Megan’s Leap List 2015

I learned about Leap Lists last year and decided to do one yearly ending on my birthday.  I did this last year and was somewhat successful. What I did find out is that I need support to keep them in mind.  So I will be trying to recruit my friends and family to write a leap list, that way we can support each other.  Read last year’s list and the concept of leap lists here.

My list for this year will include some things from last year, that I still want to do, in red.  I’m not discouraged because as long as I have a goal, I am growing and learning.

Leap List Things To Do Before the End of This Year When I Turn 43.

1. Read the Bible and/or a devotion every day of this year, even holidays, special events, etc.

2. Make a tangible $24,000 that I can actually see, not going right back into the business.

3. Attend a conference out of state that has something to do with my profession.

4. Teach at least 4 premarital or marriage enrichment groups.

5. Go to Europe to visit my beautiful daughter while she studies abroad this semester. *With the whole family.

6. Lose a minimum of 40lbs.

7. Plan a conference for and about minority mental health.

8. Serve on a non-profit board in some capacity.

9. Grow my hair back out.

10. Streamline my business, including running it more efficiently, hiring an administrative person and writing a more specific training program for my staff.

(I know it says 10 things, but I’m ambitious)

11. Travel somewhere for a vacation that I have not been.

12. Go on a girls trip.

13. Teach line dancing or fitness classes.

14. Take dancing lessons.

15. Open another office location or get a single larger space.

16. Do something physically adventurous. (indoor skydiving, zip lining, run a half marathon…)

17. Get a tattoo.

18. Speak on panels, write articles, etc. Become an expert.

 

Leap List Things I Accomplished in 2014:

1. Taught line dancing for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Arlington Alumnae Chapter.

2. 80’s Costume party for my 42nd birthday.

3. Spoke to a group about my business.  4 times at MBHPN.

4. Streamlined my business.

5. Dyed my hair.

What’s on your leap list?  I would love to read about what other people are thinking of doing before their next milestone.  Post it here on our blog or on our Facebook page.  I think this is an awesome discussion topic to start off the year! Check out a visual of my list, probably more than what’s on here on my Pinterest board here.

Emotional Bank Accounts

emotional bank accountWhen it comes to improving and maintaining our relationships with others, I really like Stephen Covey’s concept of the Emotional Bank Account. If you’ve never heard of this, it basically means that anyone with whom we have a relationship with, whether it be our spouses, significant others, coworkers, family or friends, we maintain a personal “emotional” bank account with them. This account begins on a neutral balance. And just as with any bank account, we can make deposits and withdrawals. However, instead of dealing with units of monetary value, we deal with emotional units.

The emotional units that Covey speaks of are centered around trust. When we make emotional deposits into someone’s bank account, their fondness, trust, and confidence in us grows. And as a result our relationship develops and grows. If we can keep a positive reserve in our relationships, by making regular deposits, there will be greater tolerance for our mistakes and we’ll enjoy open communication with that person. On the contrary, when we make withdrawals and our balance becomes low or even overdrawn, bitterness, mistrust and discord develops. If we are to salvage the relationship, we must make a conscious effort to make regular deposits.

Covey’s describes six major ways of making deposits into these Emotional Bank Accounts and how we can avoid making withdrawals.

1. Understanding the Individual

In Covey’s book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, one of the seven habits is “seek first to understand then to be understood”. Truly understanding what others are feeling is not always that easy. We must remove ourselves from our egocentric viewpoint and put ourselves into the shoes of others.  Shoes because understanding how a person thinks isn’t always enough.   When you walk in someone’s shoes you are more able to empathize with them and see things from their point of view.

Truly understanding someone requires us to concentrate on what the other person is trying to say, not being distracted while they are talking and thinking of what you are going to say next.

2. Keeping Commitments

When we break our promises to others, we make major withdrawals from their Emotional Bank Accounts. However, keeping commitments is not just relegated to promises. It also includes things such as arriving home at a decent time and getting places on time, fulfilling our roles, and honoring the words that come out of our mouths.  Basically saying what you mean, and meaning what you say.

3. Clarifying Expectations

There is nothing more frustrating in a relationship than not understanding what is expected of you. Although many of us wish we could be, we are not mind readers. And because each of us sees life differently and has different backgrounds and life experiences, expecting someone to just “know” is not only unfair but completely unrealistic. It’s important that the person you are dealing with, knows exactly what is expected of them. Doing this will keep them out of the dark and allow them to relate you confidently, knowing that what they are doing or attempting to do what is in line with your expectations.

4. Attending to the Little Things

Everyday courtesy, kind words and warm smiles are the little things that brighten up a relationship. It shows recognition and an awareness of others. It’s interesting, but within our relationships, if you want success, it’s the little things that really become the big things.  One of the ways to easily learn how to fulfill your mate’s needs is to learn their love language.  Here is a Five Love Languages link to completes a free online assessment to find out what yours and your mates are.

5. Showing Personal Integrity

Nothing is probably more damaging to a relationship, then a lack of integrity. Being that the Emotional Bank Account is based upon trust and honesty, you could essentially be doing all of the previous things, but without trust, it is to no avail. Integrity means wholeness, completeness, or soundness. In this case soundness of moral character. Integrity meaning what you do when no one is looking.  Honesty is keeping your promises, being wholly truthful with others.  Your lack of integrity and honesty with others also affects how your mate views your integrity and truthfulness with them.

6. Apologizing Sincerely When We Make a Withdrawal

We are all human.   We make mistakes, which we hopefully learn from. Knowing when you are wrong and admitting your mistakes prevents the wounds that you’ve caused in others from building resentments and allows them to heal. When appropriate, sincere apology will keep your relationships accounts in the positive, allowing you to maintain the balance that has been created in your application of all of the previous steps.

 

Live in Truth and Light

half truth

Marriage (and Life) Makeover Tip:

Having trouble getting love from your husband? Are you having trouble getting respect from your wife?  Is it a struggle to get your children to follow your directions? Perhaps you are modeling dishonesty in your home.  Do your actions and motives reflect your belief in God and align with truth? Ask God to reveal any ways in which you are modeling dishonest behavior.  Be ready to and willing to hear his answers.  If your spouse AND several other people are telling you the same thing, you might want to examine yourself. Below you’ll find some examples of modeling dishonest behavior:

1. Lying to your spouse or children for any reason (and yes your kids can tell when their parent is lying)

2. Using a fake address so your child can attend “the right” school

3. Writing a note so your child will not get a low grade due to an unexcused absence or missed homework assignments

4. Telling your spouse or kids to tell an unwanted caller you’re not home when you actually are

5. Protecting your child from a deserved punishment or consequence from the other parent or authority figures by lying or covering for them

6. Lying about a kid’s age to get cheaper prices at restaurants, movies, amusement parks, etc.

7. Telling your family how upset you are with someone, yet not being honest with the person you have the issue with

8. Calling in sick when you’re not

9. Changing price tags on an item you cannot afford

10. Giving someone a fake reason for not attending a meeting, party, church or other get together

11. Lying to bill collectors or authorities to protect yourself or someone else from consequences

12. Omitting information, telling half the truth, etc in any situation

Avoid Passive-Aggressive Behavior

looking elsewhere

Marriage Makeover Tip:

I know many of you are reading the title of this post thinking, “That’s exactly how my spouse behaves!” Check yourself these examples may pertain to you. IJS

  • Substance abuse
  • Emotionally withdrawing from your marriage
  • Adulterous physical and emotional affairs
  • Lying, including omission
  • Refusing to participate in couple or family oriented events
  • Withholding sex and/or affection
  • Secret sins such as porn, facebook inboxing, inappropriate internet use, texting or other activities

 

Most counselors believe passive-aggressive anger is the most difficult anger to deal with because this anger is unmanaged and the source is usually unidentified. If either one of you is angry but are too stubborn to spend the time and energy to explore the TRUE source of the anger, your marriage is being eroded by passive aggressive anger.  And here’s a bonus, some of that may have nothing to do with your spouse and more to do with how you feel about yourself.

The enemy loves to sidetrack and destroy our marriages with sinful behaviors like those listed above because his plan is to destroy marriage.  He wants marriages based on lies, God wants marriages build on truth and his word.

If you are doing ANY of these behaviors you are destroying your marriage.

Guard Your Heart

guard your heart

Marriage Makeover Tip:

If you and your spouse are having issues or even separated you should guard your heart even more than usual.  You may be feeling lonely, and unloved.  Guard your heart and your marriage.