to be honest, you never get that time back, so why do it? Make sure you get the hard or urgent crap done first and everything else can wait. But always, always make sure you have that work/life balance.

Notebooks

The handiest, dandiest things ever. I have an online notebook that syncs with absolutely everything and that’s where I track day to day stuff, but, I also have a paper notepad. I find sometimes when I’m talking to someone on the phone for example it is easier for me to write this in the notebook first as some rubbish scrawl, and then go back after the call and decipher it all and decide how to action it.

Only manage emails a few times a day

Apparently successful people schedule time in their calendar to specifically go through emails, and might only do this a few times a day.

As someone whose whole job revolves around answering emails, this isn’t an option for me. I live on my emails every day. The only time I don’t check them is when I’m in a meeting or doing one of my scheduled tasks, of which there might only be one or two a week. When I’m in a meeting with people I like to give them my full attention, I like to actually listen. I see some of my staff trying to multitask in these and they mishear or misinterpret things from discussions because they weren’t fully focussed on it. So when I see them doing that now I ask them to stop and focus.

Avoid meetings, avoid avoid!

I hate useless meetings. And so many people schedule them which really annoys me. When you sit in the same office as someone, why not just walk over for a chat right then and there? When we have meetings I like to get right to the point, discuss and maybe resolve the issue then and there, or at least have actions. Some people oh my gosh, they just get lost waffling about examples of this or that and the meeting drags on for so long. It can be a real challenge managing those meetings and so I tend to avoid those ones at all costs when I know they’re going to be like that.

What I do really like are coffee and lunch catch ups. I’ve achieved so much by just catching up with someone for a general chit chat, it’s amazing. Because it’s so informal you can build the relationship with the person, build up some of that goodwill and then ask for favours or changes.

Say no to near everything

So many people have an aversion to saying no. The advice here is if it’s not something that makes you go “hell yeah!” don’t do it. That’s a little impractical and I think you’ll probably end up failing at work if you do that, but I agree that people shouldn’t be afraid to say no. Some seem to feel it might make them a bit unpopular if they say no, but if you can justify your reasons then you have a leg to stand on.

Personally, I like to give careful consideration before providing an answer so if I can’t see the benefits of doing something for me or for my team and the company, then I might take it away to think about and then say no. Sometimes though I might say yes depending on who it is because I want to build some goodwill with them that I can use when I need something.

It’s all give and take people. If you say no to everyone, they’ll start saying no to you and then where will you be?

The 80/20 rule

So apparently 80% of results come from 20% of activities. Does that mean I only need to work 20% and still see a buttload of results? Apparently so, as long as those activities are the ones that will really drive success. And then you should ignore everything else. Or maybe you should have said no to it.

I don’t know about you but I’m not suckered in by that. I think you need to be strategic about what you’re going to be doing and find the best possible way to do it (lazy people can be amazing at doing that) so that you can get those wins. But sometimes you need to suck it up and put in a bit of effort to get a massive win and boost your clout that way.

Delegate, delegate, delegate

This can really piss me off. Apparently successful people don’t ask how they can get something done but how it can get done in general and you know maybe find someone else to do it.

Delegation can be appropriate if you need help with something but it needs to be something that you’d be equally as willing to step in and help out. For example, my team do reports every month and we have a QA process. One of my team was away and I could have delegated that work to the other two in my team who were under the pump enough or I could step in and help out. I chose to step in and help out. What I’m saying is, there’s a time and a place for delegation but it shouldn’t be seen as shirking your responsibilities.

Do it the first time

Admittedly when you look at the example they use here I’m really bad. The example is getting a bill, you should pay it then and there not put it down and come back to it. Or in my case, look at it and put it in my work bag to pay a couple of days later when I remember it.

The idea here is that if it’s something simple, say you get an email and it will only take a few minutes to reply, do it then and there. If it’s going to take a bit more looking into circle back to it. This part though I am actually really good at. I’ll check my emails, filter out the crap I don’t need to read or that’s just an FYI, then reply to emails that’ll take only a couple of minutes. If something is going to take longer e.g. adding goals to the HR system and then letting someone know, it goes on my to-do list somewhere and I file the email away to come back to later. Having a clear inbox helps to reduce stress for me I find.

Morning routines

Make sure you start the day with a routine. Whatever it is, a good breakfast, exercising, meditation, make sure every day starts the same and this will get you off to a good start. I find that if I’m following my normal routine the morning just feels so easy but if I haven’t I feel a bit all over the place and like I’ve missed something.

Energy

This is a load of crap; you need to start viewing food as fuel for your body, plain and simple. Energy is a big key player to how we feel and how we power for the day, so I can agree we need to be making sure we’re getting enough sleep, water and food, but to the point where you don’t see food as a pleasure but something functional to get by I can’t agree with. Maybe it works for some people but not so for me.


Lots and lots of tips there for being a successful person. I think a lot of them might come down to not only personal preference, but also the kind of job that you have. What works for me as a pencil pusher may not work for a carpenter.

Do you have any methods that you find have really aided your success?

Take care,

Jas

Motivational Monday – Doors

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You know that old saying, sometimes when one door closes another one opens? I just closed one door, and am now visualising myself walking through the hallway of transition and over to the open door.

My partner and I ended our relationship. I feel I have done everything possible to make it work so I have some solace in that. Though I get waves of sadness, anger and frustration, I also feel at peace with myself for the first time in a long time. Because the door to that chapter of my life is now closed and I am actively readying myself for the next chapter.

Watch out World!

Take care,

Jas

Breaking up

I knew when I looked at him sitting across from me in the therapists room that it was over. I’d asked for a trial separation so that we could have some time and space to decide what we wanted to do. If we wanted to be together, or if splitting up was the best idea.

When we talked about expectations for the separation, I said that I would like to see him make an effort to contact me and maybe ask me out on dates or something like that. When the therapist asked what he thought, whether that’s something he could see himself doing. He said no.

That really made the decision. What was the point of going any further? He clearly had no intention of coming to the party and trying to make the relationship work. If he ever did.

So there we have it, the end of a relationship. And now we get to sort out the stuff like, who keeps the house or if we sell it.

At least my binge eating habits haven’t kicked in. Maybe part of the reason I was binge eating to begin with had to do with the stressors in this relationship. I don’t have those anymore. Maybe some different stressors to come but for now I feel ok.