Every single day, in every single way, we’re getting better.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I must admit there are days, when the planets don’t align or the politicians are particularly pathetic, that I struggle to believe my own song. Sometimes it feels like it’s all uphill. But, as with everything else, hills can be gotten over.

Staying the course requires perspective and being able to recognise the silver lining - or at least admire the scary darkness of the cloud. When we’re toiling up those steep and slippery slopes, muscles aching and heart thumping, be mindful that when we reach the summit, rather than a lush mountain meadow, with butterflies, frolicking lambs and babbling brooks, we may well be confronted by a vista of more parched and rugged mountains stretching to the dauntingly distant horizon.

That’s when a sense of humour comes in handy.

Who remembers the ex prime minister who stated that “Life wasn’t meant to be easy” and some years later found himself outside his New York hotel with no pants and no reasonable explanation?

If we’re actively participating, the ups and downs of life catch us all eventually, but even the most shocking, scary or plain cringe worthy events can bring on gut busting hilarity after a sufficient length of time.

Or at least a wry smile.

The key is achieving distance. Perspective. To step back and admire the comedy of it all.

Life has a way of shrugging at even the greatest achievements, biggest disasters or most mundane non-events, but there’s always a laugh there if we look.

As my wife and Garfield (not the same person) would say, “Don’t take life too seriously, it’s temporary”
This week, let’s look for the laugh wherever we can.

And if it hurts too much to laugh, smile inside.

On a completely different note, take a moment to check out this music video of the band No Shame from Walgett Community School. It probably won’t make you laugh but it will definitely make you smile. Inside and out.

Energise Your Day

Thursday, May 16, 2013
It’s SO easy to be inactive these days. Machines do most of our work, we can live on pre prepared, fast meals, cars or public transport deposit us at school or  work where our labour is sitting at a desk or terminal. Then for recreation we can choose to sit once more and immerse ourselves in a universe of “inactivities” via more screens.

Fortunately, those who want to be active are well catered for. The opportunities for sports, leisure and recreation are ample, for those who live in or near large urban centres.

However, many of us are sedentary either because the activities on offer don’t suit us, or  the “traditional”  fitness message has been intimidating, ironically encouraging us to find reasons to avoid regular exercise.

The result is that more than 70% of Australians are habitually less active than ideal.

Fortunately our understanding of how much, how often - and what kind of exercise is best to improve our fitness and well being has changed radically over the past couple of decades.

And the message is finally sinking in.

In a nutshell, for most of us, it is actually better to focus on doing  2 or 3 short “energiser” exercise sessions a week of only 10 to 15 minutes duration..or even less.

The way it works is this:

Extensive research has found that one third of a traditional “work out” will deliver  82% of the benefits of the whole hog. So unless you really need that extra 18%, you’re better off stopping much sooner for some powerful reasons.

Even more research has shown that when we just do that first third of the workout :
  • Instead of feeling tired, stiff and sore we feel energised and motivated to be more active the rest of the time, rather than putting up our feet and eating a tub of ice cream
  • Also, we are much less likely to find reasons to avoid our “workouts” and so become habitually more active.

So give it a go!

Try an iKi energiser today. These are set up so you can do a quick Play out that will help you work rest and play. 
Learn Online

A perfect example of less is more. Have an energised day.

A Question of Balance

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Years ago, I read a great comment about our constant struggle for work/ life balance, leisure/work balance, junk/food/healthy food balance, you name it. It went something like this;- "Oh yes, I remember when everything was just right; - it was one day in June about 10 years ago. Felt great"

I think most of us can lay claim to getting it right a bit more regularly than that, but there can be so much conflicting, confusing advice, that even when we are doing well, we can still feel like we aren't. A great illustration of this is the contradictions in nutritional (dietary) advice over the past 20 years. Lots of people have made fortunes coming out with "breakthrough" diets, some good, others crazy, that claim to have the keys to weight management, long life, and more. But for many people they create more problems as they just get confused and give up.

To illustrate what I mean, here's a great quote from ABC radio personality Richard Glover;-

"Be Healthy. Of course it's good to be healthy, but this advice is normally so thoroughly bundled up with shame that it often does more harm than good. Yes, people enjoy happier and longer lives if they are not carrying extra weight. They also live longer and happier lives if they are not laid low by anxiety, depression and self contempt that comes from feeling they aren't living the "perfect life".

"Is our central problem that we ask too little of ourselves or demand to much? We hate ourselves for our every imperfection and then we over-consume in various ways to suppress the shame of that previous over-consumption. There are two epidemics underway in the West-obesity and depression. How interesting that both started just as people began obsessing over their body mass index."

Richard cites more examples of attitudes and behaviors that we are advised to follow, that can just cause more anxiety because we feel we can't getting them right. The reality is that life is challenging and always will be. No matter how good, - or bad, we get it, it is certain to change, and someone will always be there to say we should do it another way.

When it comes down to it we're all doing the best we can with what we have. This week; - just a simple activity people. Think about three things we would like to be better. Writing them down would be good. I'm going to be brutally honest here and tell you what I've written;- Some things in my home life, a couple of elements at work and a an issue related to health. AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now here's the thing. They could be so much worse, and I'm working on all of them and making progress. That's life.

Now let's write down the things that are going well. Whew! Again, they cover home life, work and personal health, hobbies and so on. Wow, it's not so bad at all. This week lets just suck it up and move on.

Have a great day








Sunlight is the best medicine.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sunshine the best medicine

Spring has well and truly sprung. You don’t have to go far to hear, feel and even smell it in the air. Trees are blossoming, birds are singing, the grass is greening. You might have noticed the days getting longer or the washing drying quicker. Is it just me, or does everything feel like it’s looking up? Is it just Spring in the air? There might be more to that than we think.

Did you know that some people suffer from depression only during the winter months and recover fully when the season ends? It’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). People with SAD start to improve in the spring. Studies show that light hitting the back of the eye (retina) stimulates the brain to reduce melatonin, increase serotonin and reset the circadian rhythm. No wonder we’re getting a spring in our step!

Vitamin D is essential for strong bones, muscles and overall health. We all know about the link between too much UV exposure and skin cancer, but did you know, sunshine is the best natural source of vitamin D? In fact, UV radiation from the sun is necessary for the production of vitamin D in the skin. It’s also free. Couple that with the benefits of going for a walk and you’ve got a great energy boost. Be sun smart of course, even at this time of year, go outside of peak UV times – morning or late afternoon.

This week, take the time to welcome Spring. Go for a walk around the block, or to your favourite spot. Aside from all of the health benefits, you never know what you might see - and hear (REMEMBER ;- Unplug before you go). Stop and “smell the roses” and admire the pride someone takes in their yard – even if it’s not your thing! 

Have a great week


For Harmony in life be consistent, fair and firm.

Friday, June 22, 2012

There have been many times during my life that I've noticed how we use planning tools and strategies in our careers but often neglect to apply the same principals to our personal and family lives.

 We have been struggling to achieve harmony at home. My wife Carol and I are one of the many modern families with a daughter living at home with children. Because the adults are all busy with careers and life choice issues, we are often stressed and easily distracted. As a result we can be short with one another, which has led to some uncomfortable moments and inconsistent behaviour management with the kids.

I imagine some of you will have noted the irony here, - I claim to be an expert on Behaviour Management strategies and yet have some unresolved issues at home. Sort of like the mechanic whose car is a wreck, or the plumber with a leaky roof. As a family we have struggled with being able to sit down and discuss strategy, so I have finally writtten out some goals, discussed them with my wife and then together with our daughter and the kids. The whole point is that we needed a plan as to where we want to go, and to agree, as a family unit, what we can do together to achieve it.

One of the tools we are using is SMART goals.

Along the way we've had some discussions with Centacare who run excellent Government subsidised family help services. They are professional, discreet and affordable.

We are now working towards guidelines we all feel are fair, and discussing ways to apply them consistently and firmly. Also, we recognise that a sense of humour really helps when dealing out discipline. After all, we're all in it together and a bit of shared laughter can help solve most problems.

  Ahh! the beautiful QUIET sound of  harmony.