important nothings blog

"which of all my important nothings should i tell you first?" – jane austen



Taking Advice from a Kardashian

“You become what you think about” – Earl Nightingale

I’ve been holding to my resolutions this year…and I’m GIVING myself ammunition for work, for productivity, for success….for change.

Eating better – check.  Working out (except this last week) – check.  Reading – check. Turning off the TV – check.  Facebook is disabled from my phone – check.  Box of thank you notes sitting on my desk ready to be addressed – check.

And I started reading a book by…

A Kardashian (GASP!)

I know. I’m not even sure where the book came from. But it was on the shelf, and during a GoodWill pick-up purge a couple of weeks ago, I found it and started reading it.

Dang. Ron Kardashian nails it.

ron kardashian

His book is 30 Second Solution. It’s about taking a beat before making a decision, before speaking, before committing. It’s about making 30 second positive statements.  It’s about changing your focus.

And ultimately it’s about action.

When I started the book, I had to get over a bit of the, well, Kardashianisms: I’m a succcess, I’m great, I’m in great shape, I’m quoting myself…but maybe that’s part of the point. We want change? We want to be healthy (mentally, physically, emotionally, financially)? First we have to believe that we can be. Once our brain believes it, we can become it.

In a nutshell, 30 Second Solution is about 3 things:

  • Think Positively
  • Speak Precisely
  • Act Purposefully

Small changes can lead to big results. The Unhealthy Anonymous program that I’m also doing proves that with our health. The same is with our mind. 30 Seconds of “I can do this” can transform our workout.  30 Seconds of “I’m good enough” can transform a job interview.  30 Seconds of “I am beautiful” can change our relationships.  And positive is addictive…and it spreads to those around us.

I want to have the integrity to speak with precision so I am true to my word. Sometimes I need to take 30 Seconds before I speak to make sure that is a reasonable offer.

I want to make sure I am a person of action, who doesn’t talk about what I am supposed to do – I just start doing what I’m supposed to do.

I want to be a person of happiness, who brings a positive spin into the world. I’m better about this when I’m out in public. At home, it’s not always the case.

I want to honor God, my family, my business, my community with my words, thoughts and actions.  I may need to set a little timer to go off a few times each day to make sure that I’m in check with those statements.

So – what can you do in 30 Seconds to change your life? Here’s a few ideas to get you started:  Say a prayer, say thank you, take a deep breath, read a food label, send a positive text message, write down a goal, plan ahead for a healthy dinner, tell someone you love them…

If you want to check out a copy of 30 Second Solution: Transform your body, business, relationships and life in just seconds at a time,  you can find it at Barnes and Noble (used for a really low price!) here.






Ash Wednesday…


Ash Wednesday.  It’s always an interesting day for me.  I didn’t grow up in a tradition that acknowledged Ash Wednesday, Lent, Fast days, Feast days…

…well, we did have a lot of potlucks so I guess feast days happened. They just looked a little different. They had a much different meaning.

Growing up, I remember a few people giving up things like chocolate, alcohol or eating pop tarts for breakfast.  I sort of assumed they were likely just seeking a good excuse to lose a few pounds instead of actually fasting from those things that may be taking up space in your life, or a way to turn your gaze more to the sacrifice of Christ.

Last night, I told Chris that I was trying to make a decision about Lent, and he suggested that I give up coffee. I sad no. An absolute no. No No No.

I think that may be because coffee is a part of my daily ritual. I read my Bible while the coffee is brewing. Prayer and stretching involves breathing in of that amazing, delicious aroma of coffee. It would be like abstaining from my alarm clock.

Giving up my alarm clock, on the other hand, may be a good option.

But I digress.

As I prepare to head to church during lunch-hour, I am still a bit torn. I have a new fun devotional (will share about that later), but it is remarkably minimalist.  I am not being pulled to one thing or another this year, and that is likely from feeling displaced from church.  Today I am going to go back to a church I tried out a few months ago. It felt cold before. Perhaps that is what you are supposed to feel when you kneel and receive ashes.

I’m thinking this is still the year of #Give. I need to give thanks, give credit, give stuff and give time.  Give thanks to God and to those around me.  Give credit to people who deserve it (but likely don’t realize it).  Give time to causes and give resources to those who need it.

How do you observe Lent? What does it mean to you?

(Graphic pulled from the blog. He graciously gives permission for folks to use his graphics…and I’m grateful for that!)

Buechner on Lent…


Frederick Buechner on Lent. 

“In many cultures there is an ancient custom of giving a tenth of each year’s income to some holy use. For Christians, to observe the forty days of Lent is to do the same thing with roughly a tenth of each year’s days. After being baptized by John in the river Jordan, Jesus went off alone into the wilderness where he spent forty days asking himself the question what it meant to be Jesus. During Lent, Christians are supposed to ask one way or another what it means to be themselves.

“If you had to bet everything you have on whether there is a God or whether there isn’t, which side would get your money and why?

“When you look at your face in the mirror, what do you see in it that you most like and what do you see in it that you most deplore?

“If you had only one last message to leave to the handful of people who are most important to you, what would it be in twenty-five words or less?

“Of all the things you have done in your life, which is the one you would most like to undo? Which is the one that makes you happiest to remember?

“Is there any person in the world, or any cause, that, if circumstances called for it, you would be willing to die for?

“If this were the last day of your life, what would you do with it?

“To hear yourself try to answer questions like these is to begin to hear something not only of who you are but of both what you are becoming and what you are failing to become. It can be a pretty depressing business all in all, but if sack-cloth and ashes are at the start of it, something like Easter may be at the end.”

– Originally published in Wishful Thinking.

Christmas morning

unto us pic

It’s a morning like any other. The silent night was broken by incredible shouts of thunderstorms. The darkness created an incredible backdrop of a lightning light show, which created a sleepless concern for our pups, despite their exhaustion from a long w-a-l-k to the p-a-r-k yesterday. I try to get more sleep after the calm settles back in, but have too much on my mind. Too many lists. Much to do.

It’s 7:30 but the light is just breaking through thanks to the rain. The little white lights placed around the house are a relief to guide the way.

It’s time to put on some coffee: Kenyan single origin. It’s time to put on some music: Vince Guaraldi Trio playing “Charlie Brown Christmas.” Louis wakes with me and gives large puppy stretches walking into the kitchen. There are notifications on my phone. I don’t want to see the news. It’s still a demanding rain outside so I check our house for the spots with the typical leaks. So far so good, but my ears are on alert for drips that sound out of place.

It’s a morning just like every other.

But it’s a morning unlike any other.

It’s Christmas morning. Today, a promise was fulfilled. Today, we were given a future. We were given freedom.  After the darkness but now the dawn has come. We have seen a great light.

“For unto us a child is born. Unto us a son a given, and the government will be upon his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Is 9:6)

But I wonder. Does everyone see the great light? Do some choose to pull the covers back over their eyes and stay in the darkness? Either way, a child is born unto us. A light is given.

Unto Us: You. Me. Them. Saint and sinner alike. Unto us: The mother in the grocery store with the screaming child. The family celebrating a child being born. The people standing at the gravesite. The athlete and the artist, the blue collar and the white collar. Unto us: The party at the house that is full of laughter as well as the woman who is alone with her grief and memories, wishing she had one more moment with her child. Unto Us: The refugee and the military guard. The priest giving communion at the candlelight service and the soul in the back who thinks he’s not worthy. Unto us a son is given. A son who loves, who provides, who protects. But more than that. This son brings wisdom. Brings hope. Brings peace.

In case you needed to hear it, fear not. Light has dawned for you. A son was given for you. You.

“Do not be afraid, for I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today, in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)

It’s about to get serious —

It’s time for a re-boot.  We keep talking about feeing sluggish, about eating too much sugar.  About needing more exercise and vegetables.  We are great with a few days, but man…healthy habits aren’t easy.

Can you relate?

Why is it easier to grab a coke instead of a water?  Why do I go past the granola bar to grab the chocolate.  I LOVE salads – but for some reason I feel like when I’m eating out I need to get a full entrée instead!

What about value meals? I don’t even really like fast food french fries, but I feel like I’m missing out on a deal if I don’t go for the combo.

And then I just feel gross for the rest of the day.

I look at extended family and friends – and some of their health problems terrify me. But when I look at what they eat, it’s really no surprise that our lives have become eat what you want and don’t take responsibility for exercise and environment and then take a pill to fix it.

So we’re making a change.  We’re doing a health plan.  C is not going to like it, as now I can really start stocking up on almond milk and Kombucha!  And there’s nothing he can do about it.

But ya know what?  I don’t want to be on diets forever.  I don’t want to have my life be in a constant state of yo-yo.  It’s about time to make a habit, and I’m committing to this, for as long as it takes.


We signed up for Unhealthy Anonymous – and the 21 Day Reboot starts today.  I already read the book once – it was fascinating – and I’m actually excited to be re-reading the book as well,

The program is not cheap, but it’s cheaper than the co-pay to go to the doctor. It’s cheaper than a prescription for high blood pressure.  It’s cheaper than sleeping pills and energy shots.  I was about to complain about the cost, but then I realized that we spent more than $14 on beer on Tuesday.  Just on Tuesday.

If I can afford beer, I can afford to pay for something that helps me make better habits.

Want to join me?  Sign up here – – and come along for the ride.  We can hold each other accountable and support each other on the journey to getting the stress out and the health in!

Day 1 – I’m drinking more water, taking a 2 minute stretch break every hour at work and adding some spinach to the dinner I’m making tonight.

What about you? What baby steps are you making today to make new habits for the rest of your life?

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