March 2010

Healthy             Joyful Living


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March 2010
Create your Lifestyle Plan
The perfect gift for you to get started on planning the lifestyle you want to create or for you and your partner to work through together.


Are you looking for a fun, interactive way to build your lifestyle plan? Are you and your partner trying to figure out what direction to take your life? Are you wondering how to get started thinking about your future?
Lifestyle Plans are not unlike a business plan. If you want to know where you are going to end up, your chances of getting there are much greater if you have a plan in place. At different stages in life our needs, goals, thinking, and aspirations shift.
In our 30s we are often focused on building careers and families and possibly continuing our education. In our 40s, our focus takes on more urgency with bigger responsibilities at work and home and more income for travel, leisure, savings, and investments.
As we move into our 50s we enter a new stage of knowing we are making a difference and exploring other interests and parts of ourselves. Our kids may still be at home or have gone on to college and our view of the world is much larger and yet more focused on how we want to spend our time.
Moving into our 60s, we may be planning towards retirement and new ventures, involuntarily having to plan to work a bit longer, or hoping our health continues to allow us to be productive working adults well into our 70s and 80s.
At each stage in our life we go through transitions physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.  You will go through these transitions, the question is how successfully?
Our transitions may be of our own choosing, involuntarily, or unconsciously. Each transition allows us an opportunity to step back, regroup and assess where we have been and where we want to go. As William Bridges in his hallmark book, Transitions, tells us, that moving into a new life stage requires us to know where we are going and also to have a roadmap to let go of the old, move through the neutral zone of creativity and chaos to reach the new beginning.
The first step in life, like in your career or business is to assess where you are and create the compelling vision, strategies and actions to get you where you want to go. This may include small changes or larger ones in one or more areas of your life.
In the research conducted by Dr. Bill Roiter for
Beyond Work: How Accomplished People Retire Successfully
, he found that the strongest indicator is not just planning a successful retirement, but confidence in your ability to retire successfully. Planning is, of course, an important contributing factor of confidence, as is knowledge. The more you know, the more confident you can feel.
A study in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology 2009 reports that workers who stop working suddenly the moment they reach retirement age are at greater risk of heart attacks, cancer and other major diseases than those who ease their way into their golden years by taking a part-time job.
Take the time now to not just plan, but create the life you want as you enter retirement. Is it doing something completely different with your skills? Taking up a new vocation or going back to school?  Is it traveling, writing, working as a photographer? Give yourself the gift of creating the life you want to live by thinking about your next phase of life and the type of work you might want to do.
Why leave your life direction to take you where it will? You can direct it by designing your Lifestyle Plan now!
Taking time to assess where you have been and where you want to go in life is a joyous act that is basically free and only requires you taking the time to think about it, talk about it, share it, and write it down. Like a good business plan, the lifestyle plan will be your map to your future.  
If you are at all wondering about any areas of your life; health, career/business, environment/place, leisure, relationships, financial, lifelong learning, and spiritual, take the time to create a lifestyle plan for all or just one of these categories. The benefits of focusing on your entire life is that you are able to put things in perspective, gain balance, applaud yourself for some areas that are working well and hone in on those areas that need more dreaming, more planning, more targeted actions.
To get you started in an easy, interactive, fun, and inexpensive way, purchase the E-Workbook on Lifestyle Planning.
This E-Interactive Lifestyle Planning Workbook will provide you with your own personal guide to:
  •      Assessing key events in your life
  •   Developing your visition
  •   Defining your mission and purpose
  •   Targeting the relationships you want to
      develop (current and new)
  •   Who you are as a total person
  •   5 Courageous Goals
  •   Strategies to meet the goals
  •   Action Plan


The Lifestyle Plan E- Interactive Workbook is yours for only $19.
The first 25 people to purchase the E-workbook will receive the additional 31 page Business Planning E-Book free of charge an additional $19 value.
If you are interested in the accompanying Business Planning E-Workbook and are not one of the first 25, you can also purchase both for only $29 for a limited time.

Thank you for helping in naming the subtitle of our upcoming book.
Courage and Croissants, Inspiring Joyful Living is the new name of our upcoming book.  For this month only we are previewing the first two chapters on our website.  Click here and read the Book preface and introduction chapters. Our launch date is sometime in the Spring….More to come.

Lifestyle Corner
Building Strong, Confident Girls and Enjoying the process—this applies to boys too!
Raising smart, confident, and strong girls is not something to be ignored, but a conscious act in which every mom and dad struggles with all the time.  As a mom and dad of a 10 year old tween, we are entering the stage when everything we do becomes even more important in how our daughter makes it through the toughest years of her life to become the person she wants to be (and we want her to be)-- Smart, Confident, and Strong.

My husband, Jean was given a book, Everyday Ways to Raise Smart, Strong, Confident Girls, Successful Teens Tell Us What Works, by Barbara Littman, recently by a friend and co-worker who has a single 15 year old daughter. She scribbled a note on a post-it, "Read the book now, it will make all the difference in the world."  Trusting his friend, he dove into the book, reciting to me everything we needed to do.
Struck by #14, "Teach your Daughters to Cook and Do Basic Maintenance," he highlighted the key point. Learning to cook is about becoming independent. Yes, we bake once in a while and she helps set the table and make her bed, but learning to cook has not been high on our list. After all, as the youngest daughter I never really learned to cook well until recently and Jean had maids growing up and was not encouraged to be in the kitchen. We realized, however, how this activity wasn't just about learning to cook, but more about helping her to gain independence and feel successful in yet another domain. We also realized if we did it right, it would be a great family event in which we all learn and experiment together.
Starting off with the menu, Zoé-Pascale stated that she wanted to learn how to cook Thai chicken curry, followed by tiramisu. "Let's start with Thai chicken curry," we agreed, the tiramisu could come later! Once at Trader Joes we shopped for the stir fry vegetables, chicken, curry sauce (some day we will learn to make our own curry), coconut milk, and a bottle of nice wine.
The next step was to lay out all the vegetables--cubes of yellow squash, green onions, snow peas, broccoli, edaname, chicken strips.  Learning to cut and chop was the first task, close to the edge but not to close.  Jean and Zoé-Pascale continued to throw in the vegetables one at time, stir frying each, adding spices, the curry sauce and the chicken. Waiting for it to simmer, they sat on tall bar chairs next to the stove sipping their drinks and talking about what it was like to cut, chop, and cook. A few minutes later they were dancing in the kitchen to the tune of “Burning on the dance floor,” replacing the words with Cut it, chop it, cook it.
At one point Jean asked her if she wanted to go sit on the couch and read while it cooked. She said, "No, I will sit right here so I can stir it and watch it cook. I like doing this with you."
Next, they checked the rice that was being microwaved (the easy way out for this time) and set the table. Ten minutes later heaped up on 3 dishes was a beautiful Thai Chicken Curry dish heaped on top of rice with a basil leaf for decoration.
"How did you feel cooking?" I asked Zoé-Pascale. "I felt like I was climbing Mt. Everest and I planted the flag on top of the hill."
"Wow!" Jean and I said together smiling at the one of many small steps towards raising our smart, confident, strong daughter.
Our goal is 10 recipes in the next 6 months and have fun engaging in the process with her.
Stay tuned for more ideas on raising strong, confident, and smart girls-- and enjoying it as well!
By the way, try this with a boy, nephew, grandson, or friends. Cooking together is one of life’s simple joys. Put on a little music, add a glass of wine, and make magic happen.

Book Review
It’s only right to highlight the book that has inspired our “family cooking parties,”Everyday Ways to Raise Smart, Strong, Confident Girls, Successful Teens Tell Us What Works, by Barbara Littman is a must read for any parent, educator or mentor who is concerned with raising girls in the world today. At first glance the ideas resemble basic good parenting advice, but the added twist of what successful teens say, make it for interesting reading and provide a new spin.
This is a book that you might pick up if you have a tween or a grandtween, a tween niece or a godtween. It is also an interesting look at our society and a reminder of how everyone can participate in small ways to help raise the women of the future.
For More Book Recommendations please visit my blog and see some of our favorites on various topics.

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Bon Courage – Go with Courage
Suzanne and Jean-Pierre
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