My Intent

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Me and Johnny D

This morning as I sat down tying my shoes, I suddenly thought, "Wow, it'd be cool to meet Johnny Depp."  There was no reason for the thought to occur to me, it was just one of the ideas which passed though my mind this morning.  My next thought, however, was one which I hadn't much pondered: "What would I say?"  I had no clue. I didn't want to simply tell Depp that he was cool  Maybe I'd tell him that I liked him in What's Eating Gilbert Grape...and that he was cool.  Although I figured it would be swell to meet Johnny Depp, I hadn't thought much about what I would say to him.  I was, in short, unprepared.

My Johnny Depp daydreaming can be compared to other fantasies/daydreams which we may have but for which we're regrettably unprepared.  We daydream about winning the lottery but we lack the knowledge to manage a large sum of money.  We say we want a better job but we're not getting the skills to qualify ourselves for such a job.  We imagine one day being on Oprah but we don't know what we'd talk about and we're uncomfortable with being the center of attention. 

So should we drop the Johnny Depp-lotto-Oprah fantasies and resign ourselves to our day-to-day routine?  Nyet, that'd be kinda boring, right?  After all, our daydreams give us something to aspire to and add more color to our lives. 

Instead of dropping the fantasies, I recommend that we prepare ourselves for their realization.  In my instance, I'm not saying that I'm going to track Mr. Johnny Depp's every movement or send him frequent and insistent postcards, I have though brainstormed on questions I'd ask Depp.  I've also reflected on what I admire about him---his risk taking, unpredictability, character range, skill in transitioning from TV to movie work, overseas lifestyle, career longevity, coolness.

The following are some questions that can help you to make your fantasy a reality...or at least prepare you for that chance celebrity encounter:

Why do you daydream about the person/experience? 

What feelings do you associate with the daydream?

How can you experience those feelings now?

Have you done any research on your dream goal/person? 

If you wish to meet an inspiring person, what qualities do you currently share with the person...or what qualities does the person have that you'd like to embody?

What would you tell the person about yourself?  What are your accomplishments?  What obstacles have you overcome?  Remember and appreciate your strengths!

How are you preparing yourself for your daydream-goal? 

Do you have a daily/weekly habit that is moving you closer to realizing your daydream?

What do you expect to gain from achieving/realizing the daydream?

Hopefully, these questions will be helpful so whether you bump into P. Diddy in the airport or win that multi-million dollar jackpot, you'll be prepared...instead of speechless.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday's Tip - Stretching Your Fears

"It's better to regret something you did, than something you didn't do." - Butthole Surfers

Vienna, Fall 2003 -  Once again, I was closely reading the Let's Go: Europe brief entry on Sarajevo.  To my disappointment, that year's edition warned against going to Bosnia.  Seven years had passed since the war ended, yet there was still the caution about visiting Bosnia.  Something about unexploded landmines or what-have-you making the country dangerous. 

For me, the thought of again delaying a visit to Sarajevo annoyed me.  I didn't know for how many years "Let's Go!" would continue to advise against travel.  I was frustrated, impatient...and scared.  That was when I begin to ask myself a couple of key questions.  Admittedly, some coaches may not agree with such questions but they helped me to get over my fear.

Q:  Clearly, people were living and working in Sarajevo, so maybe it would be OK for me to visit?  Maybe the caution was an exaggeration?  This opened my mind to the possibility of visiting and, more importantly, surviving such a visit. 

Q:  Given the media's attention to the murder rate in Oakland, I asked myself which did I prefer: to die in Oakland or to die en route to Sarajevo?

The last question wasn't the most pleasant one to consider but it was crucial and could be called "the deal breaker."

While I'm not advocating needlessly endangering your life as a way to overcome your fear, I do think that there are some fears which we need to be challenge.  (I'm including myself in this "we" because there are still challenges that I have and that I need to work on.)

Below are some tips on how to overcome/challenge your fears.  If you want to stretch your fears, try one of the tips for a week -
Quick Tip
The Nike Way - Just do it!  Simplistic, but a quick way to overcome a fear

Habit Forming Tip
Try to do something scary everyday, regardless of how big or small.  This tip comes from a Learning Annex workshop led by Martha Beck author of The Joy Diet.  Something "scary" could be asking someone for help if you're used to doing everything on your own, going to a movie by yourself, buying that ticket to travel overseas, sharing your dream goal with a trusted person.

Introspective Tip
Consider these questions:  Which would you regret more--taking the action or not taking the action?  What's the best or worst that could happen if you took the action?  How will you change by taking the action?  How will you change by not taking the action?  For example, you may lower your self-esteem, feel burdened by regret, limit your self-growth, become more fearful. 

Additional Sources -

Finally, remember that we're all unique: You may fear butterflies while another person proudly sports a butterfly tattoo.  Conversely, you may be a Les Brown on stage while your best friend may dread public speaking. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Officially, this is Day 6 of GO GREEN! but I want to take a bit of an electronic break tomorrow so I won't be updating my blog then.

Here's the plan for tomorrrow, Day 7:
Meditate - 10 min

Try to spend at least 2 waking hours with the computer, TV, radio, cell phone and phone off

Review and update ways to make more money

Write at least for 10 min about experience

Suggestions on going green -

Set your computer desktop to a scene of nature

Check the ingredients on a food/product that you consume

Appreciate your pet/plant

Create a daily affirmation of how you would improve the environment

Ask a money savvy person about advice they have on saving for retirement, buying a car, paying off a debt, etc.

Imagine what you would do if you had X amount of cash - how would you manage that money?

Create a daily affirmation related to having more financial wealth

List 3 things you can do this week to improve the environment/increase your wealth

Think of ways to improve the environment and to make/save money

Find an environmentally friendly business to support

Carry a tote bag to the grocery store - I need to work on this one

Subscribe to a newsletter to receive environmentally-friendly or financial tips

For a week, set your home page to a green one (environment/money)

Visit your local farmer's market

Drink green tea!

Online resources on going green -

Personal Wealth

Environment + Business

Wish everyone a great weekend!



The plan for Day 6 of GO GREEN! is -
Meditate - 10 min
Choose a household/grooming product to upgrade to an environmentally friendly one
Review financial goals

If you caught yesterday's post, you'll see that I mentioned that I'd be volunteering for the Creek to Bay Day in Oakland.  There was a cleanup happening nearby and I figured this would be my chance to GO GREEN! in a more active, yang way.  Well, that didn't quite work out.  I did go to the clean up site where I was informed that I needed to sign a waiver at the Port of Oakland.  I then backtracked to the port's offices where a kind man informed me that the cleanup was ending and that there were 2 separate groups doing the clean up.  (At the time, it was about 10:30 AM and since the time posted for the cleanup was 9-noon, I figured, I could breeze in and help with the litter cleanup within that time frame.  Apparently not.)  There also seemed to be confusion about the waiver form.  Or perhaps it was because the cleanup was ending and there was no need for it.  Who knows?

I suppose my Creek to Bay Day cleaning will have to wait 'til next year. 

Nonetheless, I've managed to go green today by buying an environmentally friendly dishwashing liquid and what I hope is an organic beauty product. 

I'm glad that it's the weekend because I need to catch up with the activities from Day 4 and 5 of going green

Friday, September 24, 2010


Wow!  We're almost at the end of this 7 day plan.  Here are the activities for Day 5 of GO GREEN! -
Meditate - 5 min
Observe nature
Check online for an environmental organization that interests you, or check to see what local environmental groups are doing
Bonus- Get involved!  Donate, volunteer, sign a petition or support the group, if possible and desired.

I recently discovered that there will be a Creek to Bay Day in my area which is part of a larger movement, International Coastal Cleanup Day  I've decided to volunteer for the cleanup.  It looks like tomorrow will be an atypical Saturday for me.  : )  For anyone who prefers to sleep in tomorrow, then enjoy.  I wholeheartedly understand the need for sleep.

Green Vegetable Habit - Am still working on getting green vegetables daily.  Had some broccoli yesterday.

Happy Friday to All!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Wangari Maathai, Environmentalist
Here's what the plan is for Day 4 of GO GREEN!
Meditate - 5 min

Read about an environmentalist--local, national, or international---and answer the following:  What cause did the person support?  What strengths does the person have?  What obstacles did the person overcome?  If interested, how can you support that person's cause, either directly or indirectly?

Bonus-List your concerns about the environment, e.g.,. air quality, chemicals in food, treatment of animals, noise pollution, energy usage, etc.

Julia Butterfly Hill
Van Jones
Wangari Maathai

and additional suggestions...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Today's plan is to meditate for 5 min, observe nature, assess current finances (where are the money leaks or spending habits to eliminate?) and to list your financial goals.

It's quite a bit to do for a weekday, so if you prefer you can do what you can and save the rest for the weekend.  Yay, homework.  ; )

Tuesday's Tip (The Wednesday Version) - Brain Stretching

So my effort to post on Tuesday was undone by my apparent need for sleep.  This is my way of an apology.  : )  OK, as mentioned in last Tuesday's post.  Today's topic is stretching your brain... figuratively speaking.

How flexible is your thinking?  Do you automatically reject a new idea that is introduced to you?  Are you experiencing the dark side of habits, that is, a predictable, boring and mundane life?  Do you push your limits?  Make an effort to learn or experience something new?

For myself, I've found that there's a great deal to learn in both the online and offline worlds.  Learning new information about various subjects or people keeps your brain flexible and, definitely, adds some spark to life.  From personal experience, I know that it can be painfully easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine of work, errands, and social obligations.  By learning something new, however, you can break out of the day-to-day routine and add more vibrancy.  In addition to that, you also strengthen your mental "muscles."

Whether you're already a virtual mental yogini or someone who'd like to be less predictable.  Here are some links that can help you to stretch your brain -

Other ways to challenge your mind are to...
Listen to a different language even if you don't understand a single word...just keep an open ear
Learn a new language
Listen to a different radio station (talk radio/news/music)
Read about a person who interests you
Take a different route home or to work
Observe and write about your natural environment - a good GO GREEN! activity to do
Learn a new word--figure out how it's pronounced and use the word in a conversation
Think of unusual questions to ask someone
Think of a better way to do something
Evaluate your habits and try a new one

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


My GO GREEN! program is my effort to learn more about the "green" aspects of life - the environment...and money.  

Day 2 - Meditate - 5 min
            Check bank accts/finances and/or read article related to improving your finances
The plan for today is to consider the other "green" in our lives, i.e. money.  My plan for to today is to review my finances and to read an article on a financial subject which interests me. 

I achieved my goals for Day 1.  I did a 5 min meditation, had a chance to look at the greenery in my neighborhood and had some green vegetables yesterday.  The meditation thing feels a bit awkward to me.  Hopefully, it'll feel a bit more natural in a week.  Then again, I could be rushing it.  ; )

If anyone has any advice on increasing wealth, they're more than welcome to post their comments.

Monday, September 20, 2010


A little bit more than a week ago, I figured I do a "program" called "GO GREEN!" which would focus on the environment and on finances.  I'm not an expert on either subject so this is just an effort to create more awareness about nature and money.  I expect this program will last about 7 days.  During the program, I plan on meditating 5 min daily.  Also, if I can, I'll try to eat green vegetables as well.  If you wish, you can participate or observe my effort at going green

So here's the plan for DAYS 1-2
DAY 1 Meditate 5 min. Observe nature.
DAY 2 Check bank accts/finances and/or read article related to improving your finances.

Below are a couple of links on meditation:

That was cool....

This past weekend, I had a chance to do a workshop on some self-development topics which interested me and I hoped could benefit the participants.  The workshop lasted 90 minutes and I still had more to talk about!  : )  Next time, I'll limit my topics in order to go more in depth on some themes.  During the workshop, we had a chance to do 3 self-assessments of our past self, current self and future self. We also had a chance to work on limiting beliefs.  I really appreciate the audience participation and the feedback that I received.  For instance, I need to work on slowing down my speaking pace and on emphasizing certain key points.  I got kinda enthused at times.  ; )

MANY THANKS to the participants for helping me to work on realizing my goal.  They were and are all WONDERFUL and INSPIRING WOMEN! 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Business Ready - Post 2 "Name Day"

What does it take to make your business name official?  This is what I did in 5 steps -

1. Secured and paid for a domain name, i.e. a "" name

2. Decided to file as a sole proprietor See Business Ready posts1 & 1a    

3.Checked Internet on how to register a business name in California

4. Checked the Alameda County Clerk's website for name availability

5. Visited Clerk's office to register name (Required - an application, $40 fee and about 15 min time)

The Clerk's Office gave me 3 copies of my form:  one for my records, another to open a bank account and a third to submit to my local newspapers to declare my business as a Fictitious Business.  My business name is valid for 5 years.

All right, so after all of this step-by-step info, what name did I choose for my business?  It took some brainstorming, wondering and stressing but the name that finally came to me is Optimal Habits.  For me, it's exciting and scary to have a business name.  We'll see what the future holds.  Am hoping for the best!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


It's now over a week since I've been blogging.  I'm still learning about blogging, starting an online business, habit coaching, and so on...and so on.  I want to THANK everyone for reading my blog and a BIG THANK YOU to my sis for following it.  You're a pioneer, G!  : )  I also want to reveal the results of last week's survey:  50% voted "Anytime!" and 50% voted "Morning" in response to the question, "What is your favorite time of day?"  The results are a bit skewed because in a fit of whimsy, I cast my vote.  I'm still not sure what the ethics are on that.  I did only vote once, though.

Tuesday's Tip - The Daily Stretch

Do you stretch?  How flexible are you?  Are your mind and body rigid or in need of some flexibility?

Often times, people start an exercise routine gung-ho!  They're going to do 30 minutes on the treadmill 5 day a week or build more and more muscles.  They're excited, ambitious and STIFF.  While most people are aware of the importance of cardio or strength building, they scoff at the idea of stretching as if it's just for 90-pound ballerinas. 

Which do you think is easier to do--the elliptical when your muscles feel stiff and rigid or when they feel warmed-up and flexible?  Even animals are smart enough to stretch.  So if you wish to have a more flexible body, you can start by STRETCHING your neck, shoulders, arms, back, legs and even your feet.  If you're on the computer often, you can do exercises for your wrists and eyes.  For myself, I'm surprised by how relieved my body feels when I stretch it. 

So today's tip is before you bombard the gym with your energy or bond with your computer, STRETCH.

Here's a link for further tips on stretching -

Next week's tip will be on stretching the mind.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Business Ready - Post 1a

I ate some green vegetables today so I'm ready to do an update on the "Starting and Managing Your Small Business" workshop which I attended on Thursday    While the workshop was primarily geared toward bricks-and-mortar businesses, the trainers there were able to offer some advice on owning an online business.

Here's what I got from the workshop.  (My subtle disclaimer--Just to mention, this is info which is important to me.  In other words, you may need/prefer different advice for starting a business.)

1.  For marketing research, visit your library.  A business librarian should be there to assist you with your research.

2.  Some key people to have on your business journey - a mentor, a certified public accountant, a lawyer and an insurance agent.  Some of these people you may not need from Day 1 but as your business progresses, it's wise to be familiar with them.

3.  Don't sign something that you don't understand.  This is pretty basic advice, but important, nonetheless.  Ask a mentor, lawyer or someone whose legal advice you trust to before you sign a document that you're unclear about.  Again, you may want to check with your library to see if it has a Lawyers in the Library program,

4.  If you're starting a business in California and you haven't made a dime yet, then it's probably best to start off as a sole proprietorship unless, of course, you have a partnership.  Here's a link on the types of business entities,

5.  For health insurance, you can check to see if there's group insurance provided by an association related to your industry.

From what I've learned recently, I'd add that having a positive mindset is also excruiatingly important for starting a business and that it's wise to have "multiple streams of income" so that you're generating money in various ways.

The lead trainer did a great job of orchestrating the workshop.  All students were provided with an info packet and a CD-ROM with additional business advice. 

If you're interested, upcoming training dates for the "Starting and Managing Your Small Business" workshop in Oakland are 10/14, 11/18. There is a fee for the workshop. For more info, you can call 510-273-6611 or click on  You can also check this site for training in your area

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Business Ready - Post 1

OK, so I have on my pinstriped shirt, am drinking coffee* and in about 30 minutes will be heading off to a more than 8 hour workshop titled "Starting and Managing Your Small Business."  Since it's Admissions Day in California, I conveniently enough have the day off.  Hopefully, when I leave this workshop I'll have a stronger idea on writting a business plan and starting a business.  Another hope is that the workshop will have some info on starting an online business.

*I'm not resuming my coffee habit and I plan to continue weaning myself from it.  Speaking of habits, has anyone had a chance to think about their good/bad habits or to do Le Bien et Mal exercise? 
Quick note on pronunciation for those who didn't study French in high school: "le" = "luh" and not "lay."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Habits - Le Bien et Le Mal

We've all got habits, right?  Some of our habits helps us and some unfortunately harm us.  Often we focus on habits we want to eliminate but I think it's also useful to focus on habits to add to our lives.
So this is what I did about two weeks ago, as part of my EZ Detox Plan.
(You can also skip this and just read the questions at the bottom.) 
1.  I figured which areas of my life I wanted to focus on.  I chose 3:  Health, Time Management and Organizing. 

2.  Then, I listed my good (Le Bien) and my bad (Le Mal) habits.  For instance with "Health" a good habit is that I practice deep breathing and my bad habit (Le Mal) is that I undersleep. 

3.  After listing, Le Bien et Le Mal, I wrote some "Remedies" for my bad habits.  An obvious remedy is for me to sleep more.  : )

4.  From there, I had an idea about which habits I wanted to remove and which I'd like to add to my life.  New habit - Sleep 7+ hrs daily.  Am still working on that, by the way.

Q:  And the next step?  I made a shorter list of about 7 habits that I wanted to add to my life and and about 5 that I wanted to remove.

Q:  What's a faster way of doing this? 
a) Think of a positive habit that you've added to your life in the past and acknowledge the effort that it took.  b) List the first bad habit that comes to your mind. 
c) List 3 ways of eliminating/modifying it. 
d)  Put it to action!

Bonus- Read an article on changing your habit and implement one of the suggestions.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

What to do if you want to stay healthy but you're short on time?  Good question.  : )

If you have 10 min you can ...
1.  Warm up and stretch 5 min
2.  Do 20 Shoulder Pendulums
3. Do 22 Ab crunches...22 works best for me
4. Do 15 or more pushups
5. Cool down stretch

If you only have 5 min, you can...
1. Take 3 deep  breaths
2. Reach your hands above your head and stand on your "tippy toes"
3. Stretch to your left and right sides
4. Decide to eat healthier and drink more water

Hope this works for you all!

Monday, September 6, 2010

I'm blogging?

This is kinda cool.  A moment ago, I sent off my weekly objectives to my online business coach and one of the objectives was to have a blog.  That's been my goal for about the last month or so.  "Have a blog," "Create a blog" have all been action items on my to-do list.  Then I was wondering what kind of name the blog should have.  Delay, I got tired of delaying and wondering and just figured I'd go ahead and start a blog before I go to sleep.  Now I can cross this off my to-do list and get ready for bed.  G'd nite, folks!