The Twelve Blogs of Christmas – 4

12blogsofxmasHey all! This holiday season I’m going to do twelve blogs that will focus on the true spirit of Christmas, giving, while still embodying the true spirit of A Measured Life: maximum results for minimum cash. This series is going to feature twelve ways you can bring joy to others this holiday season even if you don’t have a lot to spend. I hope you find this series fun and inspirational and try some of the tasks I’ve set out for you. They’re easy, honest!

I’ll be counting down from twelve and ending with one on Christmas Eve. Spread the joy along with me!

12blogsofxmas_4# 4

On the 4th blog of Christmas AML posed to me:

Write short letters to 4 friends about why they’re special to you.

Want to make it even easier? Just make a list of 4 things you love about them.

Still struggling?! Here’s a sample:

  1. I love the way you always look on the bright side.
  2. You have a great laugh.
  3. I know if I really need to talk, you’ll be there to listen.
  4. You have a great sense of style.

Seriously, this is a simple task. Just take some time and think about it. You can mail it, or hand it to the person directly, but it should be handwritten, because it makes it that much more special.

fordadThe Christmas before I lost my dad I was 30 years old, and I wrote a list of 30 reasons I loved him. I got it printed on a nice paper and had it framed, and when I gave it to him he cried. It hung in his house until he passed, and now it hangs in mine. And I’ll always know he knew how much I loved him, because I told him. Get it now? 😉

Keep your eyes peeled for #3, coming up next!

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The Twelve Blogs of Christmas – 5

12blogsofxmas

Hey all! This holiday season I’m going to do twelve blogs that will focus on the true spirit of Christmas, giving, while still embodying the true spirit of A Measured Life: maximum results for minimum cash. This series is going to feature twelve ways you can bring joy to others this holiday season even if you don’t have a lot to spend. I hope you find this series fun and inspirational and try some of the tasks I’ve set out for you. They’re easy, honest!

I’ll be counting down from twelve and ending with one on Christmas Eve. Spread the joy along with me!

12blogsofxmas_5

# 5

On the 5th blog of Christmas AML posed to me:

Donate $1 to 5 different charities.

Relax, people, it’s just $5. I know I said almost no money but this IS almost no money. If I scoured my house I’d probably find $5 in loose change lying around. Turn that change into dollar bills, and give $1 to each charity. Don’t know the best places to give? Check CharityNavigator.com to see which charities have the best ratings.

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They have top ten lists for many categories, including my favorite, the charities who have kept the highest rating the most consecutive years. Give it a look and toss a buck at five of them!

Keep your eyes peeled for #4, coming up next!

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The Twelve Blogs of Christmas – 6

12blogsofxmasHey all! This holiday season I’m going to do twelve blogs that will focus on the true spirit of Christmas, giving, while still embodying the true spirit of A Measured Life: maximum results for minimum cash. This series is going to feature twelve ways you can bring joy to others this holiday season even if you don’t have a lot to spend. I hope you find this series fun and inspirational and try some of the tasks I’ve set out for you. They’re easy, honest!

I’ll be counting down from twelve and ending with one on Christmas Eve. Spread the joy along with me!

 

12blogsofxmas_6# 6

On the 6th blog of Christmas AML posed to me:

Spend 6 minutes of your time really listening to someone.

I don’t mean having a conversation. I don’t mean being defensive. I don’t mean pretending to listen. I mean really, truly listening. From MindTools.com:

1. Pay Attention

Give the speaker your undivided attention, and acknowledge the message. Recognize that non-verbal communication also “speaks” loudly.

  • Look at the speaker directly.
  • Put aside distracting thoughts.
  • Don’t mentally prepare a rebuttal!
  • Avoid being distracted by environmental factors. For example, side conversations.
  • “Listen” to the speaker’s body language .

2. Show That You’re Listening

Use your own body language and gestures to convey your attention.

  • Nod occasionally.
  • Smile and use other facial expressions.
  • Note your posture and make sure it is open and inviting.
  • Encourage the speaker to continue with small verbal comments like yes, and uh huh.

3. Provide Feedback

Our personal filters, assumptions, judgments, and beliefs can distort what we hear. As a listener, your role is to understand what is being said. This may require you to reflect what is being said and ask questions.

  • Reflect what has been said by paraphrasing. “What I’m hearing is,” and “Sounds like you are saying,” are great ways to reflect back.
  • Ask questions to clarify certain points. “What do you mean when you say.” “Is this what you mean?”
  • Summarize the speaker’s comments periodically.

4. Defer Judgment

Interrupting is a waste of time. It frustrates the speaker and limits full understanding of the message.

  • Allow the speaker to finish each point before asking questions.
  • Don’t interrupt with counter arguments.

5. Respond Appropriately

Active listening is a model for respect and understanding. You are gaining information and perspective. You add nothing by attacking the speaker or otherwise putting him or her down.

  • Be candid, open, and honest in your response.
  • Assert your opinions respectfully.
  • Treat the other person in a way that you think he or she would want to be treated.

 

Being listened to, and understood, is one of the best feelings in the world, don’t you think?

Keep your eyes peeled for #5, coming up next!

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