Your First Time Here?

Welcome to My Pleasant Places! Not sure where to get started? You might want to visit the About page to learn the premise of the blog and a little about the author. After that, you might enjoy the Start Here page to check out some of the most popular posts and get a feel for what is written about and valued at MPP. Finally, if you’re looking for help and encouragement in changing some aspect of your life, you’ll definitely want to read the posts on the 30-Day Challenge page.

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Again, welcome to My Pleasant Places. I’m glad you’re here! :)

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Principles for Setting and Reaching Goals

In my last post My Plan for Transformation in 2015, I shared one of my goals for 2015 and I promised to re-visit some of the principles I used to arrive at that goal. The purpose is to assist you in determining what your goals should be this year and then to help you reach them!

Keep A Short List

A short list of goals, that is. You might have lots of dreams and plans for changes you want to make in your life, but don’t get overly ambitious and make a long list of things you want to work on all at once. Instead, Continue reading

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My Plan for Transformation in 2015

Even if you have been 100% successful with your New Year’s goals so far, we are, in fact, only a couple of weeks in! Still, I think it is cause for congratulations because, as you may know, most people don’t stick with their resolutions past January. I am hoping for better odds for MPP readers, so I thought I would offer a little extra encouragement by continuing to write on this subject during this month. If you can stay strong throughout January, then you have a much greater chance of being successful throughout the year. I would say that January is the “hump” that you have to get over (Getting Over the Hump in Building Life-changing Habits).

I thought now might also be a good time to open up and share a little about my goals this year. Continue reading

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Live It Forward

Do you remember the movie, Pay It Forward? For a school project, a little boy came up with the idea of paying good deeds forward as opposed to “paying back” for bad things. It’s about being proactive rather than reactive, taking initiative rather than revenge, and making the world a better place rather than living solely for self.

That’s what I’m thinking about on this New Year’s Day. Come December 2015, what would I like to look back on and say, “2015 was a good year”? What accomplishments would I like to be able to list when 2015 starts ticking to its end? There’s no better time to start thinking about the end than right now at the beginning! Starting today, we all have a clean slate, a clean calendar. What would you like to fill yours up with?

In my birthday post last month (57 Things I’ve Learned in 57 Years), the last item on my list was, Continue reading

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Looking Back—A Different Way

Hiking in Hawaii

In the short life of My Pleasant Places, I have developed a habit of “looking back” on the year during the last week of December. In fact, there’s a saying amongst my closest friends: “a backwards glance for forward advance.” And “glance” is the operative word here, as the Apostle Paul admonishes us not to live in the past, fixating on what coulda, woulda, shoulda been. But there is something to be said for taking a glance back and measuring your progress in those areas that are important. And if, in doing so, you realize that you made no progress, then all the more reason to make some course corrections immediately for the upcoming year.

View on a run in South Africa

I write a lot in this genre of priorities, planning, and goal-setting, and I will continue to do so. However, in this post, I want to veer just a bit from my more serious approach and show you a little “lighter” way in which I measure my year: Continue reading

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A Holy Partnership

I have several different routes that I run which are near my home. All but one is an “out and back,” meaning I run as far as I want in one direction, then I turn around and run back to where I started. The one exception to the out-and-backs is the small park where I started my running experience which includes a somewhat-circular loop that I run repeatedly until I have racked up the mileage I am aiming for on that particular day. Whichever route I choose, I experience both headwinds and tailwinds if it is a windy day. And where I live, it is often a windy day.

On cold days, when running into the wind, it feels as if it is cutting right through me, and my bare face gets the brunt of the pain. However, I can take comfort in knowing Continue reading

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Setting the Stage for Personal Transformation

Last week, I posted a link on MyPleasantPlaces Facebook page about making a list of your accomplishments for this year (here’s the link for those of you who do not follow my Facebook page; and here’s the link to the Facebook page if you would like to start following MyPleasantPlaces). The post that I linked to was right up my alley! I like the concept because I find that looking back over a year can be very enlightening—and inspiring!—in regards to the cumulative effect of seemingly insignificant little steps combined with consistency. Looking back over a week, or even over a month, is not nearly as impressive or impacting.

Looking back helps put the power of “small steps + consistency” in perspective.  Continue reading

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Identity: Discovering The “Real You”

Back in the “old days,” there was a game show on television called To Tell the Truth. In that show, there were three people—the “subjects”—who all claimed to be the same person (John Doe, for example), and the object of the game was for the contestants to determine which of the subjects was really who he or she claimed to be. Armed with a few known facts about John Doe, the contestants would ask leading questions of the subjects about their work, their training, and their families, trying to trip up the imposters in the details. When time was up, the contestants cast their vote as to which subject was, indeed, John Doe and tell why they chose him. The climax of the game was when the game show host would say, “Will the real John Doe please stand up.”

It all made for an entertaining game of trying to guess who was genuine and who was an identity thief (a term that would not become a catch phrase for decades to come), but even today, the concept brings to light a common fallacy regarding personal identity: it’s all about what you do.

How many times have you responded to a request to “tell me a little about yourself” Continue reading

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